His teacher learns Braille to teach him

His teacher learns Braille to teach him
Mr Eugene Tang prefers reading Braille to reading with a magnifying glass.
PHOTO: The New Paper

He cannot see things that are too far away or too small, and has to either read Braille or use a magnifying glass to read normal text. But Tampines Junior College (TPJC) student Eugene Tang, 19, overcame the odds and was consistently in the top 10 per cent of his cohort.

He collected his A-level results yesterday. He declined to share his result but hopes to pursue a double major in mathematics and economics in university.

Read also: 2016 A-level results: 92.6% get at least 3 passes, slight dip from 2015

Mr Tang has had Leber's congenital amaurosis, an eye disorder, since birth. He was diagnosed when he was six months old.

He gets double the time in examinations and has a scribe to help him draw diagrams.

Said Mr Tang: "For JC, time management was important and I had to be disciplined.

"Especially because the amount of time I needed to complete my work was more than other students, so I had to forgo my leisure time and even sleep less."

He studied H2 physics, chemistry, and H1 General Paper and economics in Braille, and H2 mathematics with a 10x magnifying glass.

Mr Tang said: "Studying is very strenuous and tiring.

"When I am using a magnifying glass to read, I get tired easily."

His teachers at TPJC obtained a Braille keyboard and an embossing machine and they sent notes to be printed in Braille.

They also found a talking graphic calculator and planned a special timetable with extra weekly consults for him.

His chemistry teacher, Mr James Wong, even learnt how to write Braille and used fabric paint to make notes for Mr Tang.

Mr Wong, 37, said: "Even though it was quite challenging, it was a privilege to teach Eugene.

"His determination actually inspired me to keep making notes for him."

Mr Tang said: "I am not a very expressive person, so I just kept thanking them.

"What I could do was work hard and do well, and that was the best gift I could give them."

This article was first published on Feb 25, 2017.
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