Even as the government identifies education as a key area of expenditure growth during Budget 2018 yesterday, some students in Singapore still appear to be discriminated against due to their disabilities.
One such child is the teenage daughter of Facebook user Mary Lim.
Lim revealed that although her visually impaired daughter did well for her N-Level examinations last year, both the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and her daughter’s secondary school are hesitating to enroll her daughter into their full certificate and O-Level programmes, due to a “lack of facilities,” even though school has already started for 2018.
Sharing that she feels disappointed online, Lim appealed “Please do not deprive a blind child from learning” and wrote:
“Last year Adelyn had completed her N level. She had achieved 4NA (Normal Academy) credits and 1 ‘O’ level credit (in music).
“Our initial thought was to enrol Adelyn to NAFA, however the minimum requirements is either a ‘O’ level or Nitec certificate. Her NA aggregates actually gives her the eligibility to enrol to local ITE college, Higher Nitec courses. We have a choice to choose between continue her O level in her Secondary school or to ITE.
“I decided to make an online enrollment for my girl to ITE. However her application was rejected. I had tried to appeal, but was still rejected.
“I had meet up with the HOD of ITE, after a round of explanation, I was told that they are unable to accept Adelyn due to lack of facilities. Also because of the course policy, Adelyn will not be able to fulfill the examination criteria. And the management was unable to change any rules as these policy are “Fixed”.
“I was also told if I insist to let Adelyn take up the course, Adelyn might only able to get a certificate of participation instead of a full certificate after 2 years. So they had suggested to me “in kind” that I should actually let Adelyn go back to school to complete her O level.
“Meanwhile, I had also approached the secondary school about letting Adelyn go back to school to complete her O level, but I was told that “It is not a good idea” , as O level is much tougher and many students cannot make it. So they suggested “in kind” that the best way is to approach ITE again.
“I was caught in between the schools as their suggestions “in kind” were all means well for Adelyn. Even though I had told them we were open minded for both options, as long as there is a learning platform for Adelyn.
“I was even told that the time are running out as both schools had started their lessons a while back and Adelyn might have difficulty in catching up. But the final decision is not up to me!”
Lim shared that she does not know where else she can seek help, since she has already approached both schools directly multiple times. Tagging the Ministry of Education and Education Minister Ng Chee Meng, Lim appealed for the authorities to help her daughter.
The mother added that she is highlighting this issue, since it is one that affects other visually impaired students as, well.
“I would like to highlight this issue as it is not only affected Adelyn, but also her juniors who are visually impaired too.
“I urge the authorities are able to assist us in this matter.
“Please do not deprived a child from learning. Being a physically challenged person is not something they chose.”