SINGAPORE: The number of primary schools offering programmes to help students with dyslexia will be doubled to 42. This school—based dyslexia programme was introduced to 20 primary schools in 2012, and has benefited some 120 Primary Three students.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Sim Ann announced this in Parliament on Wednesday.
Students going through the Learning Support Programme are usually screened for dyslexia at the end of Primary Two.
MOE said preliminary findings from the dyslexia remediation programme in 2012 showed that students have improved in their reading and spelling skills.
Ms Siti Fadhilah Atkha, an allied educator (Learning & Behavioural Support) at Bukit Panjang Primary School, said: "I have received very good feedback from the teachers (about the programme), very positive feedback, whereby not only their English language improved, their Math and also Science."
"(The students are) able to read, and I can see that they’re able to structure better sentences in their writing. I also can see that they’re more confident in class, they’re willing to speak up, they’re willing to volunteer themselves to answer whatever question that is being asked by the teachers in class."
Previously, dyslexic students had to go for extra classes conducted by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore.
MOE had said many of the younger students have found it difficult to travel to these centres for special classes outside of school hours.
Ms Sim Ann said: "Students with dyslexia have persistent difficulty in reading and this creates many downstream challenges. They form the largest group of students with special education needs, and they have a very good chance of overcoming their literacy difficulties if appropriate intervention occurs early."
The ministry will also extend the post—diagnosis educational guidance services to all primary schools by the end of the year. The services were piloted in 14 primary schools in November 2012.
For special education (SPED) schools, MOE will help them to form their own Parent Support Groups (PSGs) to strengthen parent engagement.
Each SPED school can now receive S$2,500 in PSG seed funding —— similar to mainstream schools.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Sim Ann said that the Education Ministry provides extensive support to SPED schools help them run customised programmes for students.
She said: "MOE will also continue giving financial support to expand the physical capacity of the SPED sector. To meet the learning needs of SPED students, we customise the infrastructure provisions —— for instance, special facilities like sensory integration rooms. We also review these needs regularly.
"Over the past decade we’ve committed S$150 million toward the upgrading and building of the 20 SPED schools. From 2013, Metta School will be able to take in another 150 students with the completion of its new extension block. We want to assure members today, that no child with special needs will be deprived of a quality education because he or she cannot afford it."
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