Over the years, the NatSteel-SPD Education Programme Bursary Award has enabled students to focus on their education in mainstream schools by alleviating the financial burden of the families. One such recipient is 14-year-old Ahmad Refa’ie bin Mahmut. From a close-knitted family of six, Ahmad Refa’ie has weak legs and moves around on a wheelchair. When he was in Primary One, he experienced abnormal bleeding in his spinal cord. He had to undergo an emergency operation to avoid the risk of permanent paralysis but became unable to walk after that.
Ahmad Refa’ie began receiving the bursary after his mother, Mdm Anisah binte Nga Temin, came to know about SPD from the hospital and got in touch. A grateful Mdm Anisah said, “The bursary has come in handy the past years in helping with his academic expenses, as well as helping him in his dream of becoming an architect.”
15-year-old Toh Bo Sheng became a beneficiary of the bursary when it was extended to students with sensory disabilities in 2017.
Bo Sheng was first awarded the bursary last year when his teacher got to know about it and applied on his behalf. Bo Sheng struggled with his vision from an early age and was diagnosed in 2015 with high hyperopia, a condition that causes difficulty in focusing on far objects.
Currently in Secondary Two, Bo Sheng enjoys learning and does not complain about the extra time and effort he has to put into his studies. With the unwavering support of his teachers and tutors, he aspires to pay it forward by guiding the next generation of students who have disabilities when he grows up. He is a step closer to his dream with the bursary award, which helps to defray his school expenses so that he could fully embrace learning.
The NatSteel-SPD Education Programme Bursary Award not only helps children with special needs in alleviating the financial challenges of their families, but also allows them to realise their full potential, regardless of their financial starting point and special education needs.
Application for the NatSteel-SPD Education Bursary (JC and ITE category) is open till 30 April 2019. Visit www.spd.org.sg/spd-education-programme/ to find out more.