Visually impaired persons numbering 335 recently sat for the 2021 UTME in the eleven centres across Nigeria.
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board through its initiative called JAMB equal opportunity group provided assistance to the special candidates during registration, examination and admission processing for them.
This was disclosed on Thursday by Professor Peter Okebukola, Chairman of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) equal opportunity group.
He said the initiative is that of the registrar Professor Ishaq Oloyede and it is aimed at addressing the challenge faced by the special candidates.
“The goal of the Oloyede-led JAMB is to ensure that no Nigerian who is eligible, is prevented from taking the UTME regardless of disability. He holds the firm view that we must have a level playing field for all candidates.
“As long as the candidate is intellectually capable and meets the minimum conditions for admission in the university, polytechnic, college of education of choice, he/she should have a good chance of admission placement,” Okebukola said.
According to the group, since the inception of the initiative in 2017, over 1680 candidates have been processed for the unified examination with more than 560 assisted with admission to universities and other higher education institutions for the courses of their choice.
The group added that of the 390 candidates who sat for the examinations in 2019, a total of 175 representing 44.8% got admitted to the respective courses of choice.
Also, 390 candidates sat for the examination in 2020, out of which 89 (representing 25%) were admitted.
Professor Okebukola said he was impressed by the growing number of universities and other degree-awarding institutions joining the effort to raise the quota of admission for challenged applicants.
At the Lagos centre which catered for candidates in Ogun and Lagos states, the group leader said JAMB provided accommodation, feeding and transport supplementation for all the candidates and their guides.
The other centres are in Abuja, Ado-Ekiti, Bauchi, Benin, Enugu, Jos, Kano, Kebbi, Oyo and Yola.
The Chief examiner of the Lagos centre, Professor Rafiu Okuneye highlighted the need for a demo that introduced the candidates to what to expect when the real question and answer papers are served.
The results of the two-day examination which held between Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1, 2021, is expected to be ready once the exercise is over.
For the 2021 exercise, the mode of examination administration was a blend of the use of personal computers, braille slate and typewriters to answer questions. The interventionist group is however hoping for a gradual upgrade to the use of advanced technology so that the candidates could write their papers alongside other candidates.