SINGAPORE – She’s always been interested in music, so when the opportunity presented herself to learn the drums, 18-year-old Rachel Tan jumped at the chance.

However, while most students in the Metta School percussion group, a special education institution, took a week to develop some proficiency, Rachel took almost three weeks to master the skill. spent months.

“Learning to play the drums was hard at first, but I didn’t give up.

“I always aim to practice every day and ask my instructors for help. I want to show people with disabilities like me what they can do. said Rachel. She is a member of a percussion group.

Born with an autism spectrum disorder (a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and socialize), Metta School’s sophomore is also a student leader.

The school caters to students aged 7 to 21 with mild intellectual disabilities and autism.

For her perseverance, she was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Exemplary Student Award on Monday (29 August) at a ceremony at the National University of Singapore.

Rachel was one of 28 students to receive this award.

Rachel said, “I hope this victory will serve as a reminder for others like me to persevere no matter how difficult it may seem.

According to the Ministry of Education, a total of 206 special awards were given to 195 students from 104 educational institutions with personal donations from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and First Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

The award recognizes students’ diverse achievements in both academic and non-academic fields, including their contributions to the community, the ministry added.

In a speech at the event, Dr. Maliki Osman, Second Minister of Education and Prime Minister’s Office, praised the achievements of Rachel and the other students.

“Rachel is diligent in her duties as student leader and class monitor.

“During her vocational training, Rachel went above and beyond what was expected of her and was praised by her supervisor,” said Dr Maliki.

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