About 383 visually impaired candidates are sitting for the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in 11 centres.
Chairman of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG), Prof Emeritus Peter Okebukola, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
Okebukola stressed that the blind candidates and others that are served by the group take the same test items as those who are not blind, explaining that the mode of examination administration is blended- use of PCs and use of the traditional Braille slate and stylus/typewriters in writing answers to questions that are read out by a subject expert.
He said: “JEOG is already implementing a strategic plan of gradually increasing the ICT component of administration of the UTME to match improvement in ICT usage for the education of the blind in the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
“JAMB takes full responsibility for hotel accommodation and feeding of the candidates in the 11 centres and pays generous transport supplementation while providing them with a conducive environment to write the examination.
Additionally, each blind candidate received the very precious tools of slate and stylus from JAMB that will be used during the course of study, when admitted in a tertiary institution.”
According to figures from JAMB, in 2019, of the 390 candidates, a total of 175 (44.8%) were given admission.
Okebukola described this figure as “unprecedented in the history of admission of such a category of students into the Nigerian higher education system.”
He added: “In 2020, 89 of the 351 blind candidates (25%) that sat for the UTME, were given admission. In 2021, a total of 110 blind candidates were given admission, out of the 332 that sat for the UTME. This 33% admission of blind candidates to higher education in an annual cohort is unprecedented in the African higher education system.”
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