DUBAI // Parents in the capital can now access their children's academic records with the swipe of an Emirates ID card.
A smart card reader - installed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) at both state schools and private schools following the national curriculum - allows parents to access a database of their children's academic history, attendance record, test scores and medical records.
Once registered, they can also track their children's school assignments and check on holiday dates from home.
The Parent Assistant System, which can only be used with an Emirates ID card, was launched to increase communication between the home and school.
Entessar Al Junaibi, senior specialist of data analysis at Adec, said the system would encourage parents to become more involved in their children's school activities.
"If your daughter or son has a test or you need to find out what the report says, you can do it at home or when at work. You do not need to go to school every time."
She said parents were frequently absent from school meetings.
"This way they don't need to be present for all of the parent-teacher sessions and still know about their children's progress."
Parents can log on to the authority's website from anywhere to source the information after they have registered at the school and received a user name and password.
They will also be able to use a unique pupil code to track each child's attendance, late arrival and authorised or unauthorised absenteeism.
The medical page will provide information on allergies, conditions and any special requirement for assistance needed by the child.
Teachers and administration staff can use the system to send direct messages and reminders to parents on issues and activities at school.
Mariam Ahmed Al Tiniji, a maths teacher at the Palestine Secondary Public School, said this would give parents no more excuses.
"It is important that the parents communicate more and this may encourage them to do so," she said. "They say they are too busy [for parent-teacher meetings]. This will be helpful because at least they will know how their children are doing through this system."
It will also reduce the amount of paperwork and help schools to keep better records, she said.
Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, the executive director of school operations at Adec, said the initiative would increase the transparency and efficiency of schools.
"It provides Adec with an invaluable tool to measure student records, and reaches out to parents and community at large," he said. "Parents are required to take part in their children's academic journey to help improve education reform."
From next week, Adec plans to conduct workshops to help parents and educators learn how to use the system.
More information on the system is available at www.adec.ac.ae