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Group tasks higher institutions to admit blind candidates

The JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG) has called on the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to host the biennial Africa Regional Conference on Equal Opportunities in Higher Education beginning from 2023.


The group, comprising 43 senior academics, including former executive secretaries of parastatals of Federal Ministry of Education, former Vice-Chancellors, and other relevant stakeholders, led by Emeritus Professor Peter Okebukola, was set up by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to undertake and supervise the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for blind candidates and other with disabilities such as autism and Down Syndrome.


Besides, the group also called on the examination body to institute an award for the three top tertiary institutions with the highest number of candidates with disabilities that are admitted in a given year.


“Within the framework of Agenda 2063 and SDG4, JEOG want to propose that JAMB hosts biennial (every two years) Africa Regional Conference on Equal Opportunities in Higher Education starting from 2023 to be chaired by Prof. Is-haq Oloyede and with all the 55 African countries participating,” Okebukola said.


Okebukola, who disclosed this during the conduct of the 2022 UTME for Blind Candidates at the Lagos Centre, said the goal of JEOG as espoused by Prof. Oloyede-JAMB, who set it up, is to ensure that no Nigerian who is eligible is prevented from taking the UTME regardless of disability.


“As long as the candidate is intellectually capable and meets the minimum conditions for admission in the university/polytechnic/ colleges of education of choice, he or she should have a good chance of admission placement. According to him, JEOG since 2017 has processed about 2,200 candidates for UTME with over a third admitted to courses of their choice in higher education institutions in the country.


“So far, a good number of blind candidates processed through JEOG have secured admission into federal, state and private universities, polytechnics and colleges of education,” he added, and lauded the Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano for offering special dispensation for admitting blind candidates by expanding their carrying capacity for this category of students.


Okebukola also praised universities and other tertiary institutions who offer admission to blind candidates and encourage those who are yet to open access, and provide empirical evidence to demonstrate that the JAMB qual opportunity is not a fluke.

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