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Ignorance kicks dyslexic students out of varsities

on 03 Mei 2010.

By ZORA CHAN


KUCHING: Ignorance on dyslexia and its symptoms risk some undergraduates in local universities being kicked out from their universities for under performing.

A research by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) reveals that about 4% students in the country’s tertiary institutions are dyslexic – a learning difficulty that affects reading and writing, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

“These students cannot cope well in their studies, they fail their examinations and have to re-sit their papers.

“They were on the verge of being kicked out until they were diagnosed as dyslexics and given another chance of repeating a semester,” he said in a speech read out by Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin who represented the Chief Minister at the launch of Dyslexia Association of Sarawak’s inaugural newsletter and charity dinner on Saturday.

Taib, therefore, called on the association to create greater awareness on dyslexia and its symptoms so that parents, teachers and lecturers could identify children and students with the disorder and take appropriate measures to assist them.

He suggested that a seminar on dyslexia be organised to create public awareness, particularly among parents, teachers and lecturers.

Dyslexia Association of Sarawak president Professor Dr Ong Puay Hoon called for more vocational and community colleges to be set up for dyslexic students and qualified medical personnel to assess children with the disorder at government clinics.

Early detection and intervention was important because children with dyslexia looked normal but as they progressed in schools and universities, they could not cope up like normal students and may drop out from schools eventually, she said.

“Abandonment can push these children to crimes. Unimas’ research also shows that one in seven young prisoners in Sekolah Integriti is dyslexic or having other disabilities,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported Sunday that adolescents with learning difficulties who have dropped out of school could turn to a non-governmental organisation called the Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Network for help.

The organisation virtually guarantees them jobs after they complete a one-year training programme which arms them with, among others, business skills and right attitude towards work.

Efforts were also underway to provide small business opportunities for them, CBR Network Malaysia president Noor Yasmin Abdul Karim told Bernama in Kuala Lumpur.

She explained that the network was targeting dyslexics, those with Down's Syndrome, autistics and other groups of slow learner adolescents who were school dropouts.

At present, these categories of adolescents had few avenues for training and were unable to find proper employment or business opportunities to be able to gainfully contribute to the nation, she said.

The Malaysian chapter of the network is affiliated to the Asia Pacific CBR Network.

Noor Yasmin, who is also the chairperson for the Asia Pacific CBR Network, said the first batch of six trainees had begun their training and were now doing their practical at the Fraser's Hill Resort in Pahang.

"Initial evaluation has shown that they are coping well and the employer is happy with their work," she said.

She is confident that with the holistic training modules provided, CBR Network would be able to assist the trainees to be independent and able to contribute meaningfully to the society.

She said there were still six places available in this pioneer batch and that interested parents could contact the network at 03-7948 5305 or email at cbrnetworkmalaysia.

 

Extracted from The Star Online.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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