No fewer than 390 blind candidates sat for the just concluded 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) that was conducted from April 16 to 17, 2019 across four centres.
This was contained in the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) official weekly bulletin of April 22, 2019 (Vol. 1 No. 16) signed by the Board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin.
According to the bulletin, Abuja centre had 57 blind candidates out of the 390; Enugu centre had 59, Kano had 135 while Lagos recorded 139 candidates.
It would be recalled that the registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede in 2017 set up the JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOG) chaired by a scholar who is the chairman of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Governing Council and former executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola.
The group is charged with the responsibility of conducting UTME for candidates with visual impairment so as to ensure that no eligible Nigerian child is prevented from taking the examination regardless of disability.
Commenting on the exercise, Okebukola commended the JAMB registrar for providing a level-playing ground for all candidates with disability.
Also in its effort to sanitize the examination process and strengthen the integrity of the Board’s examination results, security agencies arrested no fewer than 100 candidates nationwide for various examination malpractices.
The Board raised alarm over the incident of multiple registrations aimed at facilitating impersonation and ‘ghost’ writing.
Recent findings by JAMB with respect to biometrics, facial recognition and names among others showed that multiple registration bloat the actual candidates’ registration in any given year by as much as 30 percent, it stated.
“Interestingly, from data available, it is evident that this unwholesome act is not restricted to any particular region of the country as it is prevalent in virtually all the states of the federation including the FCT, Abuja.
“Among those identified to be arrested was a candidate who registered 64 times in a bid to ‘ghost write’ exam for 64 candidates since the exam runs for seven days with an average of three shifts per day per centre.
“Also, two candidates were arrested at Rist Gobal Business Consult, a CBT centre at Ikorodu in Lagos for using their phones to screenshot exam questions which they intend to forward to their accomplices who work for certain tutorial centres.
“The Board in its unrelenting efforts to stamp out all forms of malpractices had synergized with relevant security agencies nationwide to entrap the culprits resulting in their apprehension,” the bulletin reads.