Posted on June 7, 2012, Thursday
by Chen Ai Shih, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONE FOR THE ALBUM: Fatimah (standing, seventh left) with DAS personnel and students.
KUCHING: The State Health Department has begun its in-house training for medical officers to address dyslexia-related problems.
Welfare, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said this at the opening ceremony of the ‘Dyslexia Literacy Camp’ at Dyslexia Association Sarawak’s (DAS) yesterday.
“We hope more medical officers will be trained. Ideally there must be at least one trained medical officer in every health clinic,” said Fatimah.
She suggested that every health clinic set gazetted days for children with special needs to make it convenient for parents and teachers to bring them.
“My dialogue session with State Education Department, State Health Department and DAS early this year reveals areas that need improvement. Not all health clinics in the state have Family Medicine Specialist and not all of them are able to make assessments on learning disabilities,” Fatimah pointed out.
She said in 2011, a research led by Assoc Prof Dr Rokiah Omar from University Kebangsaan Malaysia, found that special reading aids improved reading among dyslexic children in Peninsula Malaysia.
DAS together with Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation was duplicating this research for the sake of dyslexic children. Some 40 students including one from Bintulu are involved in this project which ends in June 2013.
She said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation under its Community Innovation Fund recently financed the Dyslexia Association of Sarawak’s innovative website http://www.dyslexia-swk.com
It is aimed at reaching out and creating awareness of dyslexia in the public including teachers and parents.
Under this collaboration, DAS conducted workshops for remedial teachers and school counsellors from 10 districts: Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Dalat, Limbang, Kapit, Bintulu, Sarikei, Betong, Miri and Sri Aman.
She said feedback from questionnaires indicated there were still teachers who thought dyslexia was an intellectual disability, so had a tough time trying to get dyslexics to read and write.
Also present was the camp commandant Richard Sia who said the state government had granted DAS a two-acre piece of land at Desa Wira.
Sia said: “We come out with the initial plan comprising administration building, classrooms, sports, hostels, vocational training centre and land for teaching students landscaping.”
DAS has a list of activities in October to raise funds for the new RM3 million building.