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UTME: Visually impaired want JAMB provide apex braille machines

Twenty-five candidates from the Bethesda Home for the Blind, Mushin, Lagos State, are to participate in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the proprietress said on Tuesday.

The Proprietress, Mrs Chioma Ohakwe, made the  disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

Ohakwe said that the school was doing its possible best to ensure the candidates’ success.

She urged the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), organisers of UTME, to provide apex braille machines for the examination in the interest of the visually impaired.

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“Each year, we are optimistic about the performance of our candidates in UTME, we believe this year is not going to be different.

“In 2018, all the 25 candidates we presented for the examination made us proud, as the highest scorer among them posted 233 marks, and the lowest had 204.

“We are expecting a better performance this year, judging from the kind of preparation we are making.

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“Our appeal is for JAMB to ensure that the apex braille machine is provided for these candidates to do their best,’’ Ohakwe told NAN.

She said that most visually impaired UTME candidates were not comfortable with the dictation mode deployed for them in the recent past.

“They complained that they do not get the words dictated clearly and could not read over their works before submission,” she said.

The proprietress appealed to governments to assist the home with funds to enable it to meet up with academic needs of the special candidates.

“These visually impaired candidates can compete with their sighted colleagues in the universities, given all the necessary learning aids.

“For instance, all visually challenged students in any university is expected to possess a laptop, a recorder and a mobility cane to guide him or her while moving around.

“This is apart from their feeding, accommodation and school bills.

“We are appealing for assistance to encourage them and ensure their academic progress,” she said. (NAN)