Parents of school students in Dubai can now monitor the eating and spending habits of their children with each swipe of the students’ ID cards. The system employs the familiar formula of reloadable, debit-type functionality and allows students to make non-cash purchases on campus.
Per a report from Gulf News, the Campus Key is an electronic ID card adopted by Al Mawakeb schools and the International School of Arts and Sciences (ISAS) in Dubai. The card enables parents to reload funds for purchases in school cafeterias and shops, and via an online portal, view the items purchased like food, supplies and books.
Officials with Academia Management Solutions International (AMSI), the group that manages the three schools, says that the monitoring of food purchases can help parents better control the calorie intake of their children. In particular, AMSI wanted to help parents reduce the amount of fat students eat at school cafeterias, and decided that the focus should be on consumption habits.
Officials say that the card also contains any necessary health information for the card holder, such as any allergies or health conditions. This way if a student accidentally selects food from the school cafeteria that they are allergic to, staff conducting the transaction will be able to identify the situation and act accordingly. The same feature will also be helpful when students visit the nurse’s office, as pertinent information can accessed with a swipe of the card.
Standard cash is not allowed on campus, so students also use their cards to buy stationery, uniforms, books and check out materials from the library. The idea is that the cards are safer and more controlled, as parents can view how the money is being used and how much money can be spent.
At the moment, parents must either visit the school in person to add funds onto the card, or send the money with their children to do so. AMSI is, however, in talks with a local telecommunications company to devise a way for parents to reload the cards online. It’s a service that school officials expect to be available soon.