Self-taught coder lifts hopes with matric app

Lesego Finger taught himself to code at the age of 15 and now he has developed a mobile app called Matric Live.

The app will help grade 12 pupils prepare for their final examinations.

The 21-year-old self-taught software engineer from Orlando East, Soweto, recently won the Fundi Best Educational App 2019.

Fundi, the sponsor of the category of Best Educational Solution at the MTN App of the Year awards, is SA's leading education finance and education fund management solution specialist.

"Matric Live is a multifunctional education app that is reinventing the way pupils learn by making learning contextual, visual and not just theoretical. It supports over 16 subjects and it is currently free as pupils are writing their exams. [After that] one has to pay R50 as an annual subscription fee," Finger said.

He said he realised that young people wanted to do everything through their smartphones.

"[Gauteng education] did try to adapt by providing pupils with tablets but failed since these tablets didn't have adequate applications to enhance learning. Instead, they became a distraction and that is why I decided to develop the app," said Finger, who is currently studying first year at WeThinkCode.

Matric Live currently has 144,560 users registered on it.

Apart from over 16 school subjects, it includes explanations for set stories, drama and novels, practice materials in all subjects such as business studies, life science, history and mathematics. It also contains study guides and learning resources.

"Other features which make this app a real win for students include the ability to access three years' worth of past papers, as well as a terminology search where students have access to a quick search function to find out more about difficult subject terms.

"Matric Live also provides weekly exams with practice exams providing instant results and corrections. It is way different from the first version which took about three months... It wasn't perfect but user friendly."

Finger has also introduced an innovative web application, eAssessment, to assist pupils who are upgrading their marks. He was recognised by the department of basic education to help pupils on the department's second chance programme.

"I enjoy developing products that improve other people's lives. I am also the founder of a start-up company called SAADC (Pty) Ltd. The department of basic education is one of my clients."

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