I felt a surge of pride as I watched the graduates of DAS Academy, including many DAS colleagues, walking up on stage to receive their awards during the DAS Academy Graduation Ceremony this morning.
An important objective of DAS is to build a pool of expertise in Dyslexia and SpLD here in Singapore and DAS Academy is doing exactly that ! Besides the practitioners who completed their Specialist Diplomas, I was delighted to see the second batch of students completing the full MA SEN. The many different areas of research by the MA students will only strengthen the efficacy of our programmes for the children.
Head of DAS Academy June Siew opened the event and spoke of the importance of passion and resilience for educators. It struck me that June herself embodied those traits. June has two young children, is in the midst of completing her PhD and runs a tight ship at DAS Academy all at the same time. I marvel everyday at June’s remarkable accomplishments !
It was great to hear the valedictorian speech for the Diploma in Special Education (Dyslexia Studies) by Ms Phoon Hwee Lee, AED (LBS) from Northbrooks Secondary School. It is most important that DAS continues to work closely with MOE schools for the benefit of our students.
The valedictorian for the Specialist Diploma in Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) Ms Bhaswati Datta Sengupta was likewise impressive and her experience teaching in many different countries clearly showed.
I remember the valedictorian of the Specialist Diploma in Educational Therapy Ms Nur Ashabiena Binte Mohd Ashraff from when I interviewed her for the DAS Educational Therapist job in early 2016. It is wonderful to see her speaking with such confidence and commitment to her students just 20 months on !
Last but not least, I was very proud of the valedictorian for the Master of Arts in Special Education Needs (MA SEN) Ms Weng Yiyao. Yiyao joined DAS only in 2014 and is already teaching students from preschool to secondary school – not easy at all ! Already a Senior Educational Therapist and having made presentations at the DAS Preschool Seminar and the Early Childhood Development Agency Seminar, I understand Yiyao’s new effort at DAS will be to develop more resources for the main literacy programme. Excellent !
While a DAS Academy event, the overwhelming response by colleagues from all parts of the DAS to help out with the organisation for the day was very heartening to see. Together with the loud cheers whenever a DAS colleague went on stage to receive their award, the tremendous spirit at DAS was once again clear to see.