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S’porean, 70, feels too old to study 298 pages for private hire driver license tests

He keeps retaking tests and keeps failing.

By Belmont Lay | February 13, 2018

A 70-year-old man has written a plight-filled letter to one of the national newspapers in Singapore to air his grievances.

His lamentation?

He cannot get his license to be a private hire car driver.

Why? Because he feels he is too old to be spending his time studying hundreds of pages just to take two tests and failing them repeatedly, as he is made to remember a lot of confusing information pertaining to a myriad of penalties for violating rules.

What kind of gripe?

The letter writer’s gripe to Today on Feb. 12, 2018 is fairly straight-forward:

1. He wants the authority to explain why the two tests have such high passing grades of

• 40 out of the 50 questions correct (80 percent) and

• 43 out of 50 questions correct (86 percent), respectively.

2. And to highlight the plight of drivers like him who just cannot pass the second test with the higher passing grade despite trying repeatedly because the standards are too high.

What is required

According to the letter, obtaining the Private Hire Car Driver Vocational Licence (PDVL) requires:

• attending a 10-hour course

• studying the contents of a textbook comprising 36 chapters and 298 pages, plus four booklets

• then taking a test comprising two papers

• which involves studying and remembering more than 100 offences and their respective penalties.

The elderly driver revealed that he has retaken the tests repeatedly, in particular, Paper 2, twice and failed.

He obtained 72 percent the first time and 74 percent the second time.

Failing repeatedly not unheard of

If you feel for this man’s plight, well, it is not the first time Singapore’s pressure cooker academic excellence system has been thrown into the spotlight.

In 2015, a 61-year-old man in Singapore finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a taxi driver after passing a required test on his 80th attempt.

The man finally scored a pass on April 9 that year after failing the test 79 times.

He scored 43 points, exceeding the minimum passing score of 40.

He had struggled with the written test because of his poor command of English.

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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