UTME: Ekiti govt hails JAMB’s provisions for physically challenged people

UTME: Ekiti govt hails JAMB’s provisions for physically challenged people

The Ekiti State government has commended the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for its policy of giving access to physically challenged students for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

The Special Adviser to the Ekiti State Governor on Special Education and Social Inclusion, Mrs. Adetoun Agboola, explained that the creation of the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG) has in no small way afforded disadvantaged candidates access to higher institutions to pursue their careers.

Agboola spoke at the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, centre for the visually impaired and others participating in the 2024 UTME examination under the supervision of the JEOG.

She added that the state government was particularly impressed with the leadership of JAMB for the initiative, saying it was in tandem with the policies of the present administration in the state to give equal opportunities to citizens regardless of their physical challenges.

According to her, the state government would continue its collaboration with the foremost examination body in a bid to ensure the international standard of giving people with disabilities access to basic needs of life, including the right to education.

The governor’s aide said, “Education is not just a critical tool for personal growth, development, and empowerment, but also a powerful instrument for breaking down barriers and overcoming stigmas, especially for persons with disabilities. It equips them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to pursue their goals and contribute meaningfully to society. The JAMB UTME Examination is a crucial step in this journey of empowerment.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to JAMB for its tireless efforts in promoting inclusivity and diversity. Your attention to the needs of candidates with disabilities is truly commendable. Let us continue working together towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone can thrive and realise their dreams.

Speaking, the South West coordinator of JEOG, Professor Rashid Aderinoye, said the registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, was committed to ensuring that every eligible student in the country is provided the platform to acquire a higher education regardless of physical challenges.

He disclosed that no fewer than 33 candidates were drawn from neighbouring states, including Ekiti, adding that all logistics have been provided by the examination body.

Aderinoye explained that since the creation of the group a few years ago, more people with disabilities are gaining admission to higher institutions to attain their potential without any hindrances.

The professor of literacy and open distance learning said, “At the inception of the office of the JAMB registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, established the group to ensure inclusive tertiary education and to have more access for those that are disabled in any form.

“It is just about giving equal opportunity to every candidate in Nigeria, and for JAMB to do this, it is commendable. The candidates are given free accommodation, feeding, and transportation during the period of the examination.

“We have 33 candidates here in the Ado-Ekiti centre for this year’s UTME from Ondo and other neighbouring states and Ekiti. We have 11 centres across the country.

“All materials, including braille, were provided for them by JAMB, and for those who have five credits in O’Levels, they will be given the money back; the registration fee is practically free for them.”

“It has increased the numbers of special students gaining admission to university; that is the major advantage of the group. It is giving hope to the disabled that they can access university education in Nigeria.”

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