No fewer than 88 persons with visual impairment have sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Kano, as a process to further their studies into various tertiary institutions across the country.
The exam was conducted at the Bayero University Kano (BUK) Center, on Thursday under the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG), a program initiated by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), as an opportunity to the people living with blindness and other disabilities to write the exams free of charge.
During the examination, the candidates, including males and females were provided with different gadgets including typewriter, braille machines and braille to ease the processes and to conduct the exam successfully.
Speaking at the event, the Kano State Coordinator of JEOG, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello said the 88 students were drawn from different parts of the North and that Kano has the highest number of candidates representing 26.12 percent of the total blind candidates for this year.
According him, a total 337 candidates with blindness were registered to sit for the exam across 11 centers in the country.
“This effort is in furtherance of Professor Oleyede-led JAMB to ensure that no eligible Nigerian is denied the opportunity to of taking the UTME and acquiring higher education regardless of disability.
“Since inception in 2017, the JEOG has processed over 3, 300 candidates for the UTME, with more than a third admitted to courses of their choices in higher education institutions in Nigeria. In 2019, of the 390 candidates, a total of 175 (44.8%) were given admission. Also in 2021, a total of 110 candidates with blindness were given admission, ” he said.
He added that reports from universities indicated that the special need candidates compete favorably with their normal counterparts, adding that last year one of the female blind candidates scored 243 points in JAMB and is happily studying in BUK.
On their part, the candidates appreciated the program under JAMB for giving them the opportunity to further their studies and engage in the society like the normal people, saying it is a great motivation to them.
Fatima Ibrahim from Katsina state said “I want to study English if I get the required points and I hope to be a lecturer in future. We thank them for providing the opportunity free of charge, we were accommodated three days in a hotel and we get transportation and other packages.”