Finding Family in NYP

Siti Sakinah was understandably worried when she was about to embark on her Diploma in Business Management at the Nanyang Polytechnic. Her anxiety went beyond the regular freshman fears: Sakinah has total visual impairment.


Skip three years to the present, and Sakinah has maintained a strong GPA score, and made it twice to the Director’s List in NYP’s School of Business (SBM). She is in fact on her way to Graduation come May 2018.


Sakinah has built strong bonds with those around her: “I’m really blessed! My classmates and lecturers are simply amazing! They are very supportive. They made me feel very much at home.”


Her fears of not being accepted went unproven, as almost instantly, she found herself settling in comfortably with support from NYP’s Student Care and Guidance counsellors.


Her school mates have become her dearest friends: “They give me tremendous encouragement, and never made me feel different nor left out. They’re almost family!” Sakinah’s friends are always there when she needs to navigate unfamiliar parts of the campus. They also help her to get food in canteens, although our stallholders are most accommodating in giving her queue priority, she says with a smile.


Her lecturers also went the extra mile, making sure study materials were in the format compatible with the software that she uses. They also spent extra time with Sakinah when she required further explanations.


While her lecturers designed projects to accommodate her visual impairment, they also ensured that they stretched her capabilities. This built up her confidence, she says. Sakinah is weighing her options after Graduation 2018: find a job in human resource management; sign up for an Earn and Learn Programme where she can acquire an advanced or specialist diploma while enjoying on-the-job training; or become a secondary school resource teacher to give back to the community.


Aside from her academic pursuits, Sakinah’s keen ear means she will be taking her Grade 7 piano practical exam soon. So far, she has performed for iC2 PrepHouse, an organisation which helps the visually impaired, and at a Gala Lunch organised by the Guide Dog Association for the Blind. She’s also given a solo performance at a Purple Symphony awards event.  


When asked for words of wisdom, she says simply: “Just do what you got to do. There is no point blaming others nor feeling sorry for oneself. And always be grateful.”


Because We Can


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