UTME: JAMB to refund registration fees to deserving visually-impaired candidates

Lagos Coordinator, JAMB Equal Opportunity Group, Prof. Olarenwaju Fagbohun, has said the board would refund fees paid by deserving visually-impaired candidates for the purchase of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination UTME forms.

Olarenwaju, a former Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), gave the assurance at the Distance Learning Institute (DLI), University of Lagos, centre for 2024 UTME for visually-impaired candidates from Lagos and Ogun states.

According to him, a total of 88 candidates in this category registered for the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for the centre but only 82 were present.

He explained that only visually-impaired candidates with five ‘O’ Level credits in one sitting would benefit.

The coordinator said that the gesture was to encourage physically-challenge candidates.

“I will like to give kudos to the Registrar of JAMB, Prof Is’haq Oloyede, for all he is doing to push the frontiers of education in this country.

“This year, he went a step further to return money paid by visually-challenged candidates for the purchase of their registration documents- those who scored five credits at one sitting.

“They were not supposed to have paid for the forms, but in a situation whereby they have already done that, their money will be returned to them here, today.

“The process is that the board, from the results uploaded by these candidates during registration for the examination, had already disaggregated all these and sent to all the centre coordinators nationwide.

“We have the list and the money already made available by the board, and the directive is that we must ensure that the concerned candidates get back their money immediately.

“We want them to know that they are Nigerians and that Nigeria recognises their roles and will want to harness their potential,” he said.

He said that the board would continue to explore means to ensure that no Nigerian child would be left behind in empowerment.

He noted that the special examination was being conducted in 12 centres nationwide.

“Before now, we allowed the candidates to just listen. The proctors will read aloud to them, but this year, we realised that some of them also want to use the braille and read on their own and then answer the questions.

“So, we, in addition to the option of ‘read aloud’ have also decided to introduce the option of ‘fully braille’.

“This means we will print questions on braille for the candidates and they will now use the braille answer sheets to answer the questions.

“Before the commencement of this year’s exercise, we started calling the candidates for this Lagos centre in the past one or two months, to put them on notice about where they would be sitting for the examination, which is the DLI of UNILAG.

“They were also told to get to the centre a day before, with their guides to ensure that they would not be under any pressure.’’

He said that the candidates were checked into hotels alongside their guides.

“They are being well taken care of, and whenever they will be returning to their respective destinations, they will be given transportation allowance,” he said.

The former LASU vice-chancellor said that efforts made by the organisers to get across to the six candidates who did not turn up for the examination were futile.

He said that phone calls to numbers they supplied during registration did not respond.

He added that the organisers could not reach them through the e-mail addresses and WhatsApp numbers they supplied.

According to Fagbohun, a Professor of Environmental Law, the candidates would be tested in Government, Arabic, Use of English, Mathematics and Biology, among other subjects. (NAN)