The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has appealed to Computer-Based Test centres owners to take the issue of COVID-19 seriously and obey all official protocols on the deadly virus.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who spoke at a web-hosted meeting with CBT centres’ owners nationwide and some of the Board’s stakeholders on Thursday said the meeting was called to “deliberate on new operational processes under the extant COVID-19 dispensation.”
“It is to be noted that rendering quality service during this challenging period should be with an expression of our collective resolve as service providers to ensure that Nigerians seeking our services are adequately protected from the ravages of the COVID-19 contagion,” Oloyede said.
“It is for this reason, Ladies and Gentlemen, that we have invited you to this special meeting today being held to acquaint you with our preparations for full reopening in compliance with all COVID-19 protocols issued by relevant agencies of government.”
He urged them to “Obey all rules to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, noting that the Board would not want the CBT centres to be a ground or platform for the spread of the virus.
“We urge you not to expose your own life, the life of your workers, candidates and clients coming to your centres.”
The Registrar told the meeting attended by service providers like Sidmach, Airtel, MTN, Technical Advisors of the Board and other critical stakeholders that CBT centres must implement safe distancing measures that would minimise the risk of contagion.
The Registrar added, ” You are enjoined to adhere strictly to all the National Centre for Disease Control ( NCDC) and Presidential TaskForce on COVID-19 Protocols when relating with candidates and the public. ”
“Ensure that your premises are fumigated and disinfected before anybody could gain access to your centres. Your staff and candidates must wash their hands and sanitise them as well as wear face masks.
“The implication is that you must provide facilities for hand washing and sanitisers at the designated locations within your premises preferably at the entrance. ”
The Registrar urged the CBT centres to avail themselves of the various measures and facilities adopted which are in furtherance with the containment efforts various Protocols on COVID-19.
Some of these, according to the indefatigable Registrar, include Ticketing, the appointment booking platform which allows a candidate to secure an online appointment before visiting the centre. This is to reduce the number of candidates to be attended to and prevent overcrowding as directed by Presidential Task Force (PTF), NCDC, etc.
To book an appointment, the candidate is expected to use the same SIM (phone numbers) he or she had used to register for the UTME/DE, dialling a USSD code *55019#. The candidate selects from the drop down MENU the state where he or she intends to access the required service and complete the process for a scheduled appointment.
He said timing would be strictly adhered to and candidate who is a minute late would be disqualified until a crest appointment is secured.
Another facility is the One-Time Password (OTP).The OTP temporarily replaced biometric verification by way of fingerprints all cleverly designed to curb the spread of the virus while enforcing social distancing.
The Registrar, while decrying group registration in spite of the consistent sensitisation on the negative implications, told the participants that the Board had devised SMART phone numbers for added value and to ease communication and entrenched COVID-19 protocols.
Earlier, the Director of Information Technology Services Department (ITS), Fabian Okoro, dwelled on three critical issues arising from the 2020 UTME, such as the state of the centres, centres with high number of unverifiable candidates by Biometrics Verification Machine (BVM) and account details that are inconsistent with the centre name.
The Director ITS pointed out that failure and technical deficiencies were highly reduced but there were some centres totalling eight spread across the country that were delisted due to some hitches and infractions.
On the centre with high unverifiable candidates by BVM, the trend of which he described as worrisome, he said the Board is critically analysing it with a view to unraveling the mystery behind it.
He said the trend is more pronounced in the Northern CBT centres.
Okoro lamented the incoherent filling of forms bordering on accounts details stating the inconsistencies were responsible for the delay in the payment of some centres.