’32 million Nigerians suffer reading, comprehension challenges’

About 32 million Nigerians suffer from reading, learning and comprehension disabilities, a non governmental organisation, Dyslexia Found, has said.

The organisation attributed these challenges to dyslexia which affects reading, spelling, writing and comprehension.

Chairman Board of Trustees of the organisation, Mr Ben Arikpo, at a briefing, said one in every six students in the country has dyslexia.

He explained that the disability challenge was more endemic than autism which has only one victim in 80 persons.

Arikpo noted that dyslexia had become the most common learning disability in the country and elsewhere in the world as it is estimated that the problem affects 15 to 20 per cent of persons in any given population.

He regretted that despite the seriousness of the problem among children of school age, awareness had not been created for teachers to know how to handle children diagnosed with the condition.

According to him, the lack of awareness among teachers, parents and peers had resulted in abuse of victims with the condition who lose their self-esteem in the process and sometimes, drop out of school.

He therefore called on government to take over the license for training of teachers in primary and secondary schools on dyslexia to correct the condition among students.

He said: “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 non-existent in the Nigerian educational system.

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“Without identification and remediation, children and individuals with dyslexia are at risk of lifelong challenges along with the many negative social and economic consequences.”


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