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2023 UTME: JAMB creates 11 centres for PWDs

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in the ongoing 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, has created 11 centres across the country for Persons With Disability (PWDs).

Chairman, JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG) for the Abuja Centre, Prof. Sunday Ododo disclosed this on Friday, at a news conference in Abuja.

Prof Ododo who commended the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede for the initiative, said the gesture would guarantee a level playing ground for all candidates sitting for the UTME.

He affirmed that the board was aware of candidates with special needs who may not favourably compete with candidates without special needs during examinations.

Ododo listed the 11 centres for the special candidates to includes Ado-Ekiti, Bauchi, Benin, Enugu, Jos, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Oyo, Yola, and Abuja, stating that the move was to discourage insecurity and bring the center close to the candidates.

”From 2017 till date, JEOG has processed over 2,600 candidates from these special community for the UTME. In 2019, out of the 390 special candidates that sat for the exam, 175 candidates were given admission”. he stated.

“In 2020, out of 351 special needs candidates that sat for the UTME 89 got admissions. In 2021, a total of 110 blind candidates were given admission, out of the 332 that sat for the exams. I want to state here that there is no favoritism in the process “

”In 2022, 139 candidates gained admissions out of the 364 candidates that wrote the examinations.

Before 2017, PWDs write the same examination with those without disabilities within the same time frame, however Prof Oloyede created the group to address challenges.

Chairman of the center noted the group would now accommodate virtually impaired candidates, persons with albinism, down syndrome and those with attention deficit hyper active disorder.

Prof Oloyede explained that the mode of examination administration was blended-use of Personal Computers (PCs) and use of the traditional Braille slate and stylus/typewriters in writing answers to questions that were read out by a subject expert.

He however disclosed that from 2024, there would be a gradual migration to the full CBT mode customized for blind candidates.

Founder of TAF Africa, Mr Jake Epelle who is also a member of the Group, called on tertiary institutions to give opportunities to PWDs to study courses of their choice, stressing that it would promote inclusion of PWDs in education space.

The examination, being conducted by the board for the visually impaired candidates will be held between April 27 and April 29, under the supervision of the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG).

Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare