Westerford app aids matric exam

2015-08-18 06:00
Jacques Blom

Jacques Blom

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The school year is drawing to an end for those doing their final year at school.

To help this year’s matric pupils in their exams, educational publisher Oxford University Press South Africa commissioned 17-year-old programming prodigy Jacques Blom to develop Flippit.

This is a study app aimed at helping matric pupils study. Launching at the start of the third school term, Flippit comes at an opportune time when matric students start biting down ahead of their mock and final exams. This time they have something to help them study more efficiently.

Blom, a Grade 11 pupil at Westerford High School in Rondebosch, and fellow high school pupil and programmer Sanjiv Ranchod collaborated with Oxford University Press to design the app. Flippit consists of digital flashcard “decks” for 14 subjects, which allow pupils to learn content, test themselves and compete against other pupils, making it fun and easy to study.

Steve Cilliers, managing director of Oxford, says there is a definite need for technology that facilitates learning on the go.

“There was a great need for the app, especially for tech-savvy matric pupils who are at a critical stage in their school careers. Working with Jacques has been great as he has ensured that the app is relevant and suitable for the user – the swotting 21st century student. He thinks from the perspectives of both the developer and the user, so we’ve been able to get the best of both worlds to ensure that Flippit really does help pupils study,” says Cilliers.

Blom started programming when he was just five years old. He now runs React Technology, a web and mobile app development company, in partnership with Ranchod. He was named one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail andamp; Guardian in June.

He says as a high school pupil he understands how frustrating it can be to study for exams.

“You’re never sure exactly how and what to memorise. Flippit solves this problem by letting you study in a flashcard format, making it fun and interactive. It’s convenient, too: Once a subject deck is downloaded, the app can be used offline, so a student can study for a few minutes when they have free time, wherever they are. I hope that Flippit makes it much easier for matric pupils to do well in their exams,” says Blom.

“The app will always be free, while the flash cards will be freely available for the matric class of 2015,” says Cilliers.

“We’ve poured considerable resources into developing an engaging and accessible study aid. We hope that students will engage with Flippit and give us feedback to ensure that we can help the current and future generations of South Africans ace their matric exams.”V

Flippit is available to download for free from the Google Play Store.

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