Over 32 million Nigerians are said to be struggling with dyslexia, a learning disorder that includes reading, writing, spelling and comprehension difficulties. The chairman, Board of Trustees, Dyslexia Foundation Nigeria, Ben Arikpo, disclosed this during a press conference on the International Dyslexia Awareness Month and the upcoming national conference on Dyslexia in Nigeria. Arikpo also revealed that in a recent study conducted in the Rivers State, one in six pupils in public primary schools show significant signs of dyslexia. He expressed sadness that the awareness, support systems and necessary accommodations for persons with dyslexia and related learning disorders were virtually nonexistent in the Nigerian educational system, which could lead the affected students to drop out of school or result to examination malpractice. “Even in the workplace, there are no policies to protect the rights of people with dyslexia. Consequently, the culture of silence and denial prevail and many people with dyslexia are afraid to come public with their status despite many advantages they possess,” he said.
Arikpo added that without early identification and remediation, children and individuals with dyslexia are at risk of lifelong challenges along with the many negative social and economic consequences.
He explained that the Foundation was marking the Dyslexia month with a national conference on October 29, 2018, with the theme: Dyslexia in Nigeria: Creating Sustainable Solutions, Educational and Work place policies, in order to discuss and advocate for policy framework to support persons with dyslexia in the country. He therefore, called for support of the government and well-meaning Nigerians to help create awareness about the learning disability and the professional diagnosis, assessment and intervention programme in Nigeria.“The conference is in furtherance of our goals and objectives of creating awareness about dyslexia and related learning challenges as well as building the professional capacity of teachers, schools and families for effective dyslexia intervention in Nigeria,” he said.
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