Forum: An inclusive education system is in the nation's interest

As a neurodivergent person myself who has gone through the school system here , Kooi Xiu Min's letter resonates with me (Make the classroom a more inclusive space for neurodivergent students, July 5 ).

Schools should apply the spirit, not the letter, of school rules. Neurodivergent students, whose brains are wired differently, need school rules to deviate slightly to have a conducive learning environment.

Xiu Min cited allowing students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to take breaks. Other ways include allowing neurodivergent students to perform unconventional calming routines like stimming or holding a toy, and wearing noise-cancellation devices and eyeshades.

Customised or tailored teaching methods facilitate neurodivergent ways of learning. For example, do not force eye contact if it stresses students; looking away might actually increase their attention span.

I had the best teachers during junior college and that made a big difference for me. I excelled in the A levels, went on to graduate with a bachelor's degree in accountancy, and am gainfully employed today.

Junior college is a crucial stepping stone to university and in turn, one's career.

Neurodivergent students will one day enter the workforce, contributing productively to the economy with their unique ideas, creativity and unconventional thinking. Neurodiversity makes for an innovative and productive workforce.

It is in our country's interest to make inclusivity integral in the junior college culture, giving neurodivergent students fair and equal learning opportunities. A rewarding education journey equips them for work and life.

I urge the Ministry of Education's Special Needs Division to take the lead in this.

Wesley Loh