MEDIA RELEASE

DAS celebrates outstanding achievements of children with dyslexia 

Graduates and awards winners will receive their awards from Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

SINGAPORE, 24 NOVEMBER 2018 – The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) held its 16th Student Graduation and Achievement Awards Ceremony today at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office presided over the celebrations as the guest-of-honour. A total of 361 students from across 14 DAS Learning Centres took the stage to receive graduation certificates and achievement awards.

Among the recipients was the first batch of 152 students to receive the DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP) Special Achievement Awards for making significant progress in literacy development. They joined 173 students who graduated from MLP for successfully completing the programme and attaining a competency in English literacy that would take them forward in their learning journey.

During the ceremony, DAS also recognised 47 students with the DAS Specialised Educational Services (SES)Awards for achieving outstanding progress in Maths, Speech and Language Therapy, English Exam Skills and Specialist Tutoring; and for being Chinese Word Recognition Champs, Preschool Prolific Readers and Speech and Drama Arts Shining Stars.

The ceremony also lauded Emily Yap Yong An, a 19-year-old DAS alumni, with the 2018 Young Achiever Award for pressing on to claim admirable accomplishments after leaving DAS; and Meldon Chua Yi Xun, 13 years old with the 2018 Special Achievement Award for displaying exceptionally high levels of determination and commitment to achieve all-rounded excellence.

The 2018 Young Achiever Award and 2018 Special Achievement Award are sponsored by United Overseas Bank (UOB) to provide assistance to the winners for their future academic pursuits. DAS is a beneficiary of UOB Business Banking since 2018.

Currently a third-year nursing student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Emily has achieved excellence academically and in the clinical field by continuously pushing herself to redefine her limits. She was one of the few who have been placed on the prestigious Director’s List in Ngee Ann Polytechnic due to her outstanding achievements. Emily was also awarded the Edusave Academic Achievements and Edusave Good Progress awards in 2018. Meldon’s perseverance has given him the opportunity to enter the Express stream in secondary school.

DAS also bestowed the 2018 MLP Educational Therapist of the Year Award on Mr Steven Sim and Ms Harsheeni Hanna Rajoo for their remarkable work, dedication and support that have made big differences in their students’ learning journeys.

“When I first joined DAS, I found transitioning from 20 years in the private sector to a welfare organisation challenging. I was in a completely different environment, and I had much to learn. Receiving the Educational Therapist of the Year award was not only an affirmation to me that I am on the right track, but also that I could only have come this far through the support of my colleagues and mentors. The award has encouraged me to continue professionally developing my knowledge and skills, and inspire my students to overcome their challenges, as I have,” said Mr Sim.

“Some of our best days are spent helping others see the best versions of themselves in the light of simply being themselves. I am most grateful to have this opportunity in my life to add value to the lives and learning experiences of my students and fellow colleagues. It is truly humbling to receive this award that reminds me of how the smallest of efforts done with the greatest of love blooms into fruits of perseverance,” said Ms Rajoo

“Apart from reading, spelling and writing, children with dyslexia also often face low self-esteem and social emotional issues. Our graduating students are excellent examples that with appropriate and timely intervention, they will not only rise above their challenges but do well in academic and non-academic areas. We are proud of all our students for working with us to defy their learning difference. DAS is committed to put children with dyslexia on a path to achieve the academic and life goals that they desire,” said Mr Lee Siang, CEO of DAS.

Since its inception, DAS has continuously broadened its programmes in response to significantly rising demand for support for school-age children with dyslexia. Its Main Literacy Programme reached a historical high enrolment of 3,115 primary and secondary school students in October 2018; while SES also saw their highest combined enrolment at 1,236 students at the end of Term 3 of 2018. The above reflects the significant and diverse needs of children with dyslexia.

Since its inception, DAS has continuously broadened its programmes in response to significantly rising demand for support for school-age children with dyslexia. Its Main Literacy Programme reached a historical high enrolment of 3,115 primary and secondary school students in October 2018; while SES also saw their highest combined enrolment at 1,236 students at the end of Term 3 of 2018. The above reflects the significant and diverse needs of children with dyslexia.

Besides programmes that provide academic support, DAS also offer programmes to develop the soft skills of children with dyslexia. For the first time in front of the largest audience they ever had, students from the Speech and Drama Arts (SDA) programme performed at the graduation ceremony. Despite facing greater challenges than their peers in memorising and reading scripts; and listening and concentrating on stage due to their dyslexia, they put up “Hang Tuah – The Great Warrior”, a 30-minute theatrical play with improved public speaking skills and great confidence.