IF AT first you don't succeed, try, try again. That worked for a 61-year-old man who finally passed the taxi-driver course after some 80 attempts.
Former air-conditioning subcontractor Shi Zhaolin had failed the course 70 times in five months, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported on April 1. He was so determined to pass and become a cabby that he even took the test for one module more than 30 times last month.
Mr Shi had said that he repeatedly failed the course because of his poor grasp of English and difficulty in understanding the test questions.
After the report on Mr Shi was published in Wanbao and My Paper, many readers were moved by his tenacity. They praised him for not giving up on his dream and spurred him on.
A tutor even offered to give Mr Shi free English tuition classes. The National Trades Union Congress' Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) also sought to help him with career coaching and English classes.
After much hard work, Mr Shi finally passed the course on April 9, Wanbao reported yesterday. He scored 43 out of 50 marks - the passing grade is 40.
Speaking to Wanbao, he said that after the report on him was published, he tried the test again for about 10 more times. However, he was always just three to five points shy of the passing grade.
Fortunately for Mr Shi, a patient tuition teacher was there to help him.
"The teacher was very understanding. He would meet me at Bukit Panjang and spend an hour to help me brush up (my English)," said Mr Shi.
He added that the tutor analysed past questions with him and pointed out keywords, to help the aspiring cabby understand what the questions meant.
Thanking all those who helped him, Mr Shi said he would also be participating in e2i's courses to improve his English skills.
He will still need to wait about three weeks before he can get his taxi licence. In the meantime, Mr Shi is working hard to fix air-conditioners to save up enough for the $1,000 deposit to rent a cab.
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