JAMB: Over 577 sight impaired candidates to sit for 2024 UTME nationwide

No fewer than 577 sight impaired candidates are set to take the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, in eleven centres nationwide.

The Chairman, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Equal Opportunity Group, JEOG, Emeritus Prof. Peter Okebukola, made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

Recall that the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede set up the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group in 2017 for effective handling of sight impaired candidates and others with special needs.

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Mr Okebukola said for the first time, JAMB, through JEOG, would implement the bimodal system of UTME administration.

“This involves Fully-Braille and Fully Read-Aloud. Candidates have a choice of mode. JEOG has been resourced by JAMB to make the experience of the two modes of test administration pleasant for the candidates.

“With a total of 577 sight impaired candidates, the 2024 UTME presents the highest number. We had 348 in 2022, 313 in 2023.

“The 2024 increase is largely due to increased advocacy by JEOG, a process which will be bolstered in the coming years,” he said.

Mr Okebukola described Oloyede as one of the strongest pillars of equal opportunity of access to higher education in Africa.

He said: “In the last four days, I have conferred with members of GUNi-Africa on how candidates with sight impairment aspiring for higher education in Africa are treated in their countries.

“And, all are in agreement that Nigeria, through Prof. Oloyede, stands clearly out as the best.”

Speaking further, Mr Okebukola noted that all sight impaired candidates who are prima facie qualified for admission to institutions of higher learning in Nigeria would have the cost of their UTME registration refunded on site during the examination.

He said the other five “goodies” that Oloyede had been showering on the candidates since 2017 were – free hotel accommodation for the sight impaired candidates and their guides, free Braille slate and stylus.

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Others, he said, are customised t-shirts, free meals through the examination period and transport supplementation for the sight impaired candidates and their guides.

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“No other African country comes near offering such kind gestures,” he said.

“This is why I have nominated Professor Oloyede for the CNN Heroes Award.

“We are mobilising the whole of Africa to support the nomination for 2024, and we will not stop nominating him until God makes it possible for him to be conferred with the award which he very much deserves,” he added.

On the distribution of the candidates and the centre coordinators, he said Kano had the highest number of 138 with Prof. Muhammad Bello, former Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Bayero University as Coordinator.

Mr Okebukola said this was followed by Lagos with 88 candidates and Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, former VC of LASU as coordinator.

“Others are: Abuja, 60, with Prof. Sunday Ododo as coordinator; Ado-Ekiti, 37, with Prof. Rasheed Aderinoye as coordinator; Bauchi, 44, with Prof. Salisu Shehu as coordinator and Benin, 26, with Prof. Samuel Odewumi as coordinator.

“Enugu has 66 candidates with Prof. Emeritus Mosto Onuoha as coordinator; Kebbi has 21 candidates with Prof. Asabe Kabir as coordinator; Oyo has 57 candidates with Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, former Minister of Sports and Special Duties as coordinator,” he said .

Others, he said, are Jos which had 24 candidates with Prof. Nasiru Maiturare as coordinator and Yola had 16 candidates with Prof. Muhammad Yakasai, VC, Sule Lamido University, Kafin Hausa as coordinator.

The JEOG chairman noted that the examination had been scheduled for April 22 and April 23 in the eleven centres and involved 20 subjects.

He explained that the sight impaired candidates would take the same test papers as the regular candidates as standards would not be lowered in any form.

NAN

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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