Cedric Shimuli
Eric Kipkemboi
George Gathuru
Nelson Omoi
Reed-Solomon
School of Computing and Informatics
Standard Group SMS
University
University of Science and Technology

New app to nab students and lecturers who dodge classes

Published Sat, May 12th 2018 at 09:26, Updated May 12th 2018 at 17:11 GMT +3

A group of students has invented a digital application to curb cases of students and lecturers’ truancy.

The app, developed by five third-year students from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), detects faces and sends the information to the university portal.

The app identifies lecturers by their staff numbers and students by their admission numbers.

According to the students — Eric Kipkemboi, Nelson Omoi, Cedric Shimuli, Rex Mudanya and George Gathuru — the App dubbed QR Code not only saves on time but also ensures class attendance is documented.

“When students come for lectures, they use their smart phones to scan a code, which takes their identity and confirms their attendance,” said Kipkemboi.

“It also calculates the percentage attendance of each student against the 75 per cent minimum class attendance rule. It will relieve the class representative the time and stress of taking attendance list manually,” he said.

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The app, which was motivated by cases of students and lecturers missing classes, took the team two years to develop.

“With the manual way, a student could sign for their absent girlfriend and there would be no way of proving that she indeed missed the class. With this app, lecturers who are happy to give handouts and miss classes have been put on notice,” Kipkemboi said.

Shimuli said a QR code is read by an imaging device, such as a camera, and formatted by software using Reed-Solomon error correction until the image is appropriately interpreted.

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“The system requires a simple login process by the class instructor to generate an encrypted QR code with specific information about the class. This can be done at anytime before the class,” Mr Shimuli said.

“When the student’s facial image is captured by the mobile application at the time of the scan, the Mobile Module will then communicate the information collected to the Server  Module to confirm attendance. It takes 30 seconds only.”

The application can also notify parents that their children are attending or missing classes. Companies can also use the application to track staff movement and can distinguish between original and counterfeit products.

Kelvin Omieno, the dean School of Computing and Informatics, said they have patented the invention.

“Through this system, students and lecturers will have to attend classes without fail,” Dr Omieno said.

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