Gaokao collection dates back to life-changing moment

By Jin Dan | | 2017-06-09 15:13

<EM>Gaokao</EM> collection dates back to life-changing moment

Gan Fubao with the gaokao papers he has collected over 39 years at his home in Jiangxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]

A man in his 70s may never have thought his connection with the life-changing exam now makes him famous on social media in the age of internet.

But for Gan Fubao, his collection of all the test papers of the national college entrance exam, or gaokao, in past 39 years, is for his cherished memory, other than fame.

In 1966, Gan graduated from high school and received the heart-breaking news that college enrollment had been suspended. He reluctantly found a job as a factory worker in his hometown in Jiangxi province.

When the gaokao resumed in the winter of 1977, Gan was thrilled.

"I was excited like a volcanic eruption."

Aged in his 30s by then, he spent 2 yuan ($0.29) to attend a cram school and studied hard for about two months to prepare for the comeback gaokao. "Even I had to work in the daytime, I tried hard to find time for the preparation."

He still remembers they were asked to write about "an unforgettable moment" in the essay writing part of the exam. And for him, sitting the exam was that moment.

He was lucky. In January 1978, he was informed that he was one of 3 out of the 23 candidates from the factory to make it.

When he was studying in college, he developed the habit of collecting a gaokao test paper each year. "First it was for fun," recalled Gan, who later became addicted to collecting.

"Many people came to me to borrow some papers for reference after hearing that I had the whole collection. So I brought two or three copies each year in case I lost some," Gan said. "Although the papers are not expensive, they are invaluable to me."

"The resumption of gaokao marks the changes brought by the reforms and opening-up of China. All the progress made in science and technology, national defense, education and health care can't be separated from the talents development," Gan said.

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