The Faculty of Engineering at the North West University in Potchefstroom has devised an app which can expeditiously help in the screening of learners. This, as there’s been a mixed reaction to the government’s decision to reopen schools on Monday.

Those opposed are concerned about safety, while those in support do not want the entire academic year written off.

While there is a cacophony of voices on what needs to be done, the app can alert school management when a learner’s temperature is above the threshold.

Tjop Tjop is the name of the app that will rapidly screen learners. Because minors do not have ID’s with barcodes, a special identity code, will be created for each learner.

This app will also minimise long queues while learners get screened. App developer Dr Henri-Jean Marais explained how the app will work.

“First off we identify you. I can verify that the information that I have is the same information. I take your temperature. I come over here. Your temperature checks out. I need to verify that you’re wearing a mask. I get an option to say ‘yes, Tebogo is wearing a mask.’ Now the process is done, you’ve been screened; you can enter the school, everything is fine. Now on my side, I synchronize the data and now the school principal will know that you are at school and everything is fine.”

If a learner’s temperature is above the threshold, the app will immediately notify the school and appropriate measures will then be taken.

Professor Leenta Grobler says the app will be piloted at a few schools in the coming two weeks.

“The Tjop Tjop app will be piloted at a few schools this coming two weeks. This week we’re testing on a number of teachers, we’re seeing how they respond to the instructions given by the app. An app like Tjop Tjop will minimise the risks associated with going back to school. We will be able to use the information gathered to firstly ensure that no child is allowed inside if the temperature is above the threshold. The most important part is that we would immediately be able to notify the parents, the headmaster and the department of health or of education.”

This app can be used to screen learners three times a day, while storing their history of screenings at the same time. As schools reopen their doors to learners, the app may just be what the doctor ordered.