The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says that no fewer than 192 visually impaired candidates are expected to write the ongoing computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde said this while briefing the Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau who was on inspection tour of some of the exam centres in Abuja.
He said the candidates would write the exam using the ‘BrailleNote Apex’ a special machine that enables the visually impaired to read and answer questions via voice or Braille.
“We have no fewer than 192 visually impaired candidates nationwide but the concentration is in Lagos.
“We have no fewer than 15 of them in Abuja. This is the first of its kind in this part of the world,’’ he said.
Speaking after conducting the minister round the Computer-Based Test (CBT) centre at Kogo, Bwari, Ojerinde, said he was impressed with the performance of the candidates.
According to him, the results so far indicated that the candidates performed better in CBT than in paper-based test.
He said that more centres would be established as the Federal Government had directed that eight new centres be set up across the country while four of them would be completed this year.
“Each centre will have 270 computers; the southern and northern parts of the country will get four centres each”, he said.
Reacting, Skekarau said he was impressed with what he saw and expressed delight that challenges encountered in the first CBT would be addressed in subsequent editions.
“The most important thing is that we are catching up with modernity. We are catching up with new technology, particularly, the blind candidates that we saw. It is the first of its kind in Africa.
“Another advantage is that if you miss your exam you can come over the next day for it and there is no room for exam malpractice.
“Every state and every Local Government will have this type of centre in the years to come,’’ he said.
One of the candidates, Innocent Prince, said the CBT was easy as it only entailed clicking on the right answers.
He said the CBT was commendable because it reduced the stress of paper writing and would also encourage future candidates to up their computer skills.
Another candidate, Faith Onu, said she found the exam easier than envisaged when she got into exam hall.
According to her, any candidate with basic computer knowledge could write the exam with less stress.
No fewer than 1.4 million candidates are participating in the exam which ended yesterday.

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