03 June 2014

Singapore, 3 June 2014 – In today’s rigorous educational landscape, children are often scolded for being careless, inattentive and lazy. However, for over 20,000 children in Singapore, the real culprit is dyslexia, a learning difference which impacts reading, spelling and writing. That is why StarHub, as a firm believer in the importance of education, is sponsoring $160,500 for Dyslexia Association of Singapore’s (DAS) Maths Programme for dyslexic students from under-privileged families.

Dyslexia is a life-long condition, not a disease, and international research suggests that about 10% of the population or over half a million people in Singapore may have mild to severe forms of dyslexia. There is often a family history of dyslexia or reading differences. Dyslexia can be diagnosed through a psychological assessment and may be overcome with specialist teaching.

“StarHub is a socially responsible corporate citizen who regularly supports individuals and groups within the community through the StarHub Sparks Fund,” said Mr John Tan, Chief Information Officer, StarHub. “StarHub is happy to sponsor DAS’ Maths Programme, one of their Specialised Educational Services, to help children with dyslexia cope better with maths education. After all, the understanding and application of mathematics is so fundamental for survival in today’s world.

“By empowering the children to overcome this learning difficulty,” elaborated Mr Tan, “they can better realise their full potential, achieve their dreams and ambitions, and so grow up to make their own difference in society.”

Mr Tan was speaking at the StarHub-DAS Challenge held in the afternoon on 3 June 2014, where 30 StarHubbers—as StarHub employees are called—partnered 32 beneficiaries from DAS’ Maths Programme to complete various activities at stations around StarHub Green. The aim was to provide StarHubbers with greater insight into the challenges faced by children with dyslexia. He also presented the cheque for $160,500 for StarHub’s sponsorship of the Maths Programme to Dr Jimmy Daruwalla, President, Executive Committee, DAS.

“The DAS is very grateful to StarHub for their most generous support of our Maths programme,” said Dr Daruwalla. “International research suggests that 50% to 60% of dyslexic children will also have difficulties with Maths. This is compounded in Singapore where Maths is generally of a very high standard and a large proportion of test questions are represented in word problems. This means that other than difficulties with number, children with dyslexia have to first read and comprehend these word problems before they can tackle the Maths.

“StarHub's support will allow many dyslexic children from lower income families to access our Maths programme where they will learn strategies to overcome their difficulties with Maths.”

The children themselves are already benefiting from the Maths Programme.

“DAS has helped me to remember the steps to working out the Maths sums in a better way,” revealed student Chia Bing Ying. “The classes in the DAS are fun with activities and friendly teachers and friends.”