by Olawoyin Damilola,
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is a Nigerian entrance examination board for tertiary-level institutions. The board conducts entrance Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for prospective undergraduates into Nigerian universities.
JAMB was established in 1978 by the Federal Military Government of Nigeria as a means of regulating the admission process into tertiary institutions in the country. The establishment of JAMB was aimed at addressing the problem of multiple admissions and the lack of a centralized admission system in the country.
As such, individuals with disabilities are not left out of the activities of the aforementioned organisation. “So far, a good number of candidates with disabilities that processed admissions through JAMB have secured admissions to federal, state, and private universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.
For the records, candidates with disabilities take the same test items as those without disabilities. Although, their mode of examination administration is blended-use of personal computers (PCs) and use of the traditional braille slate with stylus and typewriters, in writing answers to questions that are read out by a subject expert.
In 2019, of the 390 candidates, a total of 175 (44.8 percent) were given admissions.
In 2020, 89 of the 351 visually impaired candidates (25 percent) that sat for the UTME got admissions. Also, in 2021, a total of 110 visually impaired candidates were given admissions, out of the 332 that sat for the UTME.
Similarly, in 2022, 139 candidates out of the 364 candidates that took the UTME (38 percent) were admitted to the higher institutions of their choice.
Commendably, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board has announced that the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in 2024 will be free of charge for individuals with disabilities who wish to register.
The Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, made this known, during a media interactive session to herald the registration process for the 2024 UTME.
He further disclosed that as part of measures to provide a level playing field for all candidates, audio books will now be provided for all visually impaired candidates.
This is another praiseworthy gesture that validates the point I made in one of my previous articles, where I stated that JAMB is the most inclusive government agency in Nigeria.
Gradually, sooner, or later, there is no doubt that the fairly inclusive and empathetic society, which all persons with disabilities crave might be a reality, if only the majority can be empathetic and honestly inclusive in their actions and inactions.