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ADEC’s ‘School Finder’ comes to students’ aid

Olivia Olarte
Filed on July 29, 2010

ABU DHABI — Looking for suitable place for students in the Abu Dhabi emirate is now an easy task. All it requires is for parents to click on the ‘School Finder’ link at the Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC) portal and select the region – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Western Region.

For specific criteria – from the location, school type, curriculum, grade to gender – the search is narrowed down to reveal the name of the school principal, telephone number and GPS (global positioning system) coordinates. Parents can select from 480 schools in the emirate, 175 private and 305 public.

The School Finder is just one of the five applications available at ADEC’s Geographical Information System (GIS). Other advanced applications allow for searchers to determine student and teacher statistics and nationality, as well as evaluate the students’ performance and EMSA results.

It also shows the nearest healthcare facilities and directs to evacuation assembly points.

With GIS analysis, ADEC can monitor enrolment patterns and transfer history, effectively showing where the deficiencies and surplus of students. Education executives’ BlackBerry can also be connected to ADEC’s GIS server to enable them to view school locations and view pertinent data related to the school.

In future, ADEC is looking to further develop its GIS programmes in transportation management by considering school bus routes.

“The aim is to reduce carbon footprint and limit carbon emission by the school bus taking the shortest route possible,” said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, director general of ADEC.

The council is currently studying plans to use GIS to support learning in the classroom in Cycle 3 public schools to train students in using and interpreting map and database resources.

ADEC is also looking at how GIS can assist in automated student enrolment taking into account school location and capacity.

This breakthrough in Geographic Science, developed by the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC), has won ADEC international recognition and awarded the ‘Esri Making a Difference’ for its contribution to Geographic Science during the Esri Education User Conference in July 10-13 in the US.

At the conference, ADEC was asked to present its GIS applications to demonstrate the pioneering applications that have been developed to advance the education system in Abu Dhabi.

“This award is a real achievement for us and demonstrates the efforts we have made to implement the latest technologies to increase the efficiency of our decision-making process,” said Al Khaili

ADEC has also received the ‘Excellence in Implementation’ award from Esri’s UAE representative GISTEC during a GIS awards in March 2010 in Dubai.

“The mindset has changed. More than just a map, GIS is now recognised as an important tool for the data infrastructure of many sectors including education, health, urban planning and transportation,” said Rashed Lahej Al Manssori, director general of ADSIC.

olivia@khaleejtimes.com


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