A man in New Taipei City has helped his son get accepted into National Taiwan University’s School of Medicine by using white-out to cover answers in used workbooks.
Chen Yung-lin (陳泳霖), 58, is a security guard and his wife is a cleaner at restaurant Din Tai Fung.
As a low-income household, they receive subsidies from the government, he said on Monday.
Although he could not afford to send his children to cram schools, Chen said that he would take home used workbooks in good condition that he found in the recycling room of an expensive property he used to work at.
It took patience to wait for the white-out to dry before moving on to the next page and the overpowering smell of the chemicals was nauseating, but it was worth it, Chen said.
A tube of white-out only costs NT$9, but provided one or two new workbooks, he said.
Over the years, he has sold more than 100 workbooks he altered with white-out, he added.
His son, Chen Wen-hsuan (陳文軒), was accepted into the medical school after graduating from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School this year, while his daughter, Chen Li-ping (陳莉平), is a student at National Chengchi University’s Department of Chinese Literature, Chen Yung-lin said.
All of his efforts are worth it when he sees his children working harder than other students, he said.
On holidays, his son even studies at public libraries to save electricity at home, he added.
Chen Yung-lin expressed gratitude for the help he and his family have received from the public.
His son has been receiving financial aid from the New Taipei City Education Department since he was in his second year of senior-high school, he said.
He would be willing to sell his home to send his children abroad, he added.
Chen Wen-hsuan and Chen Li-ping each sent a thank-you card to the department when they graduated from senior-high school, Deputy Commissioner Huang Ching-yi (黃靜怡) said.
Chen Li-ping thanked the department for alleviating her family’s financial burden and allowing her to spend more time on her hobbies, while Chen Wen-hsuan expressed his hope to contribute to society, Huang said.
This is the power of the department’s student aid fund, she said, adding that companies can donate to the fund through the city’s Good Day online charity platform.