Blind candidates write UTME, call for maths waiver

As the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) concluded the conduct of the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for Blind Candidates, the candidates have appealed to the examination body to waive Mathematics for them as requirement for admission in Nigerian universities for all courses.


This was even as the candidates, who sat for this year’s UTME at the Lagos Centre, held at the University of Lagos under the supervision of the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG) lauded JAMB for the smooth conduct of the examination.


A total of 383 blind candidates wrote the UTME this year in 11 centres across the federation; with no fewer than 75 at the Lagos Centre; 78 candidates in Kano centre; 28 in Abuja centre; 44 in Enugu centre; 47 candidates in Oyo centre, among others.


The Chairman of JEOG, which comprises critical stakeholders from the academia, private sector and association of persons living with disabilities, Prof. Peter Okebukola, the former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), said JAMB under its Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede created the Group that conduct UTME for blind candidates and others with disabilities including Autism and Down Syndrome, to ensure that no Nigerian who is eligible is prevented from taking the UTME regardless of disability, “Since 2017, JEOG has processed about 2,200 candidates for the UTME with over a third admitted to courses of their choice in higher education institutions in Nigeria, mainly universities.


This JAMB initiative has been cited in the last four years in several countries, as a good model for Africa. It received respectable mention at a UNESCO meeting in Paris on May 7, 2022,” Okebukola said.


For a smooth conduct of the exercise yearly, JAMB takes full responsibility for hostel accommodation and feeding of the candidates in the 11 centres, as well as pays generous transport supplementation while providing them with a conducive environment to write the examination. “Additionally, each blind candidate receives 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,” Okebukola added.


The don, who bemoaned a situation where some normal candidates registered for the examination as candidates with disabilities before they were discovered and sent away, further explained that the blind candidates take the same test items as those who are not blind.

Reacting to the conduct of the exercise, Ademosun Rachael, whose dream is to study Theatre Arts at UNILAG; 24-year-old Owolabi Hassan; Lukman Yusuf Ololade, among other candidates who spoke to New Telegraph at the Lagos Centre during the two-day examination, which ended on Friday, described the exercise as “very smooth and hitch-free.” While lauding JAMB and JEOG for the “magnanimity extended to them,” the candidates said:


“The government and JAMB are doing well, but can still do better for blind children. The government should create more opportunities for blind students.


“There should be more sensitisationprogrammeforparentsof blind children and the public that if one is blind does not hinder him or her from becoming useful and relevant citizens as they can make or live well, and attain their zenith in life. “We appeal to the government to waive Mathematics for blind students in WASSCE, NECO and JAMB across board because virtual impaired students cannot do calculation




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