The Federal Ministry of Education on Tuesday ordered universities and other tertiary institutions in the country to exempt blind and deaf people from the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

They were also instructed to exclude prisoners as well as foreign centre candidates from the exam.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono, who gave the order, said such individuals were under the Special Needs category and should be considered for admission, provided they met the minimum requirements.

Echono spoke at the 2019 Policy meeting on admission organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Gbongan, Osun State.

He also said no tertiary institution should collect above the ministry’s approved fee of N2,000 for any post-UTME screening.

Echono said, “Admission to all programmes leading the award of a first degree, national diploma and Nigeria Certificate in Education must be processed through the Central Admissions Processing System of JAMB. Also, all tertiary institutions must ensure that they update their matriculation lists on the Central Admissions Processing System as appropriate in content and on time.

“The board and the tertiary institutions should ensure that candidates under the Special Needs category are considered for admission provided they meet the minimum requirements. They are; blind and deaf candidates, prison candidates, foreign centre candidates. These candidates should be exempted from any other test apart from the routine scrutiny of their credentials.

“In order to halt the substitution of candidates with impersonators, JAMB has been directed to make available to all tertiary institutions the facial and finger images of the candidates of each institution for screening. It is therefore not permitted for any tertiary institution to retake fresh photographs or fingerprints.”

The PS added that heads of higher institutions had been asked to set up an Ombudsman system where all cases of unethical behaviours between lecturers and students could be reported.