No fewer than 78 physically challenged candidates took part in the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) being conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
The JAMB Coordinator for the Kano centre Yahuza Bello, revealed the number while speaking with journalists shortly after monitoring the exercise at the School of Continuing Education, Bayero University Kano (BUK) on Thursday.
Bello, a former vice chancellor of BUK, said the 78 candidates were from the Kano centre, which includes Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Jigawa.
According to him, since 2017 when JAMB inaugurated the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG) under the leadership of Prof. Is-haq Oloyede to champion the cause of People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) in the conduct of its examinations, the number of candidates sitting for the examination has increased, which is encouraging.
Bello described the atmosphere as “encouraging,” but acknowledged that the group had obstacles in the registration procedure.
He said: “JAMB sends data of all registered PLWDs, but particularly the blind candidates to us in JEOG for us to contact them and take up their matter”.
“From the names and contacts of those sent to us, about 70 were not blind, while 78 were confirmed blind”.
According to Yahuza, individuals who wished to utilize a slate and stylus, typewriter, plain paper, and braille machines, as well as an interpreter, had their needs met.
He also noted that in the last four years, JAMB’s initiative in launching JEOG had been felt in various nations as a good model for Africa adding that each candidate would be handed a slate and stylus by JAMB at the end of the examination to utilize during their studies once admitted into tertiary institutions.