Sunday, July 10, 2005

Oh, for f**ck's sake...get him a psychologist already!!!

Found an interesting (or rather not later) in The Star's Education section, 'When the system fails'. It is about a 14-year old remove class student who even can't memorise the alphabets.

REMOVE CLASS student Lee Kok Yee, 14, does not respond to instructions, never does his work and shrugs or shakes his head when asked anything.

After a few months of trying to teach Kok Yee, his class teacher S. Kamala came to the conclusion that he was not gaining anything by coming to school.

Another of his teachers, Ahmad Tajudin, says that even after six months Kok Yee has not been able to memorise the alphabet.

“Teaching him is an uphill task. One day he knows his ABCs, the next time you ask him, he gets confused. It’s a tragedy that this has happened after six years in primary school,” says Ahmad Tajudin.

“They need to stress the basics of reading, writing and mathematics in primary school more,” he adds.


No thanks to our half-baked media, Simrit didn't even mention the word 'dyslexia.'Based only on Kok Yee's teacher's opinion, the writer didn't even attempt to get an analysis of a trained counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist to diagnose whether his problem was due to dyslexia.

Thanks to my synaptic plasticity, this piece of news brought me back to when I was a temporary English teacher in a rural primary school when waiting my university's entry results . (Haiya...my England vely powderful one hah!) Those Standard Four pupils couldn't even pronounce 'cat' or 'dog', moreover spelling them! On my first day of teaching, unprepared for any materials to teach, I just asked them what their father's occupation was. One said PAS. I was puzzled what the heck was that and finally figured out that her father was a politician or involved as a member or something. In a semester examination, I would say almost 90% couldn't even say or write a decent simple sentence like 'My brother walks to school.' The worst case scenario was a few really couldn't memorise the alphabets, like Kok Yee's case. Teaching them was like administering a dose of epinephrine every time . I kept asking questions to myself, what the hell was wrong with them??? The only possible reason I could think of now is that they could be dyslexic.

It is unfair to put the full blame on the teachers for his failure to master even the alphabets. His parents were to blame also as the article quoted
"His mother readily agrees that the school is playing a “babysitting role” at the moment."

which clearly shows that his parents were just getting rid of him and chucking him in school to lessen their burden in educating him.

I sincerely hope that Kok Yee (and many others in the same situation as him) would get proper evaluation from a qualified counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist on whether he is actually dyslexic. Further on, he should be given some professional therapy and training. But it looks like even now the basic amenities for disabled people are lacking, the dyslexic (which is classified as another form of disability too) seemed to be impossible of getting better attention.

And yar, let's not hope that Kok Yee is not studying in one of the schools in the soon-to-be-declared developed state, eh.

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