The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB on Saturday conducted the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME for a total of 341 blind students in 12 centres across the country.
Briefing journalists at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, one of the centres that cartered for Lagos and Ogun states candidates, the chairman, JAMB Equal Opportunity Group, JEOG, Prof. Peter Okebukola who applauded the leadership of the Board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede for providing an equal opportunity every Nigerian irrespective of disability to further his or her education at the tertiary level, explained that the examination slated for Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March had to shifted to Saturday 21, as part of precautionary measures against Coronavirus.
According to the former, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, “The goal of Prof. Is-haq Oloyede led JAMB is to ensure that no Nigerian who is eligible, is prevented from taking the UTME regardless of disability. He holds firm the view that we must have a level playing field for all candidates provided such candidate is intellectually capable and meets the minimum conditions for admission into any higher institution.
“This JAMB initiative has been cited as a good model for Africa. And so far, a respectable number of blind candidates through JEOG have secured admission into federal state and private universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.”
“In 2019, out of 390 blind candidates that sat for JAMB, a total of 175 that amounted to 44. 8 percent were given admission, an unprecedented record in the history of the examination, thanks to Prof. Oloyede. This year, 341 candidates are involved in the exercise.
“In the interest of bringing the venue of the examination closer to the candidates, and in response to precautionary measures against Coronavirus, especially in limiting the number of candidates that congregate at a time, JAMB Registrar approved the tripling of centres from four in 2019 to 12.
“This is a humanitarian gesture as JAMB takes full responsibility for hostel and feeding of the candidates. In addition, pays generous transport supplementation.
Prof. Okebukola who stated that about 19 subjects were being taken by the candidates, added that Lagos centre has the highest intake of blind students with a total number of 48 candidates.
Expressing delight over the exercise, Sodiq Alalade, who came from Ogun state noted that the overall examination was smooth except for the fast space of reading some of the questions by the coordinators.
“This is my first time of writing JAMB. And I didn’t experience any challenge with the computer.
“Some of the questions were read too fast. But, in all I am happy for JAMB arrangements including calling us about the change in date of the examination,” Alalade added .