About 383 visually impaired candidates have Thursday commenced writing 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) across the country.
The examination was conducted by the Equal Opportunity Group set up by the chairman of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Is-haq Oloyede.
Addressing the candidates at the Kano centre located at School of Continuing Education (SCE) Bayero University, Kano the chairman of the group Peter Okebukola said this year’s examination is taking place in eleven centres nationwide.
Mr Okebukola, represented by the coordinator of the Kano centre, Muhammad Yahuza Bello, said additional centres were created this year to bring the venue of the examination closer to the candidates, especially with the security situation in the country.
Mr Bello, who is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, said the centres are Abuja, Ado-Ekiti, Bauchi, Benin, Enugu, Jos, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Oyo and Yola.
He revealed that the visually challenged candidates take the same test items as those who are not.
“The mode of the examination administration is blended using PCs, traditional braille slate and stylus or typewriters in writing answers to questions that are read by out by a subject expert.
“This is in alignment with the current development of Nigeria’s higher education system with regard to the education of the blind,” Mr Okebukola said.
According to him, JAMB takes full responsibility for hotel accommodations and feeding of the candidates in the 11 centres and pays generous transport supplementation.
Besides this, Mr Okebukola said each visually challenged candidate receives a slate and stylus from JAMB that will be used during the study when admitted to a tertiary institution.
He said 110 visually impaired candidates out of the 332 who sat for the UTME in 2021 have secured admission into universities and other tertiary institutions
The academic said the Kano centre had received the data of 172 candidates who were said to be visually challenged. However, after contacting them, it was found out that about 70 were not challenged but wrongly registered as visually impaired.
He added that after notifying JAMB, the Board made adequate arrangements for the candidates where they participates in the regular examination.
However, Mr Okebukola said they could not reach out to 20 other candidates said to be challenged because the phone number they registered was not functional.
Some candidates from Kaduna State Yusuf Isyaku and Madeline Danladi said they want to study Mass Communication and guidance and counselling respectively.
The candidates applauded JAMB for making adequate provision that makes the examination easier for visually impaired candidates.