MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Final-year Management Information System (MIS) students at the Montego Bay Community College, in St James, have launched an innovative mobile calculator application to improve the calculation of taxes and Grade Point Average (GPA) of students.
The application, which is called ‘JAM-CAL’, was launched at the college recently after months of research and work by the six-member group.
Leader of the group, Carlton Ellis, tells JIS News that although the project formed part of the final-year MIS grade, it was conceptualised with the wider public in mind.
He says that over the years the calculation of income and other taxes, as well as the GPA of students, has been a challenge and JAM-CAL, with its multiple functions, is now the solution.
Ellis notes that being curious about how deductions are made from the salaries of working people also pushed members of the group to conduct detailed research in order to produce the application.
“JAM-Cal is an application which houses numerous calculators that will give you the power in the palm of your hands to calculate Pay As You Earn (PAYE). A student can use it to calculate his or her GPA in the future,” he says.
“More calculators will be added. We created a windows application after which we decided to make a mobile application. One of the benefits of this application is that you can install it on your mobile device once; thereafter, you do not need the Internet or a web browser in order to use it,” Ellis explains.
He points out that the application took two months of research and hard work, but now that it is available, the view is that the mission has been accomplished.
Production of the application received significant support from the management of the College, but particularly sixth-form student at the Green Pond High School in St. James, Shermar Anderson, who is being mentored by Ellis.
Shermar tells JIS News that although he is not a student at Montego Bay Community College, his interest in information technology (IT) drew him into the production of the application.
“I played a developer’s role in getting the User Interface (UI) aspect in place. This ensured that the application was user-friendly. I feel very good knowing that I was able to play a part in this very important application, which is going to be enjoyed by the public,” he notes.
Shermar says he plans to become a computer scientist, and at Green Pond High his line of study is all in the technical area, as he is hoping to develop other applications.
Endorsing the application, Dean of Continuing Education at Montego Bay Community College, Karen Gayle, says the benefits are enormous and will assist not only students at the college, but members of the wider public in their day-to-day accounting activities.
“We do not take innovations lightly, especially in this era in which we live. We teach entrepreneurship and small-business management. We really want to encourage students to use the knowledge, the skills, the competences that they gain in their courses to innovate,” Gayle tells JIS News.
“Members of the group are responsible for developing an application that will change the lives of people generally. We are very pleased,” she adds.
Gayle is encouraging the students to take the application as far as possible, “so that your lives can be changed and the people who use it can benefit from it”.