[From Chris Eze, Yenagoa]
Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it has scrapped seven examination centers across Bayelsa State for violating its rules and regulations.
The state coordinator of JAMB, Abdusalam Mohammed disclosed this Tuesday during a courtesy call on the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the Ernest Ikoli press center in Yenagoa.
Mohammed said that some of the examination centers were delisted for duplicating the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of the examination body’s router, while others were axed for charging unsuspecting candidates outrageous sums of money during registration.
Our correspondent learnt that the disciplinary action by JAMB has left Bayelsa with only four examination centers from the original eleven to cater for over 24,000 candidates.
Mohammed explains, “Initially Bayelsa had eleven examination centers, and so far seven out of this number have been delisted from our platform for various infractions. The owners of some of these centers tampered with the VPN of our router. And that is a very big offence.”
“They duplicated the VPN by moving the router from one location to another location where they did whatever they liked, which is a very big offence. Others were over charging candidates. During registration we sent a monitoring team out and they came back with the report that candidates were charged N5000 for a service that should ordinarily cost N2, 500.”
He also gave insight into the level of preparedness of the board to conduct examination amidst the Coronavirus scourge.
He said, “Even before the lockdown was lifted, we had started training our staff on how to attend to candidates. We have also embarked on sensitization of candidates and provided Personal Protective Equipment.
“Also, In order to reduce the crowd at our office during registration, we have introduced what we call appointment for candidates. This means that candidates can only come to us when they have an appointment. The intention is to reduce body contact between staff and candidates.”
“Before Coronavirus, we used to do what was called thumb printing for candidates during registration but that has been stopped in order not to spread the virus. What we now do is that a One-Time Password (OTP) is sent to the candidate. That will now verify the candidate as the original owner of that particular application.
“In the past it was difficult to have 20, 000 candidates for JAMb but this year the number has sky rocketed to over 24, 000 candidates, meaning there is an improvement in the enrolment of students in Bayelsa. However, in Bayelsa awareness on our activities is low, so that is why we have come to visit you.”
In his remarks, the chairman of NUJ, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, condemned the activities of the operators whose examination centers were delisted, saying that their actions do not mean well for the future of Bayelsa State.
He said “we cannot stand people jeopardizing the future of our children in Bayelsa State. So it is on this note I want to join you to condemn their actions and encourage parents and candidates to stand up against any form of infraction perpetrated by these individuals that have questionable character.”
Numonengi further urged the examination body to take the issue of creating awareness on its activities seriously.
“ In the past JAMB used to have this strong synergy with journalists in the state but today that relationship is weak now. So I want to encourage you to build that synergy to see how we can educate our people.”