Gabriel Dike

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has exempted blind, deaf candidates and prison inmates from writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)) test to be conducted by various institutions.

The exemption of these categories of candidates from writing the test takes effect from the 2018 admission exercise.

Daily Sun gathered that the decision to exempt the blind, deaf candidates and prison inmates followed complained of difficulties encounter by them during the post UTME test.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq-Oloyede told heads of tertiary institutions that prison inmate, the blind and the deaf candidates complained of the difficulty experienced during post UTME test.

The board also asked tertiary institutions to exempt candidates from outside Nigeria who applied through UMTE/Direct Entry modes, but complained of the difficulties to attend post UTME and were willing to be screened after admission.

According to Oloyede, the recommendations were adopted after extensive consultations with stakeholders’ and chairmen of sub-sector of tertiary education Nigeria.

Said he, “Candidates who sit for the UTME in foreign countries, prisons, blind and deaf candidates are to be exempted from post UTME test. The list of the respective candidates in this category would be made available to the various tertiary institutions for guidance and necessary action.

’’This should be treated by the institutions under affirmative and inclusive actions for the accommodation of this category of candidates.

“The Board and the tertiary institutions are to ensure that these categories of candidates who meet minimum requirements are admitted and their progress monitored in the various institutions for the purpose of confirmation of the effectiveness of the policy’’.

Prof. Oloyede warned that the Board has put in place a mechanism that would prevent any candidate from taking undue advantage of the exemption.

He continued,  ’’Only candidates who are either foreigners or Nigerians whom are confirmed residents in foreign countries and are products of foreign school system can enjoy this privilege in the interest of internationalisation of the nation’s tertiary institutions.

“A Nigerian with less than six month-stay in a foreign country is disallowed from taking his/her UTME in any foreign country.’’

Daily Sun learnt that the Board is partnering with Digital Bridge Institute to set up Visually Impaired Candidates’ Centres to serve as dedicated examination centres and train them in Abuja, Lagos and Kano.

In 2016, 211 visually impaired candidates wrote UTME as against 264 in 2017 and 315 in 2018.  Also in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, 44, 72, 142 and 145 candidates respectively were offered admissions.