More post-secondary dyslexic students to receive support under new initiative funded by Lim Hoon Foundation

Maxx Ng says the iStudySmart programme had been effective in teaching him the skills he needed to excel in ITE. PHOTO: DYSLEXIA ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
Mr Andy Lim (right), director of Lim Hoon Foundation, presenting the cheque to Mr Eric Lee, president of Dyslexia Association of Singapore. PHOTO: DYSLEXIA ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - When Maxx Ng was still in secondary school, he worried that his dyslexia may have an adverse impact on his studies when he moved on to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), where research and presentation skills are put to the test.

He took an e-learning programme which taught him how to present projects and work well in a team.

Now 18 and in his second year of Community Care and Social Services studies at ITE College East, Maxx says the iStudySmart programme had been effective in teaching him the skills he needed to excel in ITE.

He is one of 40 dyslexic students to have enrolled in the programme since its pilot in 2018.

iStudySmart is currently the only support programme catered to post-secondary students, which utilises e-learning to impart skills on time management, organisation, tertiary learning and presentation.

But more support is in the pipeline for this group of dyslexic students.

The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) said on Thursday (March 11) that it plans to help at least 100 more students under an initiative called 360° Pact Project.

Over $280,000 in funding was provided by Lim Hoon Foundation (LHF) during a cheque presentation event at DAS REX House Learning Centre.

The project will offer pivotal support for students with dyslexia and other co-occurring learning difficulties in institutes of higher learning (IHLs) in Singapore.

"While a person does not outgrow dyslexia, with timely and effective intervention, they can be put on the best path to achieve success on their learning journey," said Mr Lee Siang, chief executive officer of DAS.

Over the next three years, the project hopes to raise awareness of dyslexia in IHLs, provide enhanced support for post-secondary students who come from the sandwiched class or low-income families, and conduct local research alongside a local university.

The collaboration with DAS is especially meaningful for LHF director Andy Lim, who also has dyslexia.

He felt that the research data will play a pivotal role in providing the necessary support for students in the long run, noting a lack of Asia-centric or local research.

"I look forward to DAS publishing local data on dyslexia that will, hopefully, go a long way in informing how this condition can be better addressed in our country," said Mr Lim.

Maxx hopes that the collaboration will help many others like himself succeed in post-secondary education.

He has witnessed first-hand how people with dyslexia, especially those who are not aware that they have the condition, struggle to keep up with the academic regimen.

Even so, they have continued to push themselves to get to where they are today.

"Just because we're different, (it) doesn't mean we are deficient," said Maxx.

This article has been edited for accuracy.

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