A charity for Taiwanese school children received a major boost yesterday when sponsor Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, announced he would add NT$700 million (US$21 million) to its budget for the next two years.
Gou established the "Yungling Educational Foundation" (永齡教育慈善基金會) a year ago to provide after-school guidance for underprivileged students.
He said at a ceremony yesterday that the additional funds would be used to create an educational research center, sponsor teacher training, boost hourly wages for educators and purchase educational materials. The aid is expected to reach 200,000 students across the nation.
The ceremony was attended by Gou and his daughter Kuo Hsiao-ling (郭曉玲), who is president of the foundation. Also in attendance were principals from participating schools to sign the new agreement, and members of the Taipei County Teachers' Association.
Children from the program came up on stage to kiss Gou and present him with their improved test scores.
Gou said the money would come with strings attached. Schools would be evaluated after one year, and those which had not performed adequately would have their funds cut off.
Gou said he had set strict standards because of an experience he had while his children were in school.
After joining the parents' association at their school he discovered he was expected to donate NT$5,000 toward building a bronze statue of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He said he decided not to donate the money to avoid trouble between the pro-blue and pro-green members of his family, but joked that he made the right decision, as the statue would probably have ended up being removed.
Kuo Hsiao-ling said she had spent more than a year examining schools in Taitung County and Nantou County, and had discovered there was a large gap in quality between urban and rural schools. She said education was the only way to escape poverty and fulfil one's dreams.
Gou said he hoped that the media would pay as much attention to the foundation as it did to him.
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