Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) graduates 234 students from the MOE-aided DAS Literacy Programme (MAP) and awards two devoted teachers with the 2017 MAP Educational Therapist of the Year Award SINGAPORE, 25 NOVEMBER 2017 – The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) will host its 15th Student Graduation and Awards Ceremony at Kallang Theatre today, celebrating notable achievements in literacy and non-academic fields of students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences. A total of 234 primary and secondary school students from across 13 DAS Learning Centres will receive certificates for attaining competency in literacy through the MOE-aided DAS Literacy Programme (MAP), out of whom 62 students will be commended for brilliance in sports, arts or other disciplines.

To be witnessed by around 450 guests, parents and staff of DAS, the event will be graced by guest-of-honour, Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, Vice Chairman of Jalan Besar Town Council and special guest Mrs. Goh Chok Tong, beloved Patron of DAS. In 2017, enrolment for programmes conducted by the Specialised Educational Services (SES), a DAS division dedicated to address the other learning needs of children with dyslexia, also broke through to 1,200 students, with the Chinese programme experiencing the biggest growth at 31% from 146 to 191 students. The Math Programme also experienced unprecedented growth in student enrolment, growing from 299 to 364 students.

“This is a happy, heart-warming and inspirational annual occasion for our students, teachers and staff. DAS continues to see strong enrolment numbers in both our MAP and SES programmes - a strong indication of the varied challenges that children with dyslexia face across age groups, languages and school subjects. Our goal is to continue to go beyond our current efforts to identify and reach out to children with dyslexia, provide a wide range of programmes for children with dyslexia, and grow our pool of professional expertise and resources so that every child with dyslexia can achieve their potential,” said Mr. Lee Siang, CEO of DAS.

2017 MOE-aided DAS Literacy Programme (MAP) Graduation 

As the main programme complementing the Ministry of Education (MOE) School-based Dyslexia Remediation Programme for primary three and four students, MAP saw its enrolment grow to almost 3,100 primary and secondary school students this year. This year, a total of 234 primary and secondary school students from across 13 DAS Learning Centres will receive certificates celebrating the significant progress made in achieving competency in English literacy, a milestone in their educational journey. Graduates of MAP have undergone critical intervention and demonstrated achievements in areas such as reading, spelling, vocabulary development, reading fluency and comprehension and writing.

2017 Young Achievers Awards The 2017 Young Achievers

Awards go to two outstanding students who shine as inspirational role models for younger students with their remarkable achievements after leaving DAS.

The first recipient, Tan Wei Shan, 22, was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was in kindergarten. Over the years, he has worked hard to develop his passion for the culinary trade despite the odds he faced in school. With strong support from his family and teachers, he learnt to overcome various challenges associated with dyslexia and has earned prestigious accolades such as ‘The Neighbourhood Chef’ champion and the 2015 Singapore Top Young Chef Competition Best Dessert Award.

“I felt lost and disappointed when I was diagnosed with dyslexia. In the past, dyslexia was not as well understood by others as now. I was misunderstood as being lazy and unmotivated. It took me a lot more effort to complete what others achieved easily,” said Tan. “To all students of DAS or children diagnosed with dyslexia, I urge you to never ever feel like you are inferior to the rest. You may find it tough now but with a positive attitude and hard work, you will be able to find an area of interest where you will be able to excel in!”

The second award recipient is Benjamin Yap, 20. Since starting to volunteer at the age of seven, Benjamin has not looked back. From raising funds to conducting workshops or planning programmes for The Children’s Charities Association of Singapore (CCA) and the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), Benjamin credits his achievements today to the diligence and patience of his teacher at DAS.

“Throughout my stay in DAS, I have learnt many skills and practices to overcome many of the challenges that come along with being dyslexic. If not for the diligent and patient teachings of Ms Miranda, DAS would not have nurtured me to who I am today,” said Yap.

2017 Special Achievement Awards

The year, two DAS students will receive the Special Achievement Awards, for displaying outstanding achievements in academics or expertise in different fields. They are:

• Goh Bing Heng Jarrett for excellence in Sports (Taekwondo)

• Chui How Yee for excellence in Academics (Robotics)

2017 Specialised Educational Services Awards

Sixty-two students will also be receiving awards at the ceremony for making outstanding progress in the following SES programmes: Maths and Preschool Maths, Chinese and English Exam Skills, Speech and Language Therapy. The awards to be given out include the Chinese Word Recognition Champs Award, the English Exam Skills Best Progress Award, the Maths Good Progress Award, the Preschool Prolific Award, Speech and Drama Arts Shining Star Award, the Speech and Language Therapy Good Progress Award and the Specialist Tutoring Good Progress Award.

MAP Educational Therapist of the Year Award 2017

Since 2015, DAS has started to pay special tribute to Educational Therapists for their invaluable service in enabling DAS students to succeed in their literacy efforts. This year, the award will be presented to Ms Hani Zohra Muhamad, Lead Educational Therapist and Ms Lee Xin Ying, Senior Educational Therapist for their teaching excellence and commitment.

“Having been with DAS for the past 11 years, I am deeply honoured to receive this award. Actually, my job itself is the greatest award. I am very lucky to be placed in a position where I can contribute back to society and also enjoy what I am doing at the same time,” said Ms Hani. “This award took me by surprise. It is truly my honour to receive it. Each student is special and no two dyslexics are alike. The job is a challenge but at the end of the day, when I see my students graduate, I realise that they are the ones who keep me going and coming back to do the best for them,” said Ms Lee.

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