Namibian Comp. Sci. student creates innovative program to track student progress

Hafeni Immanuel, a Computer Science student at the Polytechnic of Namibia, majoring in Software Development, has developed Learner’s History Keeper (LHK) software to track learners’ behaviour at school.

The LHK software is designed to keep a record of the learners’ behaviour in school and to keep parents updated on their children’s behaviour at school. Immanuel says the software gives each learner 100 percent behaviour record, from which points are deducted when a learner does something wrong at school.

The percentage deducted depends on what the learner has done. He says for parents to be updated, their phone must be connected to the LHK system. When a leaner’s behaviour is recorded on the system, it automatically sends a message to the learner’s parent’s phone.

“This message contains the overall percentage of the learner and summarises the case with a description of his or her child’s behaviour at school. It also lets the user know the learner is already available in the system’s database and shows the learner’s information on an amendment tab, where one can amend the learner’s percentage,” explains Immanuel.

He adds that the system allows learners to gain their percentage points back when they behave appropriately. “The system provides a function that allows one to search and amend the learner’s percentages. It also stores the case description and dates automatically for the user and prints the behaviour record when needed as proof and it does not have a limit on the number of learners to track,” he says.

So far Immanuel has introduced the system to a few schools, with the Mandume Primary School, the first to introduce it next term. “To the school that I introduced the system, teachers said this software is a relief to them, as this will avoid them being stressed out by learners who do things to impress others,” says Immanuel.

Elephants as meteorologists

In Western Namibia, fourteen different herds of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) were unknowingly (or maybe knowingly, they’re smart) part of some pretty cool research between 2002 and 2009.

The research team were interested in assessing the capabilities of elephants to sense weather patterns; in particular thunderstorms. The results are really interesting and a testament to the endurance and intelligence of these beautiful creatures.

They have concluded that our giant friends can detect a thunderstorm from up to 300Km away, most likely through infrasound generated by rain systems, particularly storms, and furthermore, they can predict rainfall up to 12 days in advance.

Beat that, AccuWeather!!

The herds, which due to their location are subject to a prolonged dry season, simultaneously change their migratory path to head towards areas where rain is due.

Not only does this benefit elephants from a natural survival perspective, it also enables us to help assure their survival from anthropogenic pressures, such as the despicable act of poaching. Now, conservation efforts may be pin pointed so as to predict the herds movement and prevent the slaughter of these animals.


Photo courtesy of Mike Nichols