Sarawak govt gives nod to fund RM3.95-million Dyslexia Centre

Abang Johari (centre) receiving a courtesy call from Fatimah (front row, second left) and DASwk members.

KUCHING, Oct 9: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has agreed to fund the construction of Dyslexia Association of Sarawak (DASwk)’s new Learning and Resource Centre that was estimated to cost over RM3.95 million.

Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah revealed this after leading a delegation from DASwk to pay a courtesy call on Abang Johari at the Chief Minister’s Office here this morning.

“In principle, the Chief Minister has agreed to the application of RM3,954,500 for the construction of Dyslexia Centre on a piece of 1.5 acres land in Desa Wira, (which was) given by the state government,” she said in a media release today.

Fatimah, who is also the Advisor for the association, added that DASwk has worked earnestly to raise funds for the building through various activities including charity runs after the state government granted the association a piece of land on Dec 24, 2014.

“The new teaching and learning centre will have 10 classrooms, assessment rooms, office, staff room, multipurpose hall and a hostel to cater to children and their families from outside Kuching,” she emphasised.

Fatimah (second left) together with Dr Ong (second right) and other DASwk members showing the architecture impression of the new Dyslexia Centre.

During the courtesy visit, the delegation briefed Abang Johari on the 14th year history and objective of DAWsk.

Members of the delegation included Patron Datin Azerina Mohd Arip, DAWsk president Dr Ong Puay Hoon and other members Sia Chun Huat, Felix Wee, Edward Lee Swee Leng, Shanui Shabas, Lily Kong and Dick Yong.

DASwk was registered on 2007 with their first group of five students enrolled in July 2007 for the three-month Dyslexia Intervention Programme. In October 2009, the centre moved to the current location at Lorong Maxwell 2, Jalan Maxwell here.

The mission of the Association is to advocate for the learning and social-emotional needs of children and young adults with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

Its vision is for every child to be able to read and write at their age-appropriate level.

Dyslexia is not a disease but is a learning difference due to the variation in the structure and function of the brain. It is a specific learning difficulty affecting a person’s ability to deal with text and numbers.

It is characterised by an inability to recognise letters and combination of them, problems in reading, writing, speaking and listening, despite adequate teaching, home environment, motivation, intelligence and senses (vision, hearing and touch).

Hence, the main aims and objectives are to advance the education and general welfare of children and others who are affected by dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.

It also wants to promote a general awareness and an understanding of the problems that include the needs of children and others with specific learning disabilities among parents, teachers and the general public.-DayakDaily