Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Maureen Okpe

The Albino Foundation (TAF), has demanded that policies inhibiting the choices of career for persons with disability be removed, saying that this will enable them pursue their desired profession.

It’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Jake Epelle, made this known  Friday, at the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for blind candidates,  organized by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in collaboration with JAMB Equal Opportunity Group,(JEOP)in Abuja.

According to Ekpelle,  persons with disability were not allowed to study  even when they are desirous to pursue a particular course or profession.

He maintained that being blind should not be a hindering factor for studying mathematics or pursue a career in sciences, stressing the need for them to be allowed to try it out and fail than to out rightly stop them from studying.

“I think this is the highest level of educational discrimination. There is need to carry all persons with disability along, the blind, deaf, physically challenged as well as persons with albinism.

The CEO therefore called on the Board to expand the scope of involvement, stressing that it was important to include all cluster head of persons with disability in the committee to bring their various issues to the decision tables.

“Persons with disability should explore this available opportunity and key into it instead of living in denial. This is a better inclusive platform conducive for persons with disability.

In his remarks, the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer National Theater Iganmu Lagos, Prof Sunday Ododo, disclosed that the initiative by JAMB is set to create equal opportunity for persons living with disability as well as  an enabling examination environment.

“The JAMB Equal Opportunity Group (JEOP) started in 2017 with four centers in Lagos,Kano,Enugu and Abuja,with the aim of making exams centres closer to candidate, we also have centres in Kebbi, Yola, Jos, Benin, Bauchi, and the rest with JAMB bearing the cost to the venue. Today we have a total of 11.

“When the candidate indicate while filling their JAMB form that they are blind their information is forwarded to the JEOP and a proper and thorough screening is made to ensure that information provided is true.

“This group was constituted to deliberate on how best to handle candidate with disability as over time it was notice that their output was not really good, so this arrangement was made to help them excel in their academic pursuit.

“We do not just stop our assistance here, we monitor their performance as they go into higher institutions, and I am glad to say they have been tremendous success stories as most of them do very well even better than those without disability.

One of the participants,Danladi Peter, who lost his sight in 2011stated that the examiners and coordinators ,were good to them, as they consider their disability and were patient when reading out the questions.

Peter said, “before the examination we were given orientation as a guideline, they take a question twice or some times three times to ensure that we all understand. They are patient with everyone, no harsh words, making the process seamless for all of us,” he said.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of Braille, a writing slate for the blind to all candidates with disability at the centre.

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