15-year-old Shafiqah had difficulty understanding simple instructions and was unable to do work independently when she was studying in a mainstream primary school. She was diagnosed with mild intellectual disability.
Six years ago, she joined Grace Orchard School, a special school supported by Community Chest. Through the specially-tailored syllabus, she has been able to learn at her own pace and acquire job-related skills through the school’s vocational education programme, including work experience at the school’s training cafe.
Various opportunities for leadership and character development through playing in the school band and participation in activities that contribute to society have also allowed her to grow to be a more confident individual. She is now able to better communicate her thoughts and needs and is able to do many things independently.
Shafiqah lives together with her parents and four other siblings. Her father is a contract cleaner and the sole breadwinner of the family. Three of her siblings are still schooling. The SPED Financial Assistance Scheme, supported by Community Chest and the Ministry of Education, provides full subsidies for her school fees and school uniform. This helps to relieve the financial burden on Shafiqah’s family and enables her to continue to benefit from special education, as she works towards her dream of becoming a basketball coach.