According to the existing evidence, the closure of the centers leaves the state of Bayelsa with only four centers to cater for some 24,000 candidates.
The JAMB State Coordinator, Abdusalam Mohammed, who made this known during a call to the Nigerian Journalists’ Union (NUJ) in Yenagoa, clarified that some of the examination centers had been designed to replicate the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of their router.
Others were delisted for charging unsuspecting candidates outrageous sums of money during registration. His words, “Initially Bayelsa had eleven examination centres, and so far seven out of this number have been delisted from our platform for various infractions.
The owners of some of these centres 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 overcharging candidates. During registration, we sent out a monitoring team out and they came back with the report that candidates were charged N5,000 for a service that should ordinarily cost N2, 500.
” Mohammed also gave insight into the level of preparedness of the board to conduct examination as coronavirus continues to spread saying, “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 prevention 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 is 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.
” Responding, the chairman of NUJ, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, frowned at the activities of the operators of the examination centres delisted, saying that 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.
“Concerning the issue of awareness, in the past JAMB used to have this strong synergy with journalists in the state but today that relationship is weak. So I want to encourage you to build that synergy to see how we can educate our people.”