College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Student Develops Maths App During Lockdown

Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) “boffin” Mr Sizwe Matenjwa turned a negative into a positive using time during the COVID-19 crisis to create a Mathematics App.

Concerned about limited access to learning materials available to learners amid the nation-wide lockdown, the Bachelor of Commerce student developed the Maths Hyper Learn App that helps learners practise mathematical skills and also prepare for psychometric tests and for writing National Benchmark Tests (NBT). The App also enables learners from the age of seven as well as adults to learn fast numerical operations.

Key benefits of the App for learners include methods to learn times tables, and fun ways to practise addition, subtraction, multiplication, square root, and factoring, among other mathematical problems. The App features games users can play against other users in dual mode to test what they have learned. There are over 500 questions per section which can be used to test mathematical competences and users can use the reminder feature to set practice times. The App also caters for adults in preparation for numerical psychometric tests.

Matenjwa says App development is an arduous journey which involves App design before development which can take months and then the unit has to undergo testing and review processes by selected users until finally it needs to be uploaded to Google Play Store which requires licences. ‘Doing IS&T at UKZN prepared me for the development of the App as most design processes were actually taught in numerous modules in IS&T.’ Matenjwa explored mobile App development on his own.

Matenjwa’s passion for IS&T is driven by the endless possibilities technology can bring to Africa. ‘I’ve always believed technology is the sole key that will advance us as Africans and inevitably unite us,’ he said.

He encouraged high school learners to evaluate their career choices carefully and not let anyone choose the path for them. ‘Do not be scared to make mistakes or try something new as there is always a greater lesson to be learnt.’

To download the Maths Hyper Learn App, visit:

Words: Hazel Langa

Photograph: Supplied