Prof. Sunday Ododo, the Abuja Centre Coordinator of JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG), says no fewer than 383 candidates with visual impairment and other forms of disability sat for the 2022 UTME.
Ododo, who is also the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos State, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.The Abuja centre coordinator said there was no any form of challenge, because, they use typewriters, computers and Braille devices, among other materials.“However, there are few exceptions; there are those that are not blind but scary to write examination, like those with Down Syndrome and autism.“In their case, we bring Examiners to read questions to their hearing and allow them to produce the answers and the Examiner help to write them down or the candidate could braille them down.“We read the questions twice before they write down the answer. We give them one and half hours; so, the time is sufficient for them,” Ododo stressed.Similarly, Mr Jake Epelle, the President and Founder of Albino Foundation, said the 2022 JAMB’s UTME for blind candidates was an amazing exercise.He, however, called on JAMB to expand the demography to accommodate others who also need this kind of intervention.“Most especially, my community; Persons with Albinism. They need this kind of intervention, because, the general examination did not include them.“So we will talk to JAMB and the committee to look for a way to expand this kind of intervention to reach not only people in my community, but others that have similar challenge.“We are also looking at employing technology. There is a way that this examination can be done without going to a centre. The candidates could do the examination in the comfort of their homes with tablets. It is very possible.“If done, it would shortened and reduce cost and personnel drastically. So it is a laudable initiative. For me, this is a dream come true,” Epelle said.One of the blind candidates, Mr Alex Godspower, who came all the way from Lafia in Nasarawa State, told NAN that the examination was fantastic.“I am satisfied with the conduct of those that attended to us in the Abuja centre. They paid attention to our complaints. The braille that the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, gave us is good. I appreciate.”
Another candidate, Miss Virginia Dofan, who came from Makurdi in Benue, said the braille gift was awesome.“This is because I was not expecting it. With this gift now, I know my education is sure. I am being inclusive in everything now.“I am grateful to all those that made it possible, may God strengthen them all,” Dofan prayed.NAN reports that all the 28 candidates in the Abuja centre were gifted the braille by the registrar of JAMB.The examination simultaneously took place in 11 centres across the country.
The centres are located in Abuja, Ado-Ekiti, Bauchi, Benin, Enugu, Jos, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Oyo and Yobe States.The 20 subjects written during the examination nationwide included Agriculture, Education, Arabic, Biology, Chemistry, Christian Religious Studies, Commerce, Economics, French, Geography, Hausa, History and Government.Other subjects were Igbo, Islamic Studies, Literature in English, Maths, Music, Physics, Use of English and Yoruba.
NAN recalls that in 2017, under the leadership of Oloyede, the JAMB set up the JEOG.The Group is made up of 43 senior academics, including former executive secretaries of parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Education, former vice-chancellors, experts in special education and other relevant stakeholders.As directed by JAMB, the Group conducted the UTME for blind candidates and others with disabilities such as autism and Down Syndrome.
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.Since 2017, JEOG has processed about 2,200 candidates for the UTME with over a good number admitted to various courses of their choice in higher education institutions in Nigeria, mainly universities.