THIS year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board(JAMB) has ended on Wednesday(today) nationwide.
Over 1. 8 million candidates including a total of 390 blind persons sat the exam at the various computer-based centres (CBT) across the country.
The one-week long exam had all the blind candidates as the last batch of the exercise distributed across four designated centres nationwide with Lagos having the largest candidates (139) and followed by Kano(135), and then Enugu(59) and Abuja(57).
Our correspondent monitored the exercise at the University of Lagos(UNILAG), Akoka, which served as a sole centre for the southwest region and where the Chairman of Equal Opportunity Group and former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission(NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola and some members of the group directly overseen the exercise.
Equal Opportunity Group, which comprises senior academics including experts in special education was specifically set up by JAMB in 2017 to conduct UTME for candidates to ensure that no qualified Nigerian notwithstanding his or her disability will be denied taking the exam or seeking admission into tertiary schools in the country.
And the blind candidates were assessed in a total of 19 subjects including the use of English and Mathematics with each sited four subjects as applicable to their proposed courses of study and they were allowed to make use of instruments as convenient including braille and typewriter to write their exams. But unlike regular candidates who sit their papers once, blind candidates write theirs per subject.
However, it is JAMB that is responsible (except exam fee) for their transportation and that of their guide persons to and from home to the exam centres, hotel accommodation and feeding.
Okebukola said JAMB took the step to provide the same platform for all candidates and that the method had been a great booster to the enrollment of blind persons into tertiary schools in the country.