By Dayo Adesulu
The 306 blind candidate of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, who sat for the Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination yesterday lauded the Board for allowing them use Typewriter, Braille code and Stylus to write examination as against computer used in 2016.
Many of the candidates who spoke to Vanguard on Saturday in Lagos after their examination at the University of Lagos, expressed optimism that they will perform better than in 2016 UTME.
They based their hope in the way the UTME examination was conducted this year.
According to the them, in the previous year’s examination, blind candidates were mandated to listen to objective questions through the computer and chose the appropriate answers, which they described as causative agent to their failures.
They explained that since they were not used to computer language before, they found it difficult to decipher the questions, hence pick one of the alternative answers they were not sure of.
In the just concluded examination, they added, JAMB allowed them used Type-writer, Braille code and Stylus which they confirmed they were used to.
The blind candidates who were basking in euphoria of joy after the examination said they were specially treated, adding that they enjoyed free accommodations and feeding from Wednesday to Saturday.
According to some candidates who spoke with Vanguard, they said unlike previous years, JAMB provided free accommodation and feeding for them for four days.
Adebayo Hannah Abidemi, one of the blind candidates said: “The questions were clear and straightforward. I hope to score 280 because I had done JAMB three times. “In the previous years, I did not get the questions very well because it was done through computers. But in this examination, they allowed us to use Braille code and stylus.”
Also, Bolanle Owolabi said: ” They treated us well more than last year, they allowed us used what we are used to in writing examination.”
For America Lawrence, he said: “The questions are cheap, I believe I will score the mark that will fetch me admission to study law. “Last year we used computers, but this year, they said we should come with whatever thing we can use.”
Meanwhile, Professor Peter Okebukola who coordinated the 2017 UTME for the blind said that a total of 306 blind candidates wrote the examination across the country. In the breakdown of numbers he said: “127 blind candidates wrote the UTME at UNILAG, 69 blind candidates wrote at Bayero University, 60 candidates wrote at the University of Nigeria Nsukka and 50 at the National Open University Nigeria, Abuja. He said that immediately after each examination, the scripts were marked, adding, “the questions were answered by the blind candidates using Braille, after which Braille code scripts will be decoded to normal text and scripts marked by experts immediately.”
Meanwhile, when the Chief Examiner, Lagos State, Dr Margret Kudirat Oladipupo visited the examination centre, she expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the examination.