The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has awarded Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) in Awka, Anambra State, an award for providing the highest number of admission opportunities for people living with disabilities in the 2022 admission year.
While the University of Ilorin and the University of Calabar won silver and bronze awards respectively, Kaduna State Polytechnic, the Polytechnic of Ibadan, Kano State Polytechnic and the Federal Polytechnic of Damaturu followed suit based on a number of opportunities provided.
Former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, announced the award on Monday at the opening ceremony of JAMB’s first national conference on equal education opportunity of access to higher education in Nigeria with the theme “towards increasing equal opportunity access to higher education in Nigeria” in Abuja.
Similarly, JAMB also rewarded Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, for providing admission opportunities for 235 candidates within the admission period, while Federal Colleges of Education, Zaria, and Kano, were rewarded with silver and bronze, respectively.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede who explained that the award was aimed at appreciating institutions that saw the importance of education for all irrespective of certain challenges or strengths, added that it was also to encourage others to give good consideration to an equal and inclusive education system to enable this living with one form of disability or the other an opportunity to compete favourably in the society.
He said: “We will continue to appreciate institutions and individuals who play roles, no matter how small, to ensure that people with disabilities get quality education and orientations that would enable them to be useful to themselves and the society.”
Oloyede encouraged the leadership of the people with disabilities to always inform JAMB and the leadership of various institutions about any challenge they might be facing in the cause of seeking admission so they can be attended it promptly.
Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman who reiterated the government’s commitment to providing a good platform for quality and affordable education for all irrespective of social status, charged tertiary institutions to develop solutions that would increase the chances and opportunities for all persons willing to further their education, irrespective of their health status.