25 Jul 2012
Kids and youth to benefit from programmes that detect learning disabilities at early age, help to overcome learning challenges and prepare them for the job market
Singapore, 25 July 2012 – NTUC Income, Singapore’s leading insurer, is expanding the impact of OrangeAid, its ongoing corporate social responsibility initiative, by adopting three new beneficiaries and supporting their four enablement programmes.
The move is part of NTUC Income’s holistic approach to help equalise opportunities for children and youth who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
NTUC Income has identified four enablement programmes which this year alone, have the potential to reach over 1,200 young people.
NTUC Income hopes to help deliver a positive and sustainable impact through these programmes:
- NorthLight School’s Enhanced ICT Programme, aimed at equipping students who have not qualified for secondary school with word-processing skills of a minimal level required in the workplace;
- Dyslexia Association of Singapore’s (DAS) Pre-School Bursary Programme, aimed at helping needy pre-school kids identify learning difficulties and sustaining special education help to overcome Dyslexia;
- South East Community Development Council (SECDC)’s My First Break, aimed at exposing youth to entrepreneurial skills in a three-phase programme that includes an overseas stint;
- SECDC’s Learning Family Programme, aimed at helping pre-school children who come from lower-income families and are lagging behind in their preparation for primary school. The programme engages both the children and their parents in learning and literacy.
The three new beneficiaries join three others already supported through OrangeAid – Assumption Pathway School, Singapore Children’s Society and Moral Home for the Disabled.
Under OrangeAid, NTUC Income will commit 1% of its annual insurance operating profits to these programmes.
NTUC Income Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh said increasingly, children and youth with learning challenges, physical disabilities and from neglected homes are falling through the cracks of the Singapore system. “We believe all young people deserve the opportunity to realise their full potential.
“NTUC Income’s OrangeAid programmes will help to make a meaningful impact at different stages of the lives of these children and youth. In doing this, NTUC Income hopes to equalise, empower and enable disadvantaged youth so that they create a better future for themselves,” he said.
DAS Chief Executive Officer Robin Moseley said: “The pre-school stage is critical in a child's learning journey. Empirical research has proven that early intervention allows children with learning difficulties to catch up with their peers. NTUC Income's timely support gives these children a stronger chance at academic achievement."
The Association has seen a 60% rise in its enrolment between 2009 and 2011.
NorthLight School Principal Martin Tan said: "NorthLight School and NTUC Income are working in collaboration to provide opportunities for students to acquire essential ICT skills. Students with the right attitude and aptitude are able to progress further and attain an ICT certification which gives them an advantage in the work environment.”
NTUC Income’s OrangeAid also involves customer contributions and staff volunteers, keen to make a difference to the lives of young people.
Appendix : Profile of New Programmes
Dyslexia Association of Singapore’s Pre-School Bursary Programme
The DAS Pre-School programme was officially launched in 2006 with the aim of supporting children at risk of literacy delay, a common developmental issue among pre-school children. As DAS celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, with the support from NTUC Income and in line with the Association's support of early intervention, the DAS Pre-School programme help these children, who are in K1 and K2, attain literacy levels that allow them to achieve in Primary One.
NorthLight School’s Enhanced ICT Programme
NorthLight School (NLS) is an initiative between the Institute of Technical Education and the Ministry of Education which aims to provide an engaging education for youth and prepare them for lifelong learning and employability. In view of the school’s vision to provide a nationally recognised Infocomm Technology certification to improve mobility and provide job opportunities to the students, the school adopted the WDA-ICDL certification system and selected the Word Processing’ module for a start to equip them for today’s workforce.
SECDC’s My First Break
Initiated in 2005, My First Break (MFB) engages around 20 youths between 15 and 19 years old from disadvantaged backgrounds of the South East (SE) district annually. The MFB is a three-phase entrepreneurial training programme, which includes an overseas trip.
Applicants are nominated by schools or community partners. They have to reside/study in the SE district, come from households with gross income below $3,000 and usually have not travelled beyond Malaysia and Indonesia for the recent three years. The programme consists of at least five days pre-trip activities on business and entrepreneurship skills; seven-day overseas trip; two weeks micro businesses execution and around three-day post mortem discussion.
The MFB Alumni (MFBA) was established in 2007 to continuously engage MFB alumni as well as to provide financial support for alumni activities and community projects.
SECDC’s Learning Family Programme
SECDC’s Learning Family Programme engages both parents and their pre-school children the Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme through learning and literacy development. It helps them prepare for primary school academically, socially, and emotionally so that they are able to keep up with their peers.