About 330 visually-impaired candidates, yesterday, sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Enugu and Benin centres.
The National Coordinator, JAMB Equal Opportunity Group, Prof. Peter Okebukola, who disclosed this at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, on Monday, said the group was responsible for administering the 2018 UTME to prisoners and the blind candidates nationwide.
According to him, the purpose was to allow people, regardless of their ethnicity, creed and other dis-aggregating attributes, have access to tertiary education, adding “this is deriving from the National Policy on Education.”
He also disclosed that the group had, on Saturday, conducted the examination for those in the prisons.
Also speaking, the Director, Anglo Welfare Association for the Blind, as well as United Nations Committee Member on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Danlami Basharu, said, “We ensured they turned up promptly and that everyone has the right writing equipment.
“I am helping to see that their accommodation, papers and all the equipment for writing are well secured.”
Speaking further, Okebukola, one-time Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, added that “for now, they will have to make do with the dictation mode as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, organisers of the examination, is working towards a suitable Computer-Based Test, CBT mode soon.
“The software we have now that comes with the Braille Note Apex machine is not Nigerian enough for their comprehension.
“So, we are developing a software that will have a Nigerian in-built intonation. We are hopeful that before the commencement of 2019 UTME, we would have moved quite far in the development of the software.”
When asked if the special candidates get special consideration in terms cut-off marks and admission into universities, Okebukola said, “What qualifies them is their performances; what qualifies candidates into the university are their scores in the UTME, and their scores in the post-UTME.”