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32 million Nigerians suffer learning disability

Over 32 million Nigerians have been said to be suffering from a learning disability called dyslexia, which affects reading, spelling, writing and comprehension. The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dyslexia Foundation of Nigeria, Mr Ben Arikpo, who made this known in Abuja, explained that one in every six students in the country was affected with the disorder. According to him, dyslexia has become more endemic than autism which affects only one in 80 persons, and was the most common learning disability in the world affecting 15 to 20 percent of persons in any given population. Arikpo, who lamented the poor awareness among teachers, parents and peers on the seriousness of the condition, noted that children diagnosed with dyslexia were poorly managed and confronted with abuse leading to low self-esteem which makes those affected drop out of school. “Over 32 million Nigerians (in and out of school) face educational exclusion and negative life outcomes on account of dyslexia.
It is possible to assume that the high number reported for out-of-school children in Nigeria is attributable to dyslexia. “Worst still, the awareness, support systems and necessary accommodations for persons with dyslexia and related learning disorders are virtually nonexistent in the Nigerian educational system.”Without identification and remediation, children and individuals with dyslexia are at risk of lifelong challenges along with the many negative social and economic consequences,” he said. Arikpo called on government to take over the license for training of teachers in primary and secondary school on dyslexia, so as to correct the condition among students.

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