The Amina Dyslexia Centre, Kaduna, says that 98 percent of teachers in Kaduna metropolis have never heard of dyslexia and how it affects learners in school.
Ms Anita Kevin, the center’s Director of Operations, revealed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.
According to her, Dyslexia involves difficulty in reading, due to problems identifying speech sounds and how sounds relate to letters and words.
She explained that the condition makes it difficult for the brain to process information, adding that a key sign of dyslexia was difficulty in matching letters to their sounds.
Kevin noted that it involves how the brain processes information and the sounds of words, thereby, affecting word recognition, spelling, and the ability to match letters to sounds.
She said that while dyslexia was a neurological condition, it has no relation to intelligence, but could, however, affect learning outcomes as well as social interactions.
According to her, the condition, if not properly addressed with the right teaching methods and training on social skills, could result in low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, and depression.
The director said that dyslexia was responsible for 85 percent global adult illiteracy rate, while one in every five children risk dropping out of either primary or secondary school due to dyslexia.
She said that a recent survey conducted by the centre shows that 98 percent of teachers in Kaduna metropolis has never heard of the word nor its implication on learning outcomes.
She added that the level of ignorance of the condition extends beyond teachers to school owners, including parents and other education stakeholders.
“It is common belief among educators that poor learning outcomes among some students and pupils is a result of lack of intelligence or laziness.
“Others even attribute the condition to spiritual attacks and generational curses, particularly if the student or pupil is smart but underperforms in school.
“As a result, a lot of teachers, school owners, including parents resolved to extra hours of tutoring, punishment, while others ignore such children,” she said.
The director said that the assumption that all human brains function alike was another indication of the high level of ignorance of dyslexia among critical stakeholders.
She said that the neurological nature of the condition made dyslexia unseen and, therefore, very difficult to understand.
According to her, lack of awareness was responsible for the misinterpretation and wrong assessment of the condition, leading to ineffective intervention in addressing the problem.
She therefore called on the Kaduna State Government, private school owners and relevant stakeholders to train and equip teachers with the needed skill to enable them identify learners with dyslexia.
Kevine said that the training should focus on dyslexia identification, assessment, and remediation, stressing that the teachers equally need to know how to improve the dyslexics social skills.
This, according to her, will enable the teachers to appropriately respond to the leaning needs of students and pupils with the condition.
She explained that Amina Dyslexia Center, was a social enterprise that caters for the education needs of people, especially children with specific learning disabilities.
The director disclosed that the centre had trained more than 686 private school teachers in the state from 2019 to date as part of awareness creation and capacity building about the condition.
“Our vision is to help dyslexics unravel their creativity and achieve their personal best, by using innovative technologies in providing high quality, holistic and personalised learning for dyslexics,” Kevin said.