Muscat Daily

Stu­dent team project wins top prize at Arab In­no­va­tion Hackathon

- Our Correspond­ent Middle East News · Parenting · Family · Muscat · Egypt · Iraq · Kuwait · Saudi Arabia · Saudi Arabia national football team

An on­line plat­form cre­ated by five Omani stu­dents of Gulf Col­lege to help par­ents find suit­able preschool ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions for their chil­dren placed first in the re­cently con­cluded Arab In­no­va­tion Hackathon.

The vir­tual hackathon, called ‘In­no­va­tion in the time of COVID-19’, was con­ducted by the Bahraini Re­searchers and In­ven­tors So­ci­ety (Brains) from Au­gust 9 to Oc­to­ber 10.

Marwa al Rubaie, Suzan al Saifi, Mo­hammed al Habsi, Saeed al Habsi and Salim al Habsi cre­ated the plat­form called 'We­saya'.

Speak­ing to Mus­cat Daily,

Salim said, “Over 50 in­no­va­tors from var­i­ous Arab coun­tries, in­clud­ing Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Ara­bia, par­tic­i­pated in the com­pe­ti­tion. Twenty-two teams reached the fi­nals.”

The hackathon fo­cused on cre­ative ideas to counter the ef­fects of the COVID-19 pan­demic, invit­ing par­tic­i­pants to de­velop tech­no­log­i­cal and in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions, in­volv­ing hard­ware and soft­ware, to achieve eco­nomic sta­bil­ity.

It cov­ered as­pects of the pan­demic in fields in­clud­ing the econ­omy, health, ed­u­ca­tion, ad­min­is­tra­tion, agri­cul­ture and food se­cu­rity, aware­ness and com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion, and en­ter­tain­ment.

“The We­saya plat­form con­nects preschool ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions (the service provider) and par­ents (ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the service) for chil­dren aged six months to six-and-a-half years,” Salim said.

While creat­ing the plat­form, the team took into ac­count the prob­lems par­ents face in giv­ing their preschool chil­dren's the ed­u­ca­tion they need.

“Some par­ents find it dif­fi­cult to iden­tify suit­able schools for their chil­dren. Work­ing women don't have enough time to be with their chil­dren at home. There's no in­te­grated sys­tem for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and fol­low-up be­tween par­ents and preschool in­sti­tu­tions. These are some of the is­sues we want to tackle,”

Salim said.

The team’s chal­lenges in creat­ing We­saya in­cluded find­ing con­tact de­tails of some nurs­ery school to ob­tain in­for­ma­tion on their fa­cil­i­ties and ad­mis­sion for­mal­i­ties.

“The Min­istry of Com­merce, In­dus­try and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion came to our res­cue, while Gulf Col­lege pro­vided us with com­put­ers to de­sign the plat­form,” Salim said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman