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Students' Good Work

Students’ Good Work published on Opinion Page of SCMP 
Take a look at your schoolmate's work and learn from them!
 
The links here are the good work in the past years:

Below are the good work for 2017-2018:

Young Post June 29, 2018
Matthew Ho 4B

SCMP June 26, 2018
Keith Li 5C

SCMP June 22, 2018
Vanessa Ip 3B

SCMP June 13, 2018
Alvis Lee 4D

Young Post June 11, 2018
Isaac Lo 3D

SCMP June 05, 2018
Kitty Yeung 2D

Young Post June 04, 2018
Teresa Ng 5B

Young Post June 01, 2018
Trisha Tobar 4B

SCMP June 01, 2018
Marcus Lee 2D

SCMP June 01, 2018
William Law 4C

Young Post May 28, 2018
Rita Chan 2A

SCMP May 26, 2018
Ivan Tsoi 4E

Hong Kong’s elderly shoplifters: a cry for help that reveals mental health gap
 
 
A study by the Post found that the number of cases of elderly people shoplifting in Hong Kong’s chain stores, such as supermarkets or personal care product retailers, has soared by more than 270 per cent since 2001. Today, nearly one in four shoplifters is aged 61 or above, compared to one in 16 about 17 years ago.
 
Usually, these are cases of only petty crime, because the aged shoplifter did not pick up valuable or luxury products. For instance, an elderly woman stole a bottle of mosquito repellent. This appears to show the elderly may be shoplifting not because they are poor or need that item.
 
Rather, investigations revealed that most of the offenders had symptoms of dementia or other mental issues. They may also just be feeling a lack of care and support.
 
Dementia affects memory and the mental abilities of the elderly, and leads to confused behaviour. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the common forms of dementia. Elderly people who steal might have forgotten about the deed or didn’t even realise they were doing it.
 
Society should therefore focus on the root of the problem, which is dementia among the elderly and gaps in mental health care. Project Hope, run jointly by the Hong Kong police and the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, seeks to address the problem, but this is not enough.
 
Since people have to wait very long to be treated for mental health problems in public hospitals, and elderly people living in public housing cannot afford to seek help in private hospitals, they often do not receive care and treatment from professional psychiatrists. Thus, the government should hire more psychiatrists for the elderly and reduce the waiting time for treatment in public hospitals.
 
Ensuring proper overall health care for our elderly is a duty for the community.
 
Ivan Tsoi, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP May 26, 2018
Lucky Wang 2D

James Corden should take cultural chauvinism off the menu of The Late Late Show
 
I’m writing in response to the article, “Why US TV host James Corden should stop dissing Asian foods as disgusting for cheap laughs ” (May 15).
 
I do watch James Corden sometimes; I love the “Carpool Karaoke” segment in which different singers are invited to sing with the host.
 
When it comes to the “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” segment, however, I agree with the writer on his point about cultural chauvinism. While it’s cultural differences that leads to this problem, I don’t quite understand why a mainstream television show would make jokes about other people’s food habits.
 
Americans love watching these night shows for their funny elements, but there’s a fine line between shock value and slander.
 
Even though sometimes we may find other cultures unpleasant, we need to respect them, especially when it comes to television shows watched by millions. As a popular television host, James Corden should show more responsibility and cultural sensitivity.
Wang Yam-yuk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP May 25, 2018
Ivan Chong 2D

Overloaded Hong Kong minibuses are not only illegal, they put lives at risk
 
I refer to your report on overloaded minibuses (“Three Hong Kong minibus drivers arrested after undercover police catch them with overloaded vehicles” May 16). I’ve never read of such a case before, it is really quite unheard of in Hong Kong.
 
No matter whether green or red, minibuses have a passenger limit – of 16 or 19. It is preposterous that a 19-seater packed 25 passengers into the vehicle. I realise the drivers just want to earn some extra money, but such shortcuts are not only illegal, they could cost lives if an accident were to happen. They are putting the safety of passengers, as well as their own, at risk.
 
The drivers used wooden boxes as seats, and even allowed some passengers to stand. I do not need to point out how important seat belts are in a moving vehicle, especially in minibuses, given the drivers’ penchant for sudden braking. If the bus were to stop abruptly, passengers without a seat belt on might be thrown forward and sustain serious injuries, or worse.
 
Not only should drivers comply with the rules, passengers themselves should take the lead and refuse to get on a minibus that’s full. Being late would be a small price to pay: safety comes first.
 
Ivan Chong, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post May 25, 2018
Cedar Ma 3D

SCMP May 25, 2018
Cedar Ma 3D

SCMP May 23, 2018
Wing Lau 3D

Young Post May 18, 2018
Kelvin Wang 4B

Young Post May 18, 2018
Yan Lam 4B

Young Post May 18, 2018
Christy Lam 4B

Young Post May 18, 2018
Wincy Lau 4B

Young Post May 18, 2018
Trisha Tobar 4B

SCMP May 18, 2018
Winnie Tse 3A

SCMP May 18, 2018
Andy Tong 3A

SCMP May 17, 2018
Benson Wong 5A

SCMP May 16, 2018
Daniel Hui 5A

SCMP May 15, 2018
Ray Hung 3A

SCMP May 15, 2018
Angel Li 3A

SCMP May 12, 2018
Simon Chung 5A

Liberal studies is indispensable, but does not have to be compulsory in the HKDSE
 
I refer to your editorial “Review of liberal studies is required” (May 9). Liberal studies has always been a controversial subject due to its curriculum and unclear marking scheme. Recently, the government has been considering making changes to the subject (“Arguments over liberal studies refuse to die down as educators call for controversial Hong Kong school subject to be made elective”, May 6).
 
I agree that the grading for liberal studies should be changed from a score of 1-5** to “pass or fail”. I also support having students study the subject at school but not take an examination for it at the Hong Kong Diploma for Secondary Education (DSE). However, I don’t think the subject should be eliminated altogether.
 
Liberal studies helps hone students’ critical thinking skills, logical faculties and their ability to comment on social issues from different perspectives. It encourages students to gain an in-depth understanding of current affairs and increases political participation. Therefore, liberal studies is a unique and indispensable subject.
 
However, the current marking scheme is confusing, it is unclear on what basis students score high marks and it is nearly impossible to revise for the exam in the subject. The result is that some unlucky students might get filtered out of the university admission process due to their poor performance in liberal studies.
 
In addition, making liberal studies a non-graded subject or doing away with the exam can also nurture talent for the future. As liberal studies is now a core subject in the DSE, students may choose not to study an elective because they are afraid they cannot handle too many subjects. If students chose more electives, they would have a more diverse development.
 
Simon Chung, Kwun Tong

SCMP May 11, 2018
Isaac Yue 4B

How Hong Kong’s Chinese and ethnic minority children can boost mutual language skills
 
 
It seems that ethnic minority residents of Hong Kong are not only being treated unfairly in the workplace, but also do not receive enough support to learn Chinese, which further limits their social mobility.
 
Also, since teachers lack resources and instructional materials, many kindergartens do little to promote multicultural interaction between children, and thus non-native speakers find it difficult to learn the Chinese language.
 
I believe the government should provide not only more funding for kindergartens to support Chinese lessons for children from the minority groups, but also expert instructions for teachers on helping non-Chinese-speakers learn the language.
 
Indeed, the people at large can also help ethnic minority children learn Chinese, to integrate better into society and improve their social mobility.
 
Chinese parents should not avoid getting their children admitted to kindergartens with minority pupils. Because this is one of the main reasons that kindergartens avoid accepting pupils from the ethnic minority groups. Such discrimination may only worsen the language gap.
 
In fact, Chinese children can learn English from ethnic minority students while trying to communicate with them. So it can be beneficial to both sides.
 
Isaac Yue, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post May 11, 2018
Maggie Ku 1D

SCMP May 11, 2018
Jerry Lam 5A

SCMP May 10, 2018
Chelsea Luo 5A

Young Post May 09, 2018
Vivien Wai 1C

Should all films be required to be more culturally diverse and include actors of different ethnic backgrounds? (9)
 
All films should include actors from different ethnic backgrounds because it would prove there is no discrimination in the world. Actors from different races would get to learn from each other’s cultures. People would see that others from different countries also have the same experiences they do. I also think more films would be popular around the world, and not just in one or two countries.
 
Vivien Wai Sin-ling, 13, King Ling College

Young Post May 09, 2018
Suki Chong 1C

Should all films be required to be more culturally diverse and include actors of different ethnic backgrounds? (6)
 
I think we should have actors of all ethnic backgrounds in films. Diversity in the workplace makes actors perform better because they’re acting against more. It would add something different to productions, as actors from different ethnic backgrounds would bring their own ways of completing a scene. Making the film industry as multicultural as possible is good, as it shows other people it doesn’t discriminate based on race. We’ve started to see this in Hollywood, where Chinese actors are being given more roles.
 
Chong Shu-ki, 12, King Ling College

Young Post May 09, 2018
Carol Heung 1C

Young Post May 09, 2018
Kevin Mo 1C

SCMP May 09, 2018
Laurent Li 5A

SCMP May 08, 2018
Anson Chan 5A

SCMP May 07, 2018
Theodore Tam 5E

SCMP May 05, 2018
Benson Wong 5A

On GM foods, evidence shows the jury is still out
 
I refer to the letters from Alan Crawley (“GM food is not proven to be unsafe, so stop the fearmongering”, April 17) and Simon Chung (“GM crops can help tackle world food shortage”, April 21).
 
The World Food Programme’s report on severe hunger in the world said about 124 million people last year faced crisis levels of food insecurity. Genetically modified food is often cited as one possible solution to this acute world food crisis. However, GM food and crops are not without their share of controversies.
 
One of the most controversial factors relates to health. Supporters of GM foods vouch for their safety, citing scientific consensus, including a study published in the Journal of Animal Science, which reviewed over 30 years of livestock feeding to show no comparable health differences between livestock fed genetically engineered (GE) feed and others fed conventional feed.
 
Similarly, institutions like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association and National Academies of Sciences have declared that there is no link between GE foods and bad health outcomes in humans.
 
However, opponents point to the statement signed by over 300 scientists and published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, which disputes that consensus view on genetically modified organisms (GMO). They point out that pro-GMO advocates often overstate both the support they received from organisations like the World Health Organisation and the results of studies claiming to prove GMO safety.
 
Apart from the health issue, there is the environmental ramification. GM crops are often sprayed with powerful pesticides and herbicides, and involve the use of chemical fertilisers, which can contaminate the environment by travelling through the air. They also leach into the ground and end up in freshwater sources.
 
Weeds can develop a resistance to some of these chemicals, and so it may become more difficult to control noxious plants. Pollen from GE crops can be carried by winds to neighbouring farms where seed stock may be then cross-contaminated with GM pollen. Over time, this can lead to a reduction in the biodiversity of crop strains.
 
Therefore, GM food has its pros and cons. The key is to make an informed choice.
 
Benson Wong Tat Hin, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP May 04, 2018
Andy Yeung 5E

MTR seat row shows Hong Kong is not living up to its own high standards on culture
 
I am writing in response to the recent column by Alex Lo, “The two faces of Hong Kong: incredible kindness and outright rudeness” (May 1).
 
The article highlighted a conflict over priority seating on the MTR and provoked much discussion among Hongkongers. The incident not only illustrated how Hongkongers lack empathy but also the racism in Hong Kong.
 
Hong Kong is an international city, home to people from around the world. It is important to learn how to respect other cultures while protecting Hong Kong’s unique charms.
 
Hongkongers tend to be nice to tourists to create a good global image but they are sometimes disrespectful towards some countries’ cultures, not to mention that of mainland China.
 
Many of the terms Hongkongers use to describe foreigners have negative connotations. It is hard to understand why Hongkongers must boost their egos by degrading others.
 
The conflict between mainlanders and Hongkongers is always a hot topic. Although not all mainlanders behave badly, Hongkongers tar them all with the same brush, portraying themselves as having better manners and ethics.
 
However, Hongkongers are far from perfect. Conflicts over priority seating, throwing rubbish everywhere and not respecting other cultures are evidence that Hongkongers do not live up to their own high standards. Hongkongers are quick to point out the mistakes of others but forget to reflect on themselves.
 
It is time for Hong Kong to aim for a more polite interaction with other cultures. An exchange of ideas and cultures would ensure a brighter future for the city.
 
Andy Yeung, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP May 04, 2018
Owen Mak 5E

Why Hong Kong must do all it can to protect ‘one country, two systems’
 
I am writing in response to the article, “Government is rewriting history of Hong Kong, one inconvenient phrase at a time” (May 1), which said the official protocol office has changed its website to erase any mention of a “handover of sovereignty”.
 
We in Hong Kong have used the phrase “handover of Hong Kong” for decades. The handover ceremony of July 1, 1997 was a memorable event in modern Hong Kong history, which signified that Britain no longer ruled us as a colony and returned the sovereignty of the city to China.
 
The changes in the website of the Protocol Division, and the proposed removal of the words “taking back” from school textbooks to describe the resumption of sovereignty by China in 1997, ignored Hong Kong’s history.
 
Most disappointing of all is the reaction of some Hong Kong people. They still believe in the “one country, two systems” principle and do not realise that the central government is interfering in Hong Kong politics and turning two systems into one.
 
I think everyone in Hong Kong has to protect Hong Kong’s history and its unique political structure. As an educator or student, we need to know and preserve the history of Hong Kong by studying and teaching it as part of the school curriculum. As a lawmaker, we need to protect “one country, two systems”. So does everyone else in Hong Kong.
 
The unique history and political structure of Hong Kong make Hong Kong special and enable the city to command a high international status. If we do not preserve and protect our home, then we do not deserve it.
 
Owen Mak, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP May 04, 2018
Melody Ho 5E

SCMP May 02, 2018
Cathy Yuen 5E

SCMP April 28, 2018
Anakin Tam 4D

Video gaming can make you smarter, but real survival is a question of balance
 
I recently watched a clip from the British talk show This Morning, about gaming addiction, titled: “I lost my 10-year-old son to Fortnite”.
 
In fact, gaming addiction is nothing new among today’s children. They can spend hours on end playing on their mobile phones, laptops and gaming consoles, totally oblivious to their surroundings. Some of them can become aggressive and moody if denied play time. So the bad side of gaming is easy to see – but there are some pros as well.
 
Playing video games can be therapeutic – and victory in battle, as in survival games like Fortnite: Battle Royale, can feel rewarding. For students, this time out from heavy school workloads can reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, a scientific study presented at an American Pain Society conference in 2010 found that 3D video gaming was effective in relieving chronic pain.
 
Aside from relieving mental stress, gaming can also increase brain capacity. Often seen as a mindless and dull activity, gaming can actually cause positive impacts on our brain. A 2013 study in The Journal of Neuroscience showed players of the Super Mario games experienced increases in grey matter and did better on memory tasks than the control group that did not play them.
 
Gaming can be a double-edged sword, but just focusing on the cons is unfair. At the end of the day, unrestrained gaming can cause health problems. Learning to find a balance and plan out your schedule is the key.
 
Anakin Tam, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post April 27, 2018
Anson Chow 3B

SCMP April 27, 2018
Wing Li 5A

SCMP April 26, 2018
Cindy Tsang 4D

SCMP April 26, 2018
Patrick Leung 4D

SCMP April 25, 2018
Jacky Sit 3B

Young Post April 23, 2018
Kelly Zheng 3C

SCMP April 21, 2018
Matthew Ho 4B

How Hong Kong can cycle its way to a greener future
 
I am writing in response to the article “If you’re riding a bike next week, Hong Kong police will be watching you” (March 30), and want to express my opinion about the cycling culture in the city.
 
Nowadays, more people around the world are taking part in cycling events, including in Hong Kong. However, cycling tracks can only be found in the New Territories and not so much in Kowloon or on Hong Kong Island.
 
Even where there are tracks in the New Territories, the quality may not be good. For example, many cycling tracks in Tseung Kwan O are not continuous and are interrupted by road junctions. Moreover, many are very narrow. It is very difficult for cyclists to ride smoothly without dismounting, and to improve their performance in the sport.
 
Further, the biggest cycling event and race of the year, the Hong Kong Cyclothon, is too easy for non-professionals who really play hard. The longest distance is only 50km. This is too short for serious cyclists and doesn’t offer enough of a challenge. This won’t encourage more serious amateurs to take part.
 
With fossil fuels facing supply and price volatility as major future risks, and with more economies seeking low-carbon alternatives, it is important to recognise that cycling is not just a sport, it is an alternative lifestyle and a cleaner mode of transport. It causes zero air pollution and improves health.
 
The Hong Kong government should encourage more people to ride bicycles to promote a green lifestyle. The most basic move would be to perfect the cycle track network, to offer convenience and ensure the safety of cyclists.
 
Matthew Ho, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP April 21, 2018
Simon Chung 5A

GM crops can help tackle world food shortage
 
I refer to the letter from Alan Crawley (“GM food is not proven to be unsafe, so stop the fearmongering” (April 17).
 
With the evolution of biotechnology, the genes of an organism can be easily modified. Genetically modified (GM) food production is a case of using biotechnology in our daily lives, where food comes from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA through genetic engineering.
 
The question is: should GM food production be encouraged? And the answer is a definitive yes.
 
GM food production is highly efficient, and GM crops produce better yields. Genetic features like pest resistance, increased nutrient content and productivity can be introduced into the DNA of GM crops, benefiting farmers as well as consumers.
 
For example, a GM tomato can be sweeter than the original variety and also have richer and more diverse nutritional value, such as increased amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre.
 
GM crops can increase harvest yields and even be cultured to thrive in some areas with harsh environmental factors. Genetic engineering can protect crops from disease, ensuring better survival and assured food production.
 
Food shortages and overuse of pesticide in less-developed parts of the world can therefore be eased. So GM food production should be encouraged and publicised.
 
Simon Chung, Kwun Tong

SCMP April 20, 2018
Kary Kwok 4B

Hong Kong’s playgrounds should challenge children and help them grow
 
I am writing in response to the article, “Are Hong Kong’s super safe and boring playgrounds failing our children?” (April 7).
 
Some people are not happy with our playgrounds because they find them boring and say that the government has focused on safety to the point where some children don’t even want to play there. Their argument is that public playgrounds in Hong Kong barely fulfil leisure needs and fail to serve as a tool for children to learn through play.
 
I support their viewpoint. It is important for children to have a challenging environment, as it helps their development. What use is a playground if children do not have fun there? I suggest the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department borrow ideas from original and entertaining designs used elsewhere.
 
Through adventure and rough-and-tumble play, children learn how to cooperate with others, solve problems and stay tough in adversity. Parents should not keep their children insulated from problems, as they must learn to tackle them. Playgrounds must be exciting places that challenge children, so they look forward to going there.
 
Kary Kwok, Po Lam

SCMP April 20, 2018
Jason Luk 5A

Why Hong Kong students will not gain from a cap on study hours
 
Hong Kong students are always under pressure to achieve good school results, and so spend a lot of time studying. Some stay up late into the night to revise and do homework. This badly affects students’ health, both physical and mental. Therefore, there have been calls for a cap on study hours, to reduce the stress on students. However, such a limit might not really help.
 
First, standard study hours might leave most students with too little time to prepare for exams, which would add to their stress.
 
Second, if they end up with more free time, they may have to deal with pressure from other activities. With less time being spent on studies, parents may ask their children to attend more tutorial classes, or some hobby activities. In these classes, they will spend more time on schoolwork, or practise their hobby. That will not reduce their workload.
 
Therefore, I believe reduced study time may have a negative impact on students. Less time for revision will simply backfire, brining extra worry over preparation for exams. Capping study hours is not the answer to student stress.
 
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP April 20, 2018
Daniel Hui 5A

How part-time jobs can give Hong Kong students a head start in life
 
In recent years, many secondary school students have been taking up part-time or summer jobs in restaurants or small retail shops, and I think this is a good trend.
 
Getting an early taste of what it takes to work for a living is good training for youngsters. Earning a living is hard, especially in an expensive city like Hong Kong, and realising this may help them learn to value their earnings more, and perhaps make them less wasteful.
 
Going to work can also sharpen the social skills of the future workforce. In a workplace, teenagers must communicate with their colleagues or attend to customers, some of whom may be difficult. Learning to interact with strangers would help students improve their communication skills and their confidence in facing unknown situations.
 
However, what is important is that they have enough time to do their homework and revision, or even to rest. They can go to work in their spare time.
 
Daniel Hui, Hang Hau

Young Post April 20, 2018
Annie Pang 1D

SCMP April 19, 2018
Yvette Ma 1D

SCMP April 19, 2018
Thomas Wong 5A

SCMP April 19, 2018
Samuel Cheng 5A

SCMP April 18, 2018
Laurent Li 5A

SCMP April 17, 2018
Chelsea Luo 5A

SCMP April 16, 2018
Wing Li 5A

SCMP April 14, 2018
Peter Tam 5A

Hong Kong schools need to focus on the English language, not English exam drills
 
I am writing to voice my thoughts on the English language subject in Hong Kong’s educational system. As many people can tell, local schools are not teaching the English language, but English exam skills.
 
In an effort to ensure that pupils get a good grade in the public examination, schools have become exam-oriented and drill students with tonnes of worksheets and past exam papers. Is this the appropriate way to learn a foreign language?
 
When learning any other foreign language, such as Korean, many youngsters tend to immerse themselves in it. They are attracted to the language because something about it, maybe Korean TV dramas, appeals to them. They are interested in it, so they endeavour to learn it.
 
Can drilling arouse children’s interest in English? To teach English, the first step should be cultivating pupil’s interest. Reading English books on subjects they are fond of could help them fall into the world of English.
 
Remember, the purpose of reading is not to enrich your vocabulary or reinforce sentence structures. The aim is to enjoy reading. The more books you read, the more your English will improve, without much effort.
 
Local pupils have squandered enough time on language drills. It is time for change. Children should be taught the English language, not English exam skills.
 
Peter Tam, Yau Yue Wan

SCMP April 14, 2018
Chelsea Luo 5A

When will Hong Kong teach that life is not all about money and marks?
 
Hong Kong has become a utilitarian city. People who do not work only for their own benefit are in the minority.
 
Our education system is a major cause of this. At school, we are routinely fed the idea that the more marks you get, the better you are. Teenagers attend tutorial centres which look for methods to help them clear exams without properly understanding the topics they are learning. The overwhelming focus is on marks, instead of knowledge.
 
The social environment is another cause for the city’s utilitarian ethos. With economic development, the concept of profit maximisation has grown. This makes people care about money, but not moral values. The lack of diversity in industries means youngsters cannot fulfil their dreams, so they only want to survive somehow.
 
The education system should be improved so Hongkongers can focus on moral values and their dreams, instead of just money.
 
Chelsea Luo, Lohas Park

SCMP April 13, 2018
Billy Sit 5A

Benny Tai breached the Basic Law with Hong Kong independence speech, and should lose HKU post
 
Benny Tai Yiu-tung, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, recently floated the idea of Hong Kong independence at a seminar in Taipei, organised by the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps.
 
As a legal scholar, he should know all about the Basic Law, our mini-constitution. So how come he does not seem to know about Article 1 of the Basic Law, which states: “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China”? As a teacher in the faculty of law, it is feared he may be teaching a wrong concept to students.
 
And this has no relation to the freedom of speech. As a citizen of Hong Kong, an individual can enjoy certain freedoms, but they also have to fulfil their responsibilities.
 
Professor Tai has breached the Basic Law because he is promoting the independence of Hong Kong, so he cannot enjoy the freedom of speech in this case.
 
I think Mr Tai should not be allowed to teach at HKU any more.
 
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP April 13, 2018
Wilson Fu 1B

SCMP April 13, 2018
Kenny Tong 5A

SCMP April 12, 2018
Walter Chong 5B

How parents in China asking for more homework are victims of a high-pressure system
 
I refer to the article on Chinese parents calling for more schoolwork (“Why China’s tiger mums and dads are resisting ‘less homework’ policy”, March 24).
 
I believe most of these parents are caught in a quandary. They want to provide a happy childhood, but must also ensure that their children learn the skills to find a good job later. They think less homework and after-school activities will see their children fall behind.
 
However, schooling should be about quality, not quantity. Having no time to relax or have fun is bad for children’s health, as it is for their minds.
 
It is the tests-based education system that needs to change, where results in high-pressure public exams can make or break careers, but can hardly be a true gauge of learning.
 
Walter Chong, Hang Hau

SCMP April 12, 2018
Carly Fung 5A

SCMP April 12, 2018
Jerry Lam 5A

SCMP April 11, 2018
Jason Ng 4E

SCMP April 11, 2018
Sara Wong 5A

SCMP April 09, 2018
Christy Lam 4B

SCMP April 07, 2018
Louis Fung 5B

To stop school bullies, teachers and classmates must stand guard
 
I am writing in response to the letter from Eunice Li (“Bullying at school leaves lasting scars”, April 1).
 
I agree that bullying scars victims both physically and psychologically. Bullying may involve physically hitting the victim, negatively framing the victim or making hurtful comments and online trolling.
 
Bullying problems at school have existed for a long time, and it is sad that we still hear about it being so common.
 
In my opinion, as bullying mainly takes place at school, efforts should be made by school authorities to protect pupils. Teachers should keep an eye on pupils to protect potential victims. Some children may act as model pupils during class and pretend that they would not bully anyone, but they might do so after school hours.
 
Besides, fellow pupils also have the responsibility of helping those being bullied.
 
Some pupils know that their classmates are victims but, while they do not participate in the bullying, they do not report it to the teachers either, as they think that it is none of their business. If students notice any bullying at school, they must report it to the teachers and help to stop the bullies.
 
Louis Fung, Sau Mau Ping

SCMP April 05, 2018
Oscar Au Yeung 5B

Housing for Hong Kong’s poor must come first, wealthy sports clubs members have other options
 
I am writing in response to your editorial on recreational leases for private sports clubs (“It’s time to end those privileges enjoyed by elite Hong Kong sports clubs”, March 31).
 
As all of us in Hong Kong know, the housing problem is very serious. Every available space in Hong Kong will be used to build homes, and reclamation resorted to when suitable land falls short.
 
However, private sports clubs in Hong Kong have so much space for entertainment and sports activities that not many among the public can enjoy.
 
As the article mentioned, the authorities have not reacted to the issue of club leases for years, raised from time to time by the Audit Commission as needing review.
 
It has been six years since the government made the search for housing land a priority, and it’s only now that the 300 or so hectares controlled by these private clubs are being scrutinised.
 
I agree that just cherry-picking pockets of land is not the solution, we need a comprehensive, overall strategy, in which reclamation and building on New Territories brownfield sites should get priority.
 
However, the currently available space in Hong Kong is really not enough to satisfy the housing needs of all. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, basic needs and stability are more important than the higher-level needs.
 
So, the government should always care about the poor, the wealthy can use their money wherever they want.
 
Oscar Au Yeung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 30, 2018
Jojo Wong 3C

Easter is a good time to renew green pledge
 
Easter weekend is here, and once again it is time to choose environmentally friendly ways to celebrate the occasion.
 
To wrap presents for the Easter egg hunt, we could try to use old magazines or recycle gift wrap left over from Christmas or Lunar New Year. Giving out Easter candy in reusable bags would help to reduce the use of plastic.
 
Also, we should choose eggs with less packaging, so that less waste is created. Small changes can make a big difference.
 
Jojo Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 24, 2018
Jason Ng 4E

Foreigner limit during NPC was a lot like racism
 
I am writing in response to Philip J. Cunningham’s article, commenting on Beijing police restricting the entry of foreigners in university district pizza bars and cafes during the annual session of the National People’s Congress (“Beijing’s ban on gatherings of foreigners in restaurants raises eyebrows”, March 19)
 
As a Chinese person in Hong Kong, I feel ashamed and angry about this policy carried out by the central government.
 
Business owners in the busy Wudaokou district were asked to comply or face immediate closure. One notice at a pizzeria said: “Until March 22, every Friday night and Saturday, as requested by local authorities, we can only allow a maximum of 10 foreigners in our store at a time.”
 
Wudaokou is near the Tsinghua and Peking universities, and so has a large number of international students, as well as a vibrant nightlife that draws foreigners.
 
Ostensibly, the mini crackdown aimed to ramp up security in the run-up to the “two sessions”. But why focus on foreigners in a restaurant? I don’t think heightened security measures for the political gathering can be presented as an excuse.
 
Moreover, how can we determine whether a customer is a foreigner or not? By checking their passports? Going by the colour of their skin? This sounds a lot like racism.
 
When most other countries welcome tourists from around the world, without caring about where they are from and what race they are, should we really be treating foreigners this way, taking away their freedom to dine or entertain where they want?
 
Jason Ng, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 22, 2018
Dennis Fan 5A

Lowering the bar is just an easy way out
 
I am writing in response to your article on the Hong Kong civil service lowering language requirements in some job categories, to give ethnic minority applicants a better chance of qualifying.
 
With Chinese language requirements for another 22 types of government jobs lowered, this brings to 53 the number of categories of civil service positions now more accessible to non-Chinese permanent residents. The eased requirements apply to jobs like that of an analyst, programmer or treasury accountant, or those involving technical or operational duties, such as a lab attendant.
 
However, while this will definitely open up more doors, it does not address the problem of the language barrier, the main reason ethnic minorities are overlooked for many jobs, whether in the public or the private sector.
 
Many of them may actually speak Cantonese fluently, but cannot read or write traditional characters, which affects their ability to go to university and get a better job.
 
Greater emphasis on teaching Cantonese as a second language to the city’s non-Chinese-speaking population from an early stage is needed to solve this problem.
 
Continuing with the simplified curriculum for ethnic minorities in local schools will not help them to ever be able to match the standards of their Chinese peers.
 
Dennis Fan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 22, 2018
Icy Po 2A

SCMP March 22, 2018
Jacky Chan 5C

SCMP March 21, 2018
Jojo Wong 3C

SCMP March 20, 2018
Jason Ng 4E

Young Post March 19, 2018
Issac Lo 3D

SCMP March 19, 2018
Jacky Sze 4E

SCMP March 16, 2018
Kingsley Kwong 2A

Pro-democracy camp has its work cut out
 
The defeat of the pro-democracy candidate in last Sunday’s Legislative Council by-election for the Kowloon West constituency came as a shock to many.
 
Disqualified legislator Edward Yiu Chung-yim lost by about 2,400 votes – 1 per cent of the total votes in the area – to Vincent Cheng Wing-shun, who is of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
 
Yiu failed to win even 50 per cent of the votes, when pan-democrats had always been assured of 60 per cent support in geographical constituencies in previous elections.
 
Analysts have blamed the humiliating loss on the lack of traditional-style campaigning and voter apathy.
 
The worry is that this skews the balance of power in Legco.
 
Voting on important bills and motions, such as the controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou and the Article 23 national security law – which could impinge upon Hong Kong freedoms – will see opposition lawmakers in a minority.
 
Interestingly, this happened on the same day that Beijing changed the constitution to allow President Xi Jinping to remain president forever.
 
The pro-democracy camp must ensure that they win the two remaining Legco seats lost to disqualification, so that they have a voice in lawmaking in the city.
 
Kingsley Kwong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 14, 2018
Toby Leung 3B

Hope lost for true republic of the people
 
I am writing in response to your report on the constitutional amendment in China (“Xi Jinping cleared to stay on as China’s president with just two dissenters among 2,964 votes”, March 11).
 
Delegates to the National People’s Congress on Sunday gave near-unanimous approval to sweeping changes to the constitution, formally scrapping a two-term limit on presidents and vice-presidents. This would enable Xi Jinping to remain as president, if he so wished, even after his two terms end in 2023.
 
Before the NPC vote, US President Donald Trump had praised China’s move to end presidential term limits, although it has drawn much criticism.
 
I believe the amendment paves the way for Xi to be China’s “president for life”.
 
Although China is a stronger nation under Xi’s rule, this is not a good thing to happen to a republic – as it does not imply a real republic of the people. It indicates a hopeless situation to me and many other Chinese citizens.
 
Leung Chun Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 14, 2018
Zoe Chung 5A

SCMP March 12, 2018
Christy Lam 4B

SCMP March 12, 2018
Mavis Yau 3D

SCMP March 12, 2018
Teresa Ng 5B

SCMP March 10, 2018
Herice Yip 3B

Save space for friends, not the ‘frenemy’
 
The letter from Donald Chan (“Toxic or benign, friends will always be friends”, March 6), reminded me of the term, “frenemy”, someone who is a friend on the surface but secretly does not like you. You may know that but do not show your feelings and continue to be friends.
 
However, frenemy tends to be used to describe female friendships. In TV dramas, women or girls seem to hide malicious intent and jealousy. But men and boys can also be “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. If two friends love the same girl, for example, they will surely secretly dislike each other.
 
I suggest stop being a frenemy. If you dislike someone, do not socialise with them any more. And if you suspect you have a frenemy, be cautious and perhaps consider why they don’t like you.
 
Herice Yip, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 10, 2018
Jason Luk 5A

Hong Kong should follow Dutch on organ donation
 
I refer to the new law passed in the Netherlands to register all adults in the country as organ donors unless they specifically decline (“Dutch law to make everyone organ donors unless they opt out”, February 14).
 
I think Hong Kong should also move from an opt-in system for organ donation to an opt-out one, which is also followed in Belgium, Austria and Spain, for instance.
 
Firstly, an opt-out system is more effective in increasing the supply of transplantable organs. That is because everyone is an organ donor by default.
 
In general, countries with an opt-out system have higher donation rates than those where potential donors are required to sign up to donate.
 
Secondly, opt-out is more efficient in increasing the donation rate. Some people may be supportive of donation in principle but may put off registering as donors for various reasons.
 
The opt-out system turns them into donors immediately, and can ¬quickly increase the supply of transplantable organs.
 
The opt-out system is also less costly.
 
The government of Hong Kong wants to encourage people to register as organ donors. This means the government needs to spend on the promotion of donation and also on administrative costs for the registration of potential donors under the opt-in system. These costs can be avoided by switching to opt-out, as everyone is a donor by default unless they refuse to be.
 
Lastly, opt-out respects the choice of donors. Under our current system, the final decision on postmortem donation often rests with the next of kin who may have differing opinions. If the family members can’t agree, they may raise an objection, so the chance to donate would be lost.
 
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 09, 2018
Carly Fung 5A

Sports funding boost deserves to be cheered
 
Despite the debate over how Hong Kong’s massive surplus has been distributed in the 2018-19 budget, I congratulate Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po for giving priority to the city’s often-neglected sports sector, by pledging another HK$5 billion for the government’s Elite Athletes Development Fund.
 
The fund was set up in 2011 and aims to provide financial backing for the Sports Institute, which supports 19 tier-A sports at its Fo Tan centre. The latest injection brings the total funding capital to HK$12.5 billion.
 
This is good news for athletes and sports teams, especially for part-time athletes who struggle to find funding. Not only can the fund ensure more subsidies for players, it can also inspire more teenagers to ¬become athletes.
 
This latest step, after former chief executive Leung Chun-ying set up the office of the sports commissioner in 2016, and his successor Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor urged public schools to allow the public access to their sports facilities outside hours, is part of a welcome trend, especially after the heartbreak of returning empty-handed from the Rio Olympics.
 
Carly Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 09, 2018
Marcus Lee 2D

SCMP March 07, 2018
Donald Chan 3D

SCMP March 07, 2018
Walter Chong 5B

SCMP March 07, 2018
Henry Hui 4E

SCMP March 06, 2018
Clarins Ng 5B

Young Post March 05, 2018
Kelly Wong 2B

SCMP March 05, 2018
Vincent Lin 3D

SCMP March 05, 2018
Yuki Pang 5B

SCMP March 05, 2018
Simon Chung 5A

SCMP March 03, 2018
Owen Mak 5E

Happier bus drivers must be top priority
 
I refer to the stand-off between KMB and some of its drivers (“KMB strike leader refuses to meet company management”, February 26).
 
Yip Wai-lam, head of the new Full-time KMB Driver Alliance, led a brief strike on February 24, opposing KMB’s pay restructuring exercise. She said KMB did not care about driver welfare.
 
However, I do think KMB cares about its drivers, as it desperately needs full-timers, after the tragic bus crash in Tai Po just before Lunar New Year.
 
KMB since then has stopped hiring part-timers and assigning shifts to existing ones. This means the bus company may not have sufficient full-time drivers to maintain normal operations, so it is important for the company to ensure that the remaining drivers are happy in their jobs.
 
After two deadly accidents within months, the previous one in Sham Shui Po in September in which three people lost their lives, I believe the company will do all it can to ¬ensure driver morale and public convenience, not to mention safety. However, I feel it is resorting to short-term measures.
 
Long-running grievances like overtime hours and complaints related to pay must be settled to the satisfaction of those who will be behind the wheel.
 
Owen Mak, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 03, 2018
Panda Ng 3D

Reach out to ‘phubbers’ to break the habit
 
As social media takes over more of our lives, “phubbing”, or snubbing others while on a mobile device, has become common.
 
It’s easy to imagine that when you go to a restaurant with your family, everyone is looking at their smartphones until the food arrives, and even then everyone is taking photos of it.
 
Yes, cartoon illustrations in textbooks might be seen as a lighthearted way to highlight the harm caused by the overuse of smart devices, but the sad reality is that this is undermining basic, human interaction.
 
I think phubbing while engrossed in your smartphone and being lost in the virtual world, with no consciousness of your surroundings, is akin to an addiction. I don’t think warnings or advice would work for such people, because somehow they are addicted to the screen.
 
In my view, finding a topic to discuss with these addicts is a simple and effective way to stop them phubbing. If the subject interests them, maybe they would lift their eyes from the screen to face a fellow human being.
 
Some studies have found that people who are addicted to gadgets simply have nothing else to do and may only snack, play electronic games or watch videos. This is a new concept of addiction: disconnection from one’s surroundings for the sake of gadgets.
 
So, if people can build up human connections again, they can avoid the trap of e-addiction.
 
Playing a sport, chatting with friends, there are lots of ways to build up contact with others, or even yourself. When was the last time you looked at the sky, or just went for a leisurely stroll?
 
Ng Wai Nam, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP March 02, 2018
Cindy Wong 5A

Neighbours can make a big difference
 
I was deeply saddened to read about a woman and her son who were found dead in a car (“Hong Kong woman and son, 9, found dead in murder-suicide after husband kills himself”, February 27).
 
Police found suicide notes that described Au Wai-man’s devastation at losing her husband in January, also to suicide. The notes left at home for family and friends said how much she missed him and had suicidal thoughts.
 
The risk of self-harm for those who have lost family members or close relatives or friends through suicide is said to be three times higher than for others.
 
As the executive director of Suicide Prevention Services said, dealing with immense grief and complex emotions can render people very vulnerable. And professional help is just as important as family support.
 
I believe that not only relatives and friends, but neighbours, too, can help a family get through this difficult time. Neighbours can act as the first point of contact for those struggling with depression and even suicidal thoughts after the death of a loved one.
 
Living so close to the sufferer, they can take immediate action and lend them a helping hand if needed. That is what neighbours are for.
 
Some may think that one should not meddle in other people’s lives, or be afraid of being told that it’s none of their business. But you never know how much a small act of empathy can mean to a person who feels all is lost. A small gesture of kindness or caring could well give them the strength to carry on.
 
Cindy Wong, Lam Tin

Young Post March 02, 2018
Victor Kwok 3A

SCMP March 01, 2018
Jeffrey Li 5E

SCMP March 01, 2018
Judy Fung 3A

SCMP March 01, 2018
Theodore Tam 5E

SCMP February 28, 2018
Janson Luk 5A

SCMP February 27, 2018
Sandy Chan 5B

Hong Kong needs foreign doctors, for the sake of its own
 
I am writing in response to the article on the winter flu surge in Hong Kong (“A&E units see rise in number of severe patients as winter flu season continues”, February 23).
 
Firstly, the government should discuss ways to reduce overcrowding in public hospitals. Last year’s decision to raise fees seem to have had little effect.
 
Charges for accident and emergency (A&E) services were revised from HK$100 to HK$180, while those at general outpatient clinics went up marginally, from HK$45 to HK$50, “to encourage diversion of less urgent A&E patients”.
 
But the number of patients coming to A&E has not been reduced. The stresses of medical personnel have not been reduced either.
 
The government could think about providing more subsidies to grass-root citizens for using private hospital services. Many such patients are unable to afford private care and therefore have to wait for eight to 10 hours at a public hospital. The scenes are very different in waiting rooms for the public and private sectors.
 
Moreover, the government has to seriously consider hiring qualified medical personnel from overseas. If they meet local standards and clear the relevant tests, they can help relieve Hong Kong’s shortage of hospital workers, thus benefiting both patients and the medical fraternity.
 
Sandy Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 27, 2018
Melody Ho 5E

Will Hong Kong heed global warning signs on water?
 
I read with interest your article on the High Island Reservoir (“How Hong Kong built reservoir to double its water storage”, February 2).
 
Faced with a rising population and demand for water, the Hong Kong government planned to build a reservoir to double its water storage in 1969, and the High Island Reservoir was opened in 1978.
 
Today, most of us in Hong Kong take a plentiful supply of clean water for granted; however, the signs of a shortage are already beginning to show.
 
Indisputably, the growing population is a factor leading to a rising demand for water. But the most significant reason for this increasing demand is that our lifestyles have changed drastically over the past few decades. As technology advances, people have gained easy access to clean water. As a result, water is often wasted.
 
However, many people in the world are still living without access to clean water. In some of the less developed countries, people are not able to get clean, drinkable water from the taps like we do. In Afghanistan, for instance, only about 40 per cent have access to clean drinking water. Consuming unclean water can cause many types of diarrhoeal diseases, including cholera.
 
Even Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city and a top international tourist draw, may turn off the taps by mid-April, and introduce rationing until the rains come.
 
International organisations are seeking ways to solve these problems. As a member of the global community, we should also take action to stop these problems from getting worse. It is hoped that everyone will remember that water is a valuable resource and access to it is a privilege.
 
Melody Ho, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post February 26, 2018
Sisca Chan 3A

SCMP February 26, 2018
Alice Ma 5E

SCMP February 26, 2018
William Wan 5B

SCMP February 24, 2018
Kathy Li 2D

Bookseller’s tale shows internet too dominant
 
I refer to your article on how the owner of a second-hand bookshop in Chengdu, Fu Tianbin, is finding it difficult to draw young Chinese back to reading and to help them stay away from online entertainment (“Bookseller on mission to get people reading again”, February 5).
 
In the past, knowledge came from books, but now we just need to search on the internet. Along with daily changes in technology comes a lot of convenience, and it is easy to forget the old study method of just reading books.
 
Although science and technological advances bring many positives, they can also make many young people rely excessively on the internet.
 
Some people think that books are obsolete and that all we need to know can be found in a quick online search.
 
People seem to have forgotten that books are fun and entertaining. A good book can absorb you for hours, and you won’t realise time has passed so quickly.
 
Kathy Li, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 23, 2018
Thomas Wong 5A

Axing part-time drivers is not a sound solution
 
I refer to part-time drivers being taken off the roads after the deadly bus crash in Tai Po (“KMB temporarily grounds 209 part-time drivers, to give passengers ‘peace of mind’”, February 15).
 
Nineteen people died and 65 others were wounded in the accident on February 10, and the part-time driver at the wheel was charged with dangerous driving causing death. Amid the grief, the crash also led the public to voice concerns over the skills and mental fortitude of part-time drivers.
 
KMB responded by temporarily halting the hiring of part-time drivers and no longer assigning work to its 209 existing ones.
 
These drivers lost their jobs overnight, and I feel KMB’s action in this regard was misguided. It may ease public worries for now, but will not address deeper issues.
 
Firstly, it may not be about whether drivers work full time or part time. The problem may be one of attitude. Even though the driver in this case was a part-time employee, not all drivers may react to stress in the same way.
 
To ground them all is discriminatory, as it is unfair to skilled and responsible part-timers.
 
Second, with the part-time drivers gone, their full-time colleagues are likely to face heavier workloads. They may need to work longer and more strenuous shifts. This will cause stress and physical fatigue, and may affect the drivers’ state of mind in the long term. It will also affect staff morale and provoke anger towards the company.
 
Thomas Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 22, 2018
Seki Chan 5E

Hong Kong police deserve our respect
 
I am writing in response to Niall Fraser’s article (“Hong Kong Police Force must take criticism on the chin and get on with the job”, February 20).
 
It sometimes seems that the police force in our city is always blamed and criticised. Citizens often tend to have a negative image of police, especially during protests. The situation has worsened with officers being convicted of -assaulting a protester during the 2014 Occupy Central.
 
However, compared with many other cities, our police force does an excellent job. While protesters in other cities may well be beaten, or even shot, in Hong Kong the worst they may face is pepper spray. And officers found to have violated the rights of the public are brought to justice.
 
Spare a thought for the hard lives our policemen and women lead. Besides their daily duties, our officers must maintain order and keep the city running smoothly during protests, often in the face of provocation.
 
The force gives us Hongkongers a sense of safety. We cannot deny that our officers are dedicated and deserve to be respected.
 
Seki Chan, Tiu Keng Wan

SCMP February 22, 2018
Billy Sit 5A

Budget cash handouts not a smart move
 
The new Hong Kong budget will be presented next week and, given the bumper surplus expected, lawmakers and social activists alike are demanding sweeteners. But I do not agree, for two reasons.
 
Firstly, the city needs to set aside a certain amount of money as reserve, so that it can be used to deal with any emergency.
 
Second, Hong Kong is a capitalist society. People work hard in order to make a living. Too many sweeteners will only bring on welfarism. Too much welfare will worsen ¬inflation, and do nothing to help reduce the disparity between the poor and the rich.
 
Besides, perhaps our lawmakers are more concerned with how many votes they can garner in the next election, rather than the future of voters.
 
Hong Kong faces the problem of a rapidly ageing population. If the government does not set aside money in each budget, there will not be enough for essential social welfare in future.
 
The people of Hong Kong should not be so short-sighted.
 
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 22, 2018
Kitty Lui 5B

Shark fin trade puts ecosystem at grave risk
 
I refer to the recent protest against shark fin being served in Hong Kong restaurants (“Shark fin protest draws 50 activists outside HKU branch of popular restaurant chain”, February 10).
 
Festive traditions for the Lunar New Year involve gathering with family members to have dinner together. And many diners will ¬order shark fin soup because it is a delicacy and signifies wealth.
 
But we must not forget that some shark species are endangered and facing extinction. This risk cannot be taken lightly, as larger sharks are apex predators, and their extinction would upset the balance of the ecosystem.
 
Wildlife campaigners have long focused on Hong Kong, with some claiming the city accounts for about half the global trade in shark fin. A study late last year showed more than a third of shark fin products sold in our shops come from vulnerable or endangered species. So I was happy that the protesters called on the restaurant chain to take all shark fin dishes off its menu.
 
But the government must also do its part, by publicising the ¬importance of protecting sharks.
 
Kitty Lui, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 20, 2018
Jason Luk 5A

Here’s why library stations may not work
 
The Hong Kong government has been promoting its new self-service library stations, claiming they will promote a reading culture.
 
However, the root of the problem is not the availability of books, but the lack of interest in reading.
 
No matter how many library stations are built, those not interested are not going to borrow books. Also, with just three stations for the whole of Hong Kong, how effective will the initiative be?
 
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 20, 2018
Kitty Lui 5B

Not fair to litter Victoria Park grounds
 
I refer to the report on the annual Lunar New Year Fair at Victoria Park (“Hongkongers pile into the park for Lunar New Year fair”, February 15).
 
I was very happy to see more secondary school and university students setting up their own booths at the fair. I think it was a good chance for students to gain job experience and learn entrepreneurial skills, to face business challenges later in life.
 
Some students even designed their own products to sell. This can help them explore and develop their creativity, which is something that cannot learned from textbooks.
 
However, there was one discordant note. Many booths were selling food, such as dragon’s beard candy, traditional candy, coconut wrap and maltose crackers. I found a lot of rubbish strewn on the floor around these stalls, such as plastic wrappers and bags, and toothpicks.
 
I think most people dumped the rubbish on the ground because they were unable to find a rubbish bin nearby, as there aren’t too many of them around, especially in Victoria Park.
 
But even if there are no rubbish bins, people should be aware that they must dispose of their trash responsibly, not just dump it on the ground.
 
The government could think about having extra rubbish bins in the park next year, especially near the booths selling food items, so that we do not see a repeat of such littering.
 
Lastly, I found many people buying a lot of “Fai Chun” calligraphy banners at the fair to decorate their homes. I understand that this is a New Year tradition, but I think they were buying far too many. I suggest that people reuse their Fai Chun, so that they do not need new ones each year, and so celebrate in a much more environmentally friendly way.
 
Kitty Lui, Hang Hau

SCMP February 20, 2018
Katrina Lo 5E

Lunar New Year parade is uniquely Hong Kong
 
The Lunar New Year night parade is one of Hong Kong’s most festive annual events. On New Year’s Day every year, thousands of locals and tourists gather to enjoy the event. The giant street party is billed as having a “festive energy that is uniquely Hong Kong”.
 
This year’s parade featured nine festive floats, and 25 local and international performing groups, and the theme for this year was “Best Fortune. World Party”.
 
Apart from making our Lunar New Year celebrations more vibrant and filling those watching with positive energy, the parade brings a number of advantages to the city.
 
It helps to boost tourism, as it is a remarkable and anticipated event in Hong Kong. Tourists from around the world gather for the event in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is one of Hong Kong’s most popular shopping and dining districts. This translates into good business for local shops. Moreover, most tourists will stay on in the city for a few days. Their tourist dollars will boost the economy of Hong Kong.
 
Moreover, a parade like this facilitates the exchange of culture among different countries. As the performing groups include both local and overseas performers, both spectators and the performers can learn about and admire diverse cultures through the parade.
 
For instance, this year’s parade included unicyclists from Japan, diabolo performers from Taiwan, jugglers from the Czech Republic and pogo performers from the US.
 
This year, however, the days leading up to the new year were a time of sadness for Hong Kong, with the city facing the tragedy of one of its deadliest traffic accidents: 19 people died and more than 60 others were injured on February 10 when a double-decker bus flipped on its side in Tai Po.
 
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor called off the new year fireworks display, as a mark of respect to the victims, and her Lunar New Year message was sombre. She also announced that she would skip the tradition of visiting the Lunar New Year fair and the annual night parade last week.
 
As the city tries to recover from this tragedy, it is hoped that the new year parade has marked a good start to the Year of the Dog.
 
Katrina Lo, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 19, 2018
Cathy Yuen 5E

Rigid schooling won’t produce creative spark
 
I refer to the recent article by Luisa Tam (“Hong Kong educators have forgotten that schooling should be fun”, February 12).
 
Hong Kong, as an international city, competes with its peers around the world, whether in the economy or the arts.
 
However, when it comes to the creative industry, our city always lags behind. Therefore, the government has been encouraging citizens, especially youngsters, to become more innovative.
 
But if the government continues with its tedious and stressful exam-oriented education system, our youngsters would never be nurtured to develop out-of-the-box, creative thinking.
 
While making learning “fun” could arguably boost creative thinking, many parents worry that such an approach would be counterproductive, as it may see children develop a more casual approach, and not treat learning as a serious matter.
 
However, one thing is certain. A rigid exam-oriented education system, with a focus on rote learning, is stunting creative and independent thought. If the range of materials they experience is so narrow, how can children come up with unusual ideas?
 
Many nations elsewhere in the world not only create a more joyful atmosphere for lessons, they also encourage students to be talented in other spheres, like music or sports. Hong Kong should follow this model. This does not mean academic results are not important, but that it should not be the top priority. The most creative person is not the one who gets the highest marks in the DSE.
 
Cathy Yuen Tsz Wai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 19, 2018
Timmy Chan 5B

Giving in to Kim may embolden North Korea
 
I refer to the US postponing drills with South Korea to reduce tensions with the North (“Donald Trump agrees to delay South Korea military drills until after the Winter Olympics”, January 5).
 
For how many years has North Korea, with its repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests, been a threat to world peace?
 
Now North Korea “looks like” it, too, wants peace. South Korea saw the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a chance to bring the Koreas closer and, to ensure the best environment for dialogue, presidents Moon Jae-in and Trump agreed to delay their annual military exercises.
 
However, that did not stop the North staging a massive military parade in its capital, Pyongyang, on the eve of the Olympics.
 
The North’s charm offensive included Kim Jong-un sending his stylish sister Kim Yo-jong and a 200-strong cheerleading squad to Pyeongchang. But Trump’s backing down on the drills was a diplomatic medal for North Korea.
 
Who is to say it will not encourage Kim Jong-un to further ¬expand his nuclear power? After such a show of weakness, it ¬becomes more difficult for the US to prevent North Korea from improving its nuclear technology.
 
Chan Chak Chung, Po Lam

SCMP February 18, 2018
Dennis Fan 5A

Eat out less often to avoid salt overload
 
I am alarmed at reports of extremely unhealthy levels of salt and sugar in popular Hong Kong snacks and soups. The latest Consumer Council report found “three days’ intake of salt in one sample of Asian soup noodles” (February 14), with 76 out of 100 samples tested exceeding the WHO’s suggested daily limit.
 
We already know about the high sugar content in many of our popular snacks and drinks, including red bean ice drink, egg tarts, steamed egg custard buns and sesame sweet soup.
 
Many savoury items can also surprisingly be high in sugar, such as sweet and sour pork and deep-fried meat dumplings.
 
These reports highlight how much unhealthy sodium and sugar is ingested by time-poor Hongkongers eating out and reaching for a snack ever so often. Long-term, this can lead to serious lifestyle diseases and obesity.
 
I think people should consider eating out less often, and not buy too many of their favourite drinks. Restaurants also have a responsibility to reduce salt and sugar levels in their dishes.
 
Dennis Fan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 18, 2018
May Lee 2D

Online classes better than none at all
 
I refer to the letter from Emily Leung about online classes in rural China (“Less gifted children may be left behind”, February 4).
 
Even though the country has made great strides toward prosperity, poverty is still a big problem in many parts of rural China, where education may not be top priority. Also, students in remote areas not only have to travel far to learn, but also suffer from the lack of teachers, as many are unwilling to serve in far-flung locations.
 
This leaves many pupils without a window to the world.
 
Such youngsters will benefit if a video screen is set up at school for lessons delivered by an off-site teacher. They will then not fall ¬behind because of a shortage of teachers in that subject.
 
Of course, this is not a perfect solution. Nothing can take the place of a teacher actually being in class and guiding pupils through their lessons. There is less opportunity for interaction, which is vital to the learning process. Communication is a necessary skill, and such one-way teaching will not let pupils engage in it.
 
Meihing Lee, Po Lam

SCMP February 15, 2018
Kiki Wong 2D

Hong Kong should promote zero-emissions public transport
 
I refer to your article about US electric car company Tesla considering downscaling Hong Kong operations (“Tesla ready to put the brakes on Hong Kong venture”, February 5).
 
Did Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, who chairs a steering committee on the promotion of electric vehicles, consult EV makers before his budget announcement to slash tax waivers last year?
 
In my opinion, if the government wants to popularise electric cars, it needs to expand and enhance the local charging station network.
 
Besides this, the Hong Kong government should educate the public about the non-polluting benefits of electric cars, and the positives for combating global warming.
 
However, if the government really wants to promote environmental awareness, electric cars won’t solve the problem of carbon emissions and climate change.
 
The real challenge in reducing emissions is large fossil-fuelled vehicles such as buses, minibuses, trucks and taxis. The government should be more dedicated to promoting zero-emission public transport, rather than electric personal vehicles.
 
The government should not just subsidise people but spend money to solve the problem. The government should take the lead in ensuring zero-emission transport.
 
Wong Lok Yee, Sai Kung

SCMP February 14, 2018
Jojo Wong 3C

Go green in celebrations for the Year of the Dog
 
With the Year of the Dog just days away, it is time to avoid another round of wasteful and environment-unfriendly celebrations.
 
We must remind ourselves to reuse and recycle our lai seepackets and gift wrapping. And, at the traditional reunion dinner with our families, we should not let our “eyes be bigger than the stomach”, and only order what we can eat or, failing that, make sure we take the leftovers away to eat later.
 
Jojo Wong, Po Lam

SCMP February 14, 2018
Carly Fung 5A

Grieving city has heart in the right place
 
Hong Kong was hit by a terrible tragedy on January 10, when a bus crash in Tai Po left 19 passengers dead and more than 60 others injured, with at least five of them still in serious condition.
 
The accident, in the days leading up to what is the most joyful time in the local calendar, the Lunar New Year celebrations, caused an outpouring of grief in the city. The New Year fireworks display was cancelled as a mark of respect for those affected; flags are flying at half-mast at government headquarters, and the Executive and the Legislative councils observed a moment of silence, with other government departments and even private offices doing the same.
 
With the driver being charged over the accident and ¬allegations of reckless driving, questions are being raised over the training and quality of bus drivers. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has promised an independent inquiry commission, headed by a judge, to make recommendations to ensure the safety and reliability of the public transport system.
 
However, amid the grief and the desperate search for answers, one message reinforced my belief in the deep humanity of fellow Hongkongers. It was your report about the queues at the Red Cross blood donation centres, with thousands waiting for hours late last Saturday and on Sunday to help the crash victims. (“Blood donors flood Red Cross centres in Hong Kong to help 40 injured victims of fatal bus crash”, February 11). The crowds were such that many had to be requested to return the following day.
 
Hongkongers are called many things: rude, arrogant, too busy to be polite, even racist. But a response like this shows that, at a time of crisis, we all come together in a spontaneous outpouring of the Lion Rock Spirit.
 
Carly Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 13, 2018
Chammy Chow 4E

Seasonal flu crises need long-term fix
 
Once again, a seasonal flu outbreak finds public hospitals struggling with the heavy workload and shortage of medical staff. While ad hoc cash injections are welcome, there is clearly a need for more long-term measures.
 
First, the Education Bureau should increase the number of seats in university medical faculties. Many students with the ability and passion to be doctors may miss out on a chance because they fall a little short in the HKDSE. A bridge course and test could help them and benefit society as well.
 
Second, the government should consider better pay and welfare benefits for public hospital staff, to reduce turnover and ¬attract quality talent. Staff shortage not only means long waiting times for patients, but also affects efficiency for nurses and doctors.
 
Chammy Chow, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 11, 2018
Desmond Chan 5E

Why #MeToo must be used with care
 
I refer to the letter from Natalie Chan (“More power to the #MeToo movement”, February 4).
 
The #MeToo campaign against sexual assault and harassment emerged virally in October. Many celebrities spoke up as victims, including Hong Kong’s star hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu. Many influential and powerful perpetrators, ranging from Hollywood to the world of sports, were rightly named and shamed, and even had to step down. This shows the power of the campaign to bring abusers to justice and somewhat help victims to have closure.
 
However, every coin has two sides, and this applies to #MeToo as well. Sexual assault and harassment are not minor crimes. The offender may be sentenced to years or decades in prison, and lose their social and professional standing forever.
 
Using #MeToo is a cry for help and for justice. But it must not be used casually.
 
Online anonymity must not be a licence to post fake news with an intention to malign, or just to gain attention, garner some likes and supportive comments. This may lead to a devastating “trial by internet” of an innocent person.
 
Fake accusations posted under #MeToo can cause deep harm and must be prevented.
 
Desmond Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 10, 2018
Benson Wong 5A

Buskers enjoy rewards of city freedoms
 
I am writing to express my feeling on the thriving busking culture in Hong Kong.
 
Busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries, the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities, such as food, drink or gifts may be given.
 
Street performance is practised all over the world and dates back to antiquity.
 
It can be a way for up and coming musicians to reach new fans, earn some money, as well as help to build up their experience and confidence for performing before a live audience.
 
I believe two factors have contributed to the now thriving busking scene in Hong Kong. The first is money. The gratuities for street performers can sometimes be even higher than the minimum wage, making this form of earning more popular for young people.
 
Secondly, Hong Kong gives a lot of freedoms to its people. So if someone wants to share their kind of music and bring their message to the world, they are free to choose busking as a way to express themselves.
 
Benson Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 09, 2018
Yuki Cheng 2B

Music soothes the soul and sharpens mind
 
Much has been written about how music can help relieve pressure in today’s fast paced world. But, not only does music comfort us emotionally and physiologically, it can even sharpen our faculties.
 
It is proven that music can make you happier. Researchers have found that when people listen to their favourite music, their brain releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone, which ¬uplifts their mood. Relaxing tunes, especially quiet, classical music, can even slow the pulse and heart rate, and relieve stress.
 
But the benefits do not stop there. Music can actually improve our memory and learning skills. Musical training has been shown to make people more alert even in noisy settings, and improve memory, fine motor skills and verbal ability.
 
Yuki Cheng, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 09, 2018
Katrina Lo 5E

If parents reach for books, so will children
 
I refer to the article on how parents can foster a reading habit (“How to help your children fall in love with books”, February 2).
 
In this digital age, children can choose among various enjoyable pastimes, especially online, such as browsing social networking sites, watching videos and chatting on instant messaging apps.
 
Reading often does not top a child’s list of priorities. Also, students always have class assessments and must revise for tests after school, leaving them no time for reading. Even if they read, it is mostly assignment-driven.
 
Parents thus have a key role to play in motivating a reading habit. Children often imitate parents, as they are role models. If parents put their mobile phones away to read books, children will be more likely to follow suit. Also, reading to children and discussing the story gets them more interested and involved in the process, and leads to their becoming avid readers themselves.
 
Katrina Lo, Yau Yue Wan

Young Post February 09, 2018
Tiffany Leung 1B

Young Post February 09, 2018
Andy Tong 3A

SCMP February 09, 2018
Daniel Hui 5A

SCMP February 08, 2018
James Wong 5E

SCMP February 07, 2018
Jacky Chan 5A

SCMP February 07, 2018
Suki Lee 5A

SCMP February 06, 2018
Jordan Chan 4E

Tradition of intolerance must be broken
 
I refer to the letter from Vincent Lau (“Gay marriage is one step to better society”, January 29). The issue of same-sex marriage has evoked a lot of debate in recent days, and led to intense arguments between those who cite tradition and younger members of society who want to welcome newer ideas.
 
But to progress is to embrace change. We are overturning long-held traditions in other areas of life as well. It used to be that the men in the family went out to earn a living while the women stayed home to take care of the children. But this is no longer so. Why can’t we be similarly forward looking on same-sex unions?
 
In the past, such an idea may not have existed, because the traditional thinking in China is that a man should marry a woman. That makes older generations resist the issue of homosexual relationships in society.
 
But it is not only European societies, even Taiwan, which has a Chinese culture, has welcomed marriage among same-sex couples as well. Everyone in Hong Kong has the freedom to choose whom they marry, so why should its gay community be treated any differently?
 
The future belongs to the younger generation, and Hong Kong must join them in entering the modern world. There is no room for discrimination and plenty for alternative ideas.
 
Jordan Chan Wai-tsun, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 06, 2018
Ivan Tsoi 4E

SCMP February 05, 2018
Emily Leung 4D

SCMP February 03, 2018
Oscar Au Yeung 5B

Student anger no excuse for bad language
 
I refer to the recent student protests at Baptist University over compulsory Mandarin tests (“Two Baptist University students suspended over campus protest for ‘threatening’ conduct”, January 24).
 
The university’s requirement that all students who don’t pass the test must complete a Mandarin course before they can graduate is a tough policy, and perhaps too rigid for most local students.
 
But that is no excuse for the reaction of some students, who used threatening behaviour and foul language in a stand-off with staff of the university’s Language Centre.
 
Two students were temporarily suspended, and there was reason for them to be.
 
We should always respect our elders, our teachers and parents, and swearing at teachers is an obvious sign of disrespect that cannot be excused.
 
Students should not react in such a rude way and should reflect on better ways to achieve their aims or air grievances. Can using foul language help any situation? I don’t think so.
 
Moreover, students should not resort to these kinds of vocal protest to express their opinions. If they engage in such radical protests, will the school listen to their opinion?
 
Why didn’t they have a sit-down meeting with the teachers to discuss their problems?
 
I believe the students’ anger was justified, but they used the wrong method to express their opinions.
 
They made the situation more difficult, and made it tougher to have a consensus between students and teachers.
 
If students don’t adopt appropriate strategies for discussion, teachers are not likely to be inclined to listen to their complaints.
 
Rainbow Or, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 03, 2018
Rainbow Or 4E

Schools can take lead in reading push
 
I refer to the debate over whether schools must do more to promote a reading culture, even though it begins at home.
 
It is not just the duty of parents to encourage children to read at home; schools are also responsible in building up a reading habit among pupils.
 
It has also been suggested that books be placed on different floors of schools so children can have easier access to them.
 
I think a lot of students in Hong Kong do not like reading at all; they will read, that too unwillingly, only when they need to do book reports.
 
Many don’t think reading is fun, especially books in English, a language they don’t usually speak in their daily lives.
 
Though some students might appreciate the benefits of reading, they either do not have the time because they have a lot of school or extracurricular ¬activities, or it is not convenient to get or borrow a book.
 
Negative attitudes towards reading can have seriously ¬adverse effects, such as on a ¬student’s reading literacy.
 
Recent news reports have noted Hong Kong’s falling ranking in this regard. (“Hong Kong slips to third place in reading literacy ranking, behind Russia and Singapore”, December 8). So it is important to promote a positive approach to reading among youngsters
 
To change habits and cultivate reading as a hobby among students, schools should play a leading role.
 
Students spend long hours in school, so the idea of putting books on different floors for easy access is a good one.
 
Also, teachers can ask those students who like to read to share their opinions and the benefits gained from reading, to attract other students to take it up more energetically.
 
The government can also subsidise schools to hold reading-related programmes, as this will promote the benefits of a regular reading habit.
 
Rainbow Or, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP February 02, 2018
Candy Kong 4E

Teachers play valuable role in protecting kids
 
I support the government’s call for teachers to take the initiative to report child abuse (“Teachers free to judge whether to call police before parents when child abuse is suspected, Hong Kong welfare minister says”, January 28).
 
Experienced teachers have the right to call police if they suspect a child is being abused. The main question is, how to determine and deal with child abuse cases. I believe it is necessary for social workers and educators to receive structural and systematic training to raise their awareness of child abuse and help them identify possible cases.
 
Schools and the Social Welfare Department should cooperate closely and take an active role in identifying child abuse cases; for instance, if a student is absent from class for a long time, or shows up bearing signs of violence. If teachers could find the time to make a home visit, a vulnerable child may be saved.
 
Most child abuse cases are complex, and may involve the relationship between parents, drug issues, depression and so on. If we are willing to risk the charge of nosiness and interference, maybe we would be able to save defenceless children.
 
Kong Lok Son, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post February 02, 2018
Sky Kwan 3C

Young Post February 02, 2018
Iris Leung 3A

Young Post February 02, 2018
Taro Shuntaro 3A

SCMP February 02, 2018
Ian Wan 4C

SCMP February 01, 2018
William Wan 5B

SCMP February 01, 2018
Michelle Mai 5B

SCMP February 01, 2018
Teresa Ng 5B

SCMP January 30, 2018
Anny Lin 4E

Hongkongers clearly willing to pay more for cleaner air
 
I am writing in response to the article on consumers in Hong Kong being willing to pay more for clean power (“More than half’ of Hongkongers can accept 5 per cent rise in power bills to support renewable energy”, January 26).
 
The air pollution problem in Hong Kong is becoming more serious. The Environmental Protection Department reported that smog levels at several monitoring stations recently reached 10+ on the Air Quality Health Index, corresponding to the “serious” health risk level.
 
The harmful gases produced by fossil-fuel vehicles and factories are a major cause of the bad air. The government should put greater effort into improving air quality, by reducing the number of cars on the road and controlling the amount of harmful emissions from factories.
 
The government may also think of developing renewable energy in larger quantities. A study by conservation group WWF-Hong Kong found the majority of Hongkongers are willing to contribute to society and do their bit for the development of renewable energy, by paying up to HK$20 extra each month for electricity. This should come as a signal to the government to put more resources and effort into developing and distributing clean energy.
 
Anny Lin, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 30, 2018
Vincent Lau 4E

SCMP January 29, 2018
Andy Yeung 5E

SCMP January 29, 2018
Kaecee Wong 4D

SCMP January 29, 2018
Alice Ma 5E

SCMP January 27, 2018
Kathy Li 2D

Light pollution is a blight on urban living
 
Hong Kong is among the world’s worst cities for light pollution, with commercial and residential areas like Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay the worst affected. Thanks to the spotlights and LED billboards, Hong Kong’s sky is many times brighter than that of other cities.
 
Light pollution adversely affects life in many ways in Hong Kong.
 
First, excessive lighting can disrupt the biological clock of humans and affect brain function. Second, in areas of heavily mixed residential development, like Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po, some residents may have trouble sleeping, as strong neon lights stream into their bedrooms, with the neighbourhood lit up like a football stadium.
 
Kathy Li, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 27, 2018
Sisca Chan 3A

Diners need to show they care about society
 
Food waste is a major problem in more prosperous societies, such as Hong Kong.
 
Many diners will order more food than they can finish, and only a few think about taking away leftovers, just leaving them on their plates to be dumped in rubbish bins instead.
 
With overflowing landfills, and poor people going hungry, we have to be more responsible when we eat out, and order only what we can consume.
 
Sisca Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 27, 2018
Sinheilia Cheng 5B

Try healthy eating to keep disease at bay
 
I refer to reports that teenagers in Hong Kong don’t get enough fruit, vegetables or exercise, and risk strokes in later life.
 
Hong Kong students have to suffer a lot of pressure. But to learn that this may cause life-threatening conditions is heartbreaking.
 
There are many ways to deal with these issues; but first, it is important to face the problem.
 
Students should be made aware of healthy diet and lifestyle choices, and how they will influence their health later in life. They must also understand that they are not alone as they try to battle stress, whether school-related or otherwise.
 
Children should be helped to learn some good habits and use them to relieve stress.
 
Cheng Sin-hei, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 26, 2018
Liz Chan 4D

Confusion over new rules on paper recycling
 
With the mainland authorities restricting imports of waste for recycling, the Environmental Protection Department has said that some paper (for example, magazines) should no longer be deposited in recycling bins.
 
Only cardboard, newspapers and office paper are now accepted. This will confuse some people who may not be clear about what they can and cannot put into the paper recycling bins.
 
This is a radical policy change and there is a real need for a far more comprehensive publicity campaign by the department, including talks in schools. It must ensure that citizens are clear about the new rules for recycled paper and plastic, with only two types of plastic now accepted for recycling – containers for beverages and personal care products.
 
I am concerned about the wider applications of this policy change by mainland authorities. A lot more paper will not make it to recycling bins. Instead it will be thrown into landfills which are already nearing capacity.
 
Liz Chan-wing, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post January 26, 2018
Icy Wong 4B

Young Post January 26, 2018
Cindy Ding 3A

Young Post January 26, 2018
Cindy Ding 3A

Young Post January 26, 2018
Sunny Li 3A

SCMP January 26, 2018
Phoebe Fok 6E

SCMP January 26, 2018
Sammi Lee 2B

SCMP January 25, 2018
Jane Lau 5D

SCMP January 25, 2018
Theodore Tam 5E

SCMP January 25, 2018
Katrina Lo 5E

SCMP January 24, 2018
Kelly Wong 2B

SCMP January 24, 2018
Marco Chan 5C

SCMP January 23, 2018
Edna Lau 2B

Fixation with exam results in Hong Kong has to end
 
I agree with my fellow students who have complained about the stress levels in the local education system being too high.
 
Students are under a lot of pressure from teachers and their parents, who often have unrealistic expectations. These young people are forced to work long hours, during the school day, but also in the evening with homework. They are often left with insufficient time to relax and develop psychological problems such as depression.
 
Last year my cousins came back from the US and a relative asked how many As they got in exams at college, instead of asking how they were enjoying their time at school. I am asked if I am near the top of my class and I find this embarrassing, especially when the results are not as good as expected.
 
Learning is important, but we should not become obsessed about exam results. If we are not talented academically we should not get too upset about this and we should not think we are useless.
 
I understand the motivation of parents, they want their children to have a better life and to have improved job opportunities, but it does not help to put young people under so much pressure. Parents need to spend more time relaxing and playing with their children. Life is not just about studying. Some things are more important than that. Even at school young people should be aiming to achieve the right work-life balance.
 
Edna Lau, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 23, 2018
Lynette Tang 5E

SCMP January 23, 2018
Laurent Li 5A

SCMP January 23, 2018
Samuel Yu 5A

SCMP January 23, 2018
Simon Chung 5A

Young Post January 22, 2018
Katherine Chan 3B

SCMP January 22, 2018
William Wan 5B

SCMP January 22, 2018
Lucky Wang 2D

SCMP January 20, 2018
Alan Ong 2B

Take pressure off young schoolchildren
 
I agree with correspondents who have said that the high stress levels pupils suffer in local schools are unacceptable.
 
As many have pointed out, learning is important but it must be effective learning.
 
For many children nowadays learning is just for academic results and not about acquiring knowledge. They are not appreciating the learning experience.
 
In my view, the policy address from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in October was not that helpful, because it just referred to how much money was budgeted for equipment and hostels for universities. She did not offer any change to the curriculum that gives young children too much stress.
 
I suggest the Education Bureau cancels the extra exams for Primary Three students such as the basic competency assessment (BCA) and we should also have a higher weighting on sport and other subjects instead of the four main subjects.
 
Social mobility in Hong Kong is lower than countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom.
 
Having a higher weighting on other subjects will help in better-balanced social mobility in Hong Kong.
 
Alan Ong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 20, 2018
Jimmi Pang 4E

E-sport image needs buffing by government
 
E-sport, or competitive video gaming, has become very popular but needs government help if it is to gain wider acceptance with Hong Kong parents and the public.
 
Last year’s music and e-sports festival in Hong Kong was a good start but much more promotion is needed. The government seems unwilling to devote more attention and support to e-sport but it should help educate the public.
 
Many people think that those who play computer games are freeloaders and symbolic of teenagers who don’t like to study. Most parents stop their children from developing a career in e-sports and the government needs to spread the message that e-sport is not just a hobby but can be an alternative career path.
 
More government resources would greatly help development of e-sport and its image in Hong Kong. Why are so many South Korean players champions, regarded as celebrities and household names who earn big money in tournaments and sponsorships? It is because the Korean government created the Korean E-Sports Association years ago to manage e-sports and teams.
 
The Hong Kong government should learn from Korea by training its own e-sports team. Players need intensive training and practice and the ¬government should offer financial aid.
 
Jimmi Pang, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 19, 2018
Natalie Lam 5C

Punishment for child abuse must be tough
 
The most recent cases of child abuse would indicate that this is a serious problem which is getting worse in Hong Kong.
 
We have to ask if there is adequate supervision of families where children have been identified as being at risk. We also need to look at the powers the authorities and the courts have and ask if they are sufficient. If the punishment for child abuse is too lenient then it will fail to act as a deterrent.
 
The relevant government departments must be given the powers they need to ensure vulnerable children get protection. Officials must be able to issue warnings to parents and be given the power to act if necessary. Also, the government must ensure it has enough social workers who are operating in schools and directly with troubled families.
 
It is not acceptable to have social workers who are given far too many cases and cannot cope with the workload. And suitably qualified experts will also be needed to help children deal with the psychological trauma caused by abuse.
 
Natalie Lam, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post January 19, 2018
Toby Leung 3B

SCMP January 19, 2018
Wylok Wong 2B

SCMP January 18, 2018
Eva Chow 5E

SCMP January 18, 2018
Zoe Chung 5A

SCMP January 17, 2018
Samuel Cheng 5A

SCMP January 17, 2018
Victor Kwok 3A

SCMP January 17, 2018
Benson Wong 5A

SCMP January 16, 2018
Yandy Ma 3C

Some online users do get addicted to computer games
 
Concerns have been raised about supposed free computer games, which ask people to spend money, for example, to get to the next level. What started off as something free of charge can quickly escalate into becoming something that is expensive and it can become addictive, including for young people.
 
It is important to exercise self-control and think carefully before deciding if you want to spend something on a computer game. I would never spend unless there was a good reason for doing so.
 
I do not think it makes sense to fork out a lot of money on virtual game packs. I would rather spend money on practical things from which I derive a direct benefit such as eating out and transport. And as I say if you spend too much there is a risk you will become addicted. Some people become obsessed with what are known as “secret sales”.
 
It does not make sense for players to spend thousands of dollars on a video game that has been touted as being free. I do not think there is anything to be gained by spending your hard-earned money on these games.
 
Yandy Ma Chung-yan, Po Lam

SCMP January 16, 2018
Sara Wong 5A

Chinese history course must include comprehensive look at nation’s past
 
I understand why the government wants to introduce compulsory Chinese history at junior secondary level.
 
It wants future generations to recognise their identity as citizens not just of Hong Kong, but also of China. Through doing this subject they can have a deeper understanding of their nation’s history which can enhance their understanding of what is happening in the country.
 
Critics have expressed concerns that this compulsory course might be tantamount to brainwashing, especially if teachers avoid politically sensitive issues. I agree that the course must not be selective. It must present the whole picture to pupils, including the growth of the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the central government’s reaction to it on June 4.
 
Understanding that crucial period of history is important for young people if they are to have a firm grasp of the development of modern China. The government must not force teachers to be selective, but let them decide on a comprehensive course.
 
Sara Wong Kit-yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 16, 2018
Melody Ho 5E

Young Post January 15, 2018
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP January 13, 2018
Jason Luk 5A

The more buskers the merrier
 
Hong Kong’s busking culture has taken off and there are a number of reasons for this.
 
Firstly, it’s a special culture with a team spirit among participants that leads the buskers to share with others. They have either seen or experienced the atmosphere in other countries where busking is common and want Hongkongers also to enjoy the music, dance and other busking performances.
 
Buskers will invite friends to share their street gigs, which are usually in popular districts where they can entertain many passers-by, including tourists. The word soon spreads among the buskers and others will go there to join in for an extended session, thus spreading ¬awareness of the culture.
 
A hands-off approach from authorities, who realise buskers usually don’t seriously disturb anyone or spark many complaints, has given performers confidence to branch out. The buskers’ freedom to perform mostly where and what they like has multiplied their numbers.
 
With increasing support from the public, and a positive image of the city they give to tourists, the buskers deserve to be recognised as important ¬cultural assets.
 
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 12, 2018
Candy Kong 4E

Open-minded attitude helps youngsters
 
In the past, some young people could look back with fondness on their time at school and even say they were the best years of their lives. But that is no longer the case for most youngsters in Hong Kong, because of the levels of stress they have to deal with.
 
Some students have felt such despair they have committed suicide and the high rate has raised alarm bells.
 
It is inevitable that young people will feel under pressure because of the local education system, with its rote-learning and over-drilling.
 
It is not a system which fosters a love of learning, because everything centres on academic performance.
 
This competitive environment makes it difficult to enjoy a carefree school life.
 
Some parents make the problem worse by placing too much emphasis on exams and having unrealistic expectations. They want their sons and daughters to get good exam results even if it is clear they do not have the ability to do well academically.
 
It is important to get the message through to youngsters that exams are not all that matters. They need to realise that academic performance should not always be seen as the priority. If pupils and parents can take a more realistic and open-minded approach, youngsters are more likely to find a career path that suits them.
 
Candy Kong Lok-son, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post January 12, 2018
Tiffany Lau 1A

SCMP January 12, 2018
Teresa Ng 5B

SCMP January 11, 2018
Miffy Ng 4E

SCMP January 11, 2018
Donald Wong 5A

SCMP January 11, 2018
Janice Sze 6D

SCMP January 10, 2018
Katie Sze 3B

SCMP January 10, 2018
Miki Chung 2D

SCMP January 09, 2018
Trisha Tobar 4B

Education system not preparing youngsters for real world
 
Young people do get a good-quality education in local schools, but they do not have enough exposure to the workplace and so they are not learning the skills they will need as adults. In this regard they lag behind other developed societies in the region such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea.
 
Some experts argue that this lack of exposure to a working environment is because so much emphasis is placed on the rote-learning based and exam-oriented education system. It is important to have the knowledge academically, but you also need the interpersonal and self-management skills that can help you succeed in your career.
 
Schools should organise outside activities so that pupils can get some workplace experiences, especially in the career areas that interest them.
 
All young people need to have more exposure to work experience situations so that they are in a better position to make career choices.
 
Trisha Tobar, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 08, 2018
Carly Fung 5A

SCMP January 06, 2018
Lok Lum 6C

Long hours throwing life off balance
 
Hong Kong is globally renowned for its economic prosperity. However, there is a cost to maintaining such prosperity, and that is our long working hours.
 
A survey last year by investment bank UBS found Hong Kong had the longest working hours in the world, averaging 50 hours per week, compared with 39 for Tokyo and 41 for Taiwan.
 
It is obvious that the longer time you dedicate to work, the less time you have for rest. While Hongkongers place a high value on the financial rewards brought by long working hours, most seem to have forgotten the importance of having a good work-life balance.
 
Is it really impossible for long hours and a right work-life balance to coexist? I believe there are a few ways to achieve this.
 
One of the most effective ways is to fully enjoy rest days, and not bring any work home. The purpose of having holidays is to truly relax, so it is extremely injudicious to take on extra work during holidays. Time spent with family or loved ones during holidays helps reduce pressure and promote mental health.
 
Another key to work-life balance is drawing up a daily schedule of work and rest hours, and judiciously sticking to it. Tasks that are not done can wait. The only thing that matters is to have enough rest so that one is in a good mental and physical condition for the next work day.
 
Lum Chi-lok, Hang Hau

SCMP January 05, 2018
Natalli Lo 6A

Education best way to end discrimination against disabled in Hong Kong
 
Discrimination against people with disabilities still persists in many societies, with cases reported where such people have been bullied and harassed.
 
The best way to counter this problem, and hopefully eliminate all prejudice, is by raising levels of public awareness.
 
Education is needed and it should start with children in schools, so that young people grow up with the right mindset free of prejudice. Hopefully, as adults they will then accept all citizens as equals, including those with disabilities.
 
There are different ways to structure this education programme and it should include talks by keynote speakers. People with disabilities can explain to pupils the difficulties they have faced in their lives, including being discriminated against.
 
There could also be class visits to hospitals and centres where disabled people meet and work, and young people could be encouraged to do voluntary work.
 
Enabling them to interact with disabled citizens can help them to develop greater empathy and they will realise early in life that discrimination of any kind is wrong.
 
Children are more open and accepting than adults. Older people may already have preconceived notions and often with a high-pressure, high-stress way of life, they may find it difficult to change their views even when this leads to irrational discrimination against those who are different in any way.
 
With young people, the key is to clear up misconceptions they might have imbibed, for example, from older people.
 
However, we should not just rely on students. We all have a duty to be free of prejudice and to want to see a society where everyone is treated fairly.
 
I see a stable society as being like a large family, and everyone is a part of it and should be offered help when they need it.
 
It is very important for society that all citizens show tolerance towards each other.
 
Natalli Lo, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 05, 2018
Cindy Tsang 4D

Street art can dispel views of cultural desert
 
In October, the French undercover artist Invader heavily criticised officials for removing his work from locations around Hong Kong.
 
However, his work at Harbour City, in Tsim Sha Tsui, will be preserved. This shows that the issue of street art remains controversial here, with government departments still reluctant to embrace it. And it can lead to people sometimes describing Hong Kong as a cultural desert.
 
It certainly seems to me that the government regards developing the economy as a priority over nurturing the arts, despite the establishment of the West -Kowloon Cultural District.
 
Hong Kong as a city needs to learn to accept art in our daily lives and this should include street art such as graffiti.
 
Tsang Ka-yee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 05, 2018
Leo Tse 2D

Look at reason behind vocal anthem protest
 
I think Hongkongers, such as soccer fans, who have chosen to boo the national anthem should be entitled to do so.
 
Protests against anthems have also taken place recently in the US, with football players kneeling rather than standing when The Star-Spangled Banner is played.
 
Critics of such protests say Hongkongers should show respect for the Chinese national anthem, but why should they?
 
Many local citizens hate the country’s Communist Party and its stubborn, unyielding attitude towards Hong Kong.
 
They argue that “one country, two systems” is dead.
 
That level of resentment will only get worse if people are threatened with punishment, including jail, for outward displays of disrespect.
 
The party’s leaders are paranoid. Just look at the elaborate and tight security for the visit of President Xi Jinping. The queen did not need that much security when she visited Hong Kong during the colonial period.
 
Unless the central government changes its attitude, many Hongkongers will continue to resent Beijing and keep fighting to protect the freedom of speech in the city.
 
Leo Tse, Yau Tong

SCMP January 05, 2018
Kathy Li 2D

Pupils must work at finding time to relax
 
Some parents have called on the government to introduce a seven-hour cap on the time children spend every day on studies.
 
The aim is to ease the pressure many pupils feel from overwork, with some of them suffering from depression and, in extreme cases, resorting to suicide.
 
I think you can see a link between the increased rate of student suicides and the high-pressure education system.
 
Especially in the upper forms of secondary school, there is fierce competition as youngsters battle to get a coveted place at a local university.
 
Often, if their workload is too heavy, they do not have enough time to rest and this can lead to high levels of stress.
 
What is important is for youngsters to try to find better learning outcomes. They need to work out their own timetable so that they can make time to relax. In this way they can help to reduce pressure.
 
Kathy Li, Po Lam

Young Post January 05, 2018
Trisha Tobar 4B

Young Post January 05, 2018
Tong Zhao 1D

Young Post January 05, 2018
Kawaii Cheong 1D

SCMP January 05, 2018
Oscar Au Yeung 5B

SCMP January 04, 2018
Katherine Chan 3B

SCMP January 04, 2018
Jason Ng 4E

SCMP January 04, 2018
Ronnie Tse 6C

SCMP January 02, 2018
Cindy Ding 3A

Troubled teens need more help with mental health issues
 
Mental health is an issue that is often neglected, but more people are suffering from mental health conditions and it is becoming a serious problem in Hong Kong.
 
It affects all age groups, and many young people in schools and universities are suffering from depression. Their mental problems can be a consequence of getting poor exam results, when they compare themselves with fellow students who have done well. Often, if they are struggling academically, youngsters will feel isolated from their peers. This can make the depression they feel even worse.
 
This is a real problem in Hong Kong where the education system is so competitive, especially when it comes to the Diploma of Secondary Education and the battle to get an undergraduate place at a local university. The pressure is intense as young people feel that a degree is the best way to ensure they can have a job which pays a good salary. The pressure can be worse for students from low-income families, because of the obstacles they face, such as having enough money to pay for textbooks and a quiet place to study.
 
Some pupils in schools will also have serious mental health problems if they are victims of some kind of bullying, including cyberbullying. Some parents lack the sensitivity needed to help their children with these problems. They fail to spot the signs and offer the help and support their troubled sons and daughters really need.
 
Depression can manifest itself in various ways, with youngsters having sleep disorders, feeling anxiety and being short-tempered. In extreme cases they may self harm.
 
Teenagers are our future leaders and pillars in society. They will eventually hold down jobs and become parents. The government, parents and peers, need to be more aware of young people who have mental health problems and try to help them get better.
 
Cindy Ding, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 02, 2018
Kitty Lui 5B

SCMP December 31, 2017
Judy Fung 3A

Make pupils more aware of online bullies
 
Bullying, cyberbullying in particular, is a serious problem faced by students.
 
In some well-publicised cases, cyber bullying has resulted in victims committing suicide. This kind of bullying can be difficult to deal with, especially if victims do not come forward and talk about what happened, but suffer in silence instead.
 
Schools can help by raising awareness about cyberbullying and other potential risks online.
 
Children should be taught to take care about what they say online, to avoid being targeted by cyber bullies. And they need to be told that social workers are there to help them at any time if they do become victims.
 
It is true that sometimes young people will not listen to advice from adults.
 
However, the main thing is to keep the lines of communication open, and just keep talking to pupils and explaining to them that bullies can go after them -online. Also, if they are indeed experiencing such problems, they should know where to go for help.
 
Judy Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 31, 2017
Kenny Tong 5A

When instant messaging is unwelcome
 
While the development of the internet has brought so many benefits, with all the new apps and social networks, it can also be a curse for some people, such as local teachers, because of instant messaging.
 
They are often inundated with messages from parents even outside school hours, with various queries about their children.
 
It can also be a problem for employees in a company who are contacted by their boss in their spare time. In effect, they are doing unpaid overtime.
 
This is a serious problem, for example, in Japan, and means that for many people there is a work-life imbalance which can lead to people becoming ill.
 
The government must accept there is a problem and try to find solutions so that today’s workforce and future generations can get the right work-life balance.
 
Employers, whether in the private sector, or the Education Bureau, must realise that people need to have enough time at home to be able to relax away from the workplace.
 
Kenny Tong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 31, 2017
Anson Chan 5A

Irresponsible shoppers are being wasteful
 
I believe that the trend known as fast fashion (with catwalk designs being cheaply reproduced for a quick sale) is not environmentally friendly.
 
A lot of people buy too many clothes regularly, and so often they are discarded. They fill up landfills and add to the city’s pollution problems. These materials also gradually release chemicals into the ground.
 
Consumers need to be more environmentally friendly and think twice before buying clothes. And, when making a choice, we should consider ¬durability and how an item of clothing can be reused, if we don’t want it or once it is old and frayed. For ¬example, could it be used as a dishcloth? Most of all, retail customers must become environmentally friendly.
 
Anson Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 30, 2017
Alice Ma 5E

Containers far from ideal as housing fix
 
I agree with correspondents who don’t think proposals to convert shipping containers into temporary flats are a good idea.
 
Not only does the humid climate of Hong Kong, and its cold winters, adversely affect the plan, but the location and the quality of these container flats detracts from the idea it could be an effective fix for the city’s housing crisis.
 
Container flats would usually be located in remote rural areas because there is not enough space close to the city. The inconvenience of living so far away is unlikely to attract many Hongkongers to move in.
 
As well, the quality and interior design of these container houses is not good enough. Not only can they get hot inside, but the safety and poor sound insulation are negatives. Such houses may also be damaged easily in strong winds and typhoons. Some designs do not include their own toilet and kitchen.
 
Any large-scale development would affect the environment and given that rents are unlikely to be considered cheap, I think the government should work on improving their quality before offering container houses as an option for the disadvantaged.
 
Alice Ma, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 30, 2017
Miki Chung 2D

Cyberspace curbs are really misguided
 
I am concerned about Beijing’s ongoing attacks on online ¬freedom and the contrasting situation in Hong Kong.
 
In my opinion, the mainland already has enough curbs on freedoms – speech, online chats, and travel. Luckily, it is not the same in Hong Kong where we can talk and communicate freely, and travel when and wherever we like.
 
The central government is too worried people, especially the younger generation, will spread criticism of it online and undermine its rule .
 
Students in Hong Kong studying in secondary school like me can use phones freely and talk about whatever we want. But mainland students, and others, must be careful about what they discuss or risk punishment under harsh laws.
 
I don’t know why Beijing has to be so anxious to crack down. Not everyone going online wants to attack the government.
 
I worry about the future if people are not allowed to express their feelings freely about issues in society, or when government decisions affect them badly.
 
Beijing should rethink their strategy of more restraint and loosen the reins on cyberspace to keep people happy.
 
Miki Chung Chi-yan, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP December 28, 2017
Cindy Wong 5A

Pre-fab homes would benefit more in need
 
I appreciate that the Community Housing Movement will, over the next three years, help around 1,000 low-income families, and provide them with a better living environment.
 
However, this is a small number of people when you consider how many residents have to put up with substandard conditions and it is not addressing the serious housing problem that we face.
 
Only about 500 empty flats will be part of the scheme and families who cannot join the scheme will continue to live in places like subdivided flats and are still waiting for help.
 
The government needs to find ways to rehouse far larger numbers of families and the best way to do this, in the short term, is to build a lot of prefabricated homes.
 
They can be put up quickly, are safe and hygienic and do not take up a lot of space.
 
Cindy Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 28, 2017
Lucky Wang 2D

Consider AI advances carefully
 
Interest is growing globally in the future development of artificial intelligence and what it could mean for humans. People discuss it frequently on social network sites like Facebook.
 
Although some people are worried about the negative impact AI could have on society, robotic technology, for example, is already helping on factory assembly lines where it can be used around the clock without a break, and eliminates the risk of human error.
 
AI can be used to make a swift and detailed diagnosis for some medical conditions, helping doctors to then decide on appropriate treatment.
 
Robots already enhance some surgical procedures and I believe that the use of AI in the field of medicine will greatly expand over the next 10 years to give physicians additional and invaluable help.
 
However, the rapid development of AI and the risks humans could face without tight controls is a worry. For example, autonomous weapons systems could wreak havoc in the wrong hands.
 
We will have to adapt to advances in AI, but we must take care when deciding how it can be used in society.
 
Lucky Wang, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 27, 2017
Billy Sit 5A

Trump making peace process more difficult
 
I do not think US President Donald Trump fully considered the consequences of his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
 
It brought strong condemnation from leaders of Muslim countries or nations with a predominantly Muslim population. Even America’s closest allies in Europe refused to follow Trump’s lead on this contentious issue.
 
Previous US presidents have tried to restart the peace process in the Middle East and get both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, to return to the negotiating table.
 
However, this decision by Trump will make that process more difficult.
 
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 27, 2017
Sinheilia Cheng 5B

Many young people are so disillusioned
 
Earlier this year, a youth policy consultation found that many young people were not interested in government plans to involve them in policymaking.
 
I think this is due to the breakdown of trust between our youth and the Hong Kong administration. It is a pity that so many of them feel this way, as the city will depend on them as future leaders.
 
If they are already giving up on their government, this does not bode well and calls into question the effectiveness of the administration. It needs the input of talented young adults when it comes to drafting the right policies that can help citizens of all ages and from different walks of life.
 
However, so many of these youth feel disillusioned, convinced that top officials will not listen to their ideas.
 
These officials need to recognise there is a problem and figure out how to deal with it and bridge the gap between them and young citizens.
 
As a young person in Hong Kong, I understand why this gap exists. I also realise that many youngsters are fully occupied with their studies or careers and have no time to participate in consultative groups that look at policymaking. But we cannot ignore what is happening around us. We have to show that we care about our society.
 
Cheng Sin-hei, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 26, 2017
Wincy Lau 4B

Mining firms will do so much damage
 
The decision of the Brazilian president to abolish a major reserve in the Amazon rainforest earlier this year was condemned by environmental groups.
 
It is feared that this area of the Amazon will now be opened up to mining companies, as the land is rich in gold and other minerals.
 
WWF has said that getting rid of the reserve and allowing mining will lead to substantial deforestation, the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of water -resources.
 
There will also be conflicts between mining companies and indigenous people in the rainforest whose homes are being destroyed.
 
Because of policies like this being adopted by the Brazilian government, the rainforest is shrinking as mining firms and farmers demand more land and want more trees to be felled.
 
Although mining large quantities of precious metals like gold can boost the country’s economy, the cost to the environment is very high, especially for people living in the affected regions. They rely on the trees and on animals who will leave or die off as their habitats are destroyed. Whole ecosystems will disappear.
 
These people will also suffer from polluted water systems and this affects the food chain.
 
Governments in South America which oversee the Amazon should be trying to protect rather than destroy this precious environment.
 
Wincy Lau, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 26, 2017
Suki Lee 5A

Insurance deal important for beauty centres
 
The jailing of a beauty chain owner for 12 years for manslaughter has surely raised public awareness about accusations of suspect trade practises in the beauty services sector in Hong Kong.
 
This trial will have further undermined confidence in the industry and highlights the need for measures to be taken to ensure greater protection for consumers.
 
I welcome the initiative taken by the Hong Kong Beauty Industry Union to try to improve service quality in the sector. It has come to an agreement with an insurance company to provide coverage for “small and medium-sized beauty parlours as long as they are properly accredited” (“Insurance deal sealed for beauty parlours”, December 9).
 
This can offer some safeguards to consumers if they choose beauty centres covered by the policy. At least they know some form of compensation will be available.
 
In the past small and medium-sized businesses have struggled to get insurance policies, because they faced unaffordable premiums, but this new agreement now makes that possible.
 
The new deal can help to improve the reputation of the beauty services sector in Hong Kong.
 
Suki Lee, Hang Hau

SCMP December 26, 2017
Mifty Ng 4E

So many foreign domestic helpers have raw deal
 
The minimum allowable wage for foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong is only HK$4,010 which is too low. If the government does not raise it, then eventually Hong Kong will lose out to other cities and countries which will offer better pay and conditions.
 
Also, when you consider the rate of inflation, the wage these helpers are paid is not enough, because they also have to buy necessities in Hong Kong. Even though their employers provide their meals, they still have to buy food on their days off, which is every Sunday and public holidays.
 
Also, a lot of these helpers are told they must be on call 24 hours a day. They often face such a heavy workload, doing virtually everything for the employer’s family, including housework, cooking and taking care of children, elderly relatives and even pets. If there is a young baby crying at night some helpers might be told they have to get up and comfort it. This means that they do not get enough sleep.
 
The government must ensure, through tougher laws and monitoring, that helpers get at least seven hours of break time every evening.
 
These helpers need to be given more protection by the government and they deserve better working conditions.
 
Ng Tsz-wing, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 26, 2017
Jenny Sit 6A

Pupils can benefit in school from using e-textbooks
 
Some people are sceptical about the increasing use of e-textbooks and e-learning in schools, but I think they can be effective and help pupils. They are also useful for adults in various ways.
 
This form of education has so much potential and we should not just focus on the cost issue, for example, of purchasing a computer or buying material online. Young people can gain from e-learning in so many ways if it is fully utilised by teachers.
 
For pupils e-learning offers unlimited resources which are not available with traditional textbooks. It also helps students at universities and people in the business world.
 
When using e-textbooks pupils may have to be adaptable and approach the learning process in a more flexible way. In the past they bought a textbook and during the course of the year might be expected to read it from start to finish. With e-learning, they can study in a different way. They can look at various e-books, just calling up and reading the relevant sections. And they can enhance the learning experience by finding other material online, such as graphics and videos, which help them to have a deeper understanding of their subject.
 
Young people in some remote parts of countries, who might have difficulty getting hold of a printed textbook, can now access it online. As long as the school makes sure there are computers they can use in class, this creates a more level playing field for everyone.
 
It is impossible to say how the internet will affect the learning process in the future, but I hope that it will be largely positive and progressive and actually benefit young people from different backgrounds.
 
Jenny Sit, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP December 23, 2017
Chole Ng 3B

China’s history should be in curriculum
 
Regarding the teaching of Chinese history as a separate, compulsory subject in secondary schools, I think such a move is essential.
 
Some schools now combine world history and Chinese history, while others include only a little Chinese history in liberal studies but as a Chinese, we have a responsibility to acquire thorough knowledge of the history of our country. Even in Japan and South Korea, students have to study their history as well as world history.
 
A nation’s history is the “root” of national consciousness and enhances the students’ sense of belonging, therefore the Education Bureau should act quickly to include it in the curriculum.
 
Chloe Ng Sin-yee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 23, 2017
William Wan 5B

Too many bikes spoiling share scheme
 
Bike-sharing services have been expanding rapidly in recent years as more people enjoy the convenience.
 
However, it seems that in some cities like Beijing, this business is overdeveloped and drawbacks are showing up (“Are China’s bike-sharing services oversharing?”, October 2).
 
The bike-sharing service in China has been popular due to its user-friendly services but the companies involved started to purchase too many bikes for the available parking spaces and so they clogged bike lanes and footpaths.
 
The resulting inconvenience for users and the general public is the opposite of what planners and bike-sharing companies had aimed for.
 
The distribution of bikes must be carefully considered but also how to reduce the numbers of shared bikes. After all, it’s not expensive for a family to own a bicycle and sometimes public transport is a better option than pedalling a bike.
 
In some city locations now bikes outnumber potential users by two to one so rather than producing more bikes, the companies should think about how they can attract more customers.
 
Government help is needed to manage the services and ensure benefits for users and non-users alike.
 
William Wan Wai-ming, Clear Water Bay

SCMP December 23, 2017
Jason Luk 5A

Think before buying those new clothes
 
I would like people to consider the environmental impact of the clothes they wear.
 
Clothes are mainly made of cotton. However, industries mostly will choose cotton that is not organic and so will support the farming practices which use a lot of pesticides or other ¬polluting chemicals which can damage eco-systems.
 
The natural colour of cotton is greyish and the bleaching used to make it white and soft produces large quantities of polluted water. As many factories may not have an adequate filtering system, the waste water flowing to the sea or rivers affects fish, animals and plant life.
 
And at home, eco-friendly laundry detergent should be used and we should resist buying so many clothes that won’t be worn because they are no longer considered fashionable.
 
Clothes are a major culprit affecting the environment. We need to think more seriously about what we wear, and change our throwaway mentality to help save the planet.
 
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 22, 2017
Jordan Chan 4E

Historic Hong Kong theatre is part of citizens’collective memory
 
I agree with conservationists who want to see a historic theatre in North Point spared demolition (“Conservationists urge change to save old theatre”, December 11).
 
The Empire Theatre opened in December 1952. It is now used as a snooker hall, but in its heyday it hosted many top performers and is “one of the last post-war stand-alone theatre structures in the city and the only building with an iconic flying buttress”.
 
This theatre is an important part of Hongkongers’ collective memory, especially those from older generations who remember it as a successful theatre.
 
There are few old theatres left anywhere in Hong Kong. We have lost so many, just as we have seen other historic buildings demolished that could have been preserved.
 
Over the last few decades, the needs of property developers have been paramount.
 
They have been able to get so many heritage sites destroyed, so that a new high-rise office or residential estate could be constructed.
 
I appreciate that new flats are needed and they enhance the quality of people’s lives, but heritage conservation is important, and remaining old buildings that are historically important should be preserved.
 
Even if it can no longer function as a theatre, I am sure a useful role could be found for it, but not as a snooker hall. This happened successfully with projects such as Mei Ho House in Shek Kip Mei (former housing estate) and Lui Seng Chun in Mong Kok (tong lau turned into Chinese medicine centre).
 
We need appropriate legislation that gives far greater protection to heritage buildings facing the threat of demolition.
 
Tougher laws will impose the necessary constraints on those developers who fail to recognise the importance of conservation for what is left of Hong Kong’s past.
 
Jordan Chan Wai-tsun, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 22, 2017
Hilary Lee 2D

E-books are fine, but there is a downside
 
I agree with correspondents who have said that there are benefits to e-books, but have also highlighted the downside.
 
Using e-books means pupils will have to carry fewer textbooks to school, so their bags are lighter and this puts less pressure on their shoulders, neck and back.
 
Also, it is environmentally friendly to use e-books. And pupils save money as they get a lot of material online that is free or cheaper than a textbook.
 
However, overuse can cause problems. Spending long periods looking at an electronic screen can lead to eye strain and other eye problems for young people.
 
Moreover, some parents on low incomes may not be able to afford e-books for their children.
 
Schools must recognise the positive and negative aspects when they decide on how much time pupils should be allowed to spend using their e-books in class and when they are doing homework.
 
Hilary Lee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 22, 2017
Ronnie Tse 6C

SCMP December 22, 2017
Candy Kong 4E

SCMP December 21, 2017
Laurent Li 5A

SCMP December 21, 2017
Daniel Hui 5A

SCMP December 21, 2017
Miffy Ng 4E

SCMP December 21, 2017
Peter Tam 5A

SCMP December 20, 2017
Sara Wong 5A

SCMP December 19, 2017
Carly Fung 5A

SCMP December 19, 2017
Sisca Chan 3A

SCMP December 18, 2017
Andy Yeung 5E

SCMP December 18, 2017
Katrina Lo 5E

SCMP December 18, 2017
Phoebe Fok 6E

SCMP December 16, 2017
Jacky Tsoi 4E

Country parks are no option for housing
 
Housing presents a very serious problem in Hong Kong, with land supply and housing distribution the talk of the town.
 
Some say that building flats in country parks can easily alleviate the housing crunch. However, I do not agree.
 
Building housing in country parks would harm the environment. These parks are precious recreational spots for Hong Kong people. If those are built upon, there will be less natural space for people to take a break from their busy working lives.
 
Loss of country parks would also worsen air pollution. Given the reality of global warming, the government should help to ease the problem of bad air.
 
Why not build on brownfield sites instead? Those are lying empty and abandoned anyway.
 
Jacky Tsoi, Lohas Park

SCMP December 16, 2017
Eunis Au 4D

Hong Kong must cherish marine species
 
I refer to your article on calls to protect our marine life (“Small city, big sea: Hong Kong marine life diversity prompts renewed scientific interest and calls for protection”, November 4).
 
The article said Hong Kong has nearly 6,000 marine species, which means its waters provide a good living environment. This enables researchers to investigate more species.
 
However, pollution, climate change, and habitat loss from land reclamation are putting precious species at risk. Such factors not only affect the ecosystem, but also pose a threat to sea creatures, and can even cause the extinction of -endangered species.
 
The people of Hong Kong should be more concerned about protecting our marine ecosystem and act accordingly.
 
The government also has a vital role. The first measure it should take is to enlarge the size of the protected marine area, as only 2 per cent of Hong Kong’s marine area is protected.
 
It should also publicise the importance of protecting marine life, through exhibitions and public talks, as well TV commercials. Catchy slogans and catchphrases play an important role in spreading the word.
 
Eunis Au, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 16, 2017
Cathy Yuen 5E

History hurry raises fears of selective study
 
As announced in the 2017 policy address, all local junior secondary schools will be required to teach Chinese history as an independent compulsory -subject at the junior levels, from the next academic year.
 
Some may say this change is necessary, in order to strengthen Chinese identity and instil patriotism among young Hongkongers. However, I think the subject should not be made mandatory, or it is hard not to have citizens feel suspicious about the intention behind such a directive, and also be afraid that it has political undertones.
 
Many educators have noted the logistical difficulties in implementing the scheme with less than a year to go until the next school year begins.
 
Educating the young generation is an important issue, as the knowledge and impressions gained in childhood will have a profound implication on their entire lives.
 
But critics are questioning why the government appeared to be in such a hurry to implement the policy.
 
They are also worried that the courses may only highlight the positive aspects of China’s history, and gloss over or omit the rest. That gives rise to brainwashing fears, and students not being able to use independent and critical thinking.
 
We should think about this issue comprehensively. Give the youngsters enough opportunity to “appreciate and inherit the splendid Chinese culture”.
 
Cathy Yuen Tsz-wai, Hang Hau

SCMP December 16, 2017
Kitty Yeung 2D

Self-service libraries have pros and cons
 
I am writing in response to your article about Hong Kong’s first self-service library station being launched in Sai Wan Ho, with two more to follow early next year (“Self-service library stations provide books on demand”, December 5).
 
This makes it more convenient for people in the neighbourhood to borrow books, as they don’t have to go all the way to the library. So more such vending-machine-style self-service library stations will bring more convenience.
 
These also can attract more people to read, as books on a variety of topics are so easily available. As self-service libraries are a new thing, they may feel interested in trying them out and borrow books.
 
But I feel the drawback is the number of books they stock. Each such library offers only 300 books, and this is not enough.
 
Also, such machines should be placed in neighbourhoods that are far away from any library, or their purpose would be lost. And if too many of such large vending machines are set up in crowded areas of the city, they will end up blocking the way for pedestrians.
 
Yeung Yan-ki, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 15, 2017
Candy Kong 4E

Hong Kong’s country parks and reclamation are not green housing options
 
The discovery in October of a large number of rare butterflies on protected green space raised once again the issue of building on country parks.
 
I agreed at the time with a green group which called for the government to halt a planned public housing project on the site.
 
I can understand why some politicians and officials have called for areas of country parks to be used for residential projects.
 
The shortage of decent, affordable housing is one of the main reasons given for using these areas. However, I believe it would be unacceptable to do this as there are other options which do not have such an adverse effect on the environment.
 
There are still a lot of brownfield sites which would be suitable for housing, many of them in the New Territories.
 
There are also golf courses which have a lot of available land area and some barracks either underused not used at all by the PLA garrison.
 
I am also against proposals for reclamation outside Victoria Harbour. Opting for reclamation or using some areas of country parks would run counter to the government’s long-term blueprint to have a sustainable city by 2030 and beyond.
 
The purpose of country parks is to prevent the over-urbanisation of Hong Kong and protect the natural environment of the city. It allows people to enjoy nature free of charge and enhances their well-being.
 
The government needs to review existing policies and find more ways to optimise land use, so that it meets the aspirations of those living in this city.
 
It is not enough to just identify new land. The government needs to have comprehensive population and housing demand management policies.
 
Our country parks are precious. The best way to increase land supply is to develop existing and unprotected land.
 
Kong Lok-son, Po Lam

SCMP December 15, 2017
Mandy Hui 2D

Sexual abuse victims should speak out
 
I refer to your recent report on Vera Lui Lai-yiu (“Hurdler Vera Lui’s claim that a coach sexually assaulted her when she was 13 sparks outcry”, November 30).
 
These revelations by the top Hong Kong athlete have brought into focus the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in Hong Kong.
 
Now, more people are paying attention and realising that this problem is not just confined to other societies, but directly affects this city.
 
As Lui points out, “It was the offender’s fault. I am not ashamed as a victim.”
 
I agree that victims of this kind of abuse should not feel ashamed. They should speak out about what happened and tell a responsible adult, such as a teacher or parent.
 
These individuals need to realise that what happened was not their fault. They need to have the courage to face the issue and talk about the assault they faced. This can hopefully stop someone from targeting and abusing another youngster.
 
Also, there must be more help available, with a fully equipped support mechanism for these young victims.
 
Mandy Hui Kei-tung, Po Lam

SCMP December 15, 2017
Wincy Lau 4B

Vocational training advice still inadequate
 
There is room for improvement when it comes to helping pupils with career development in local schools.
 
The government should ensure that youngsters are able to learn more about, and have some practical experience in, vocational training.
 
Some teenagers are not academically gifted and so do not expect to do well in the Diploma of Secondary Education exam. As they will not be going to university, they need to be able to explore other options, including a possible vocational career track. So they need to be given as much guidance as possible on the school campus, so that they can look into various trades and the training needed.
 
In conjunction with this, the government should be investing more in the creative and technology sectors. There is too much emphasis on academic achievements in our education system.
 
Youngsters with different levels of ability must be given the opportunity to develop at their own pace and achieve their potential.
 
Wincy Lau, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post December 15, 2017
Jessica Chung 1A

SCMP December 15, 2017
Hilary Lee 2D

SCMP December 15, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP December 14, 2017
Simon Chung 5A

SCMP December 14, 2017
Jacky Sit 3B

SCMP December 13, 2017
Heidi Yip 4A

SCMP December 13, 2017
Marco Chan 5C

SCMP December 12, 2017
Jolly Chau 5C

Very important for youngsters to learn teamwork
 
Kelly Yang’s core message in her article (“Wanted: young diplomats”, December 4) is that Hong Kong students need more empathy. Unfortunately, local schools do not have a lot of classes on learning soft skills like empathy. This makes it difficult for youngsters to understand the feelings of others and empathise with them.
 
I agree with Yang that it is important for Hong Kong students to learn about teamwork and the ability to get along with others. They need to understand how to cooperate. If they can acquire these skills in school they are more likely to be able to use them when they join the workforce.
 
However, I would not like to see a switch from Cantonese to English as the main language in local schools. Cantonese is the mother tongue of local students. If schools switched it could hurt the prospects of those pupils who were not able to adapt.
 
The best solution is to offer more places at schools where English is the medium of instruction so that those pupils who are capable of learning in English can go there.
 
I would certainly like to see young Hongkongers becoming more empathetic.
 
Jolly Chau Hiu-tung, Kwun Tong

SCMP December 12, 2017
Kitty Yeung 2D

Not all Hongkongers are selfish
 
I agree with correspondents who talk about the competitive nature of society in Hong Kong and how this extends to local schools. This can sometimes lead to adults and children behaving badly.
 
There is too much focus on academic results by parents and pupils and the need to succeed at all costs extends into adulthood. This can lead to many citizens acting in a selfish manner, such as not holding a lift door open for other people who are approaching. People say that this lack of civility in Hong Kong is getting worse.
 
However, it is important to recognise that not all Hongkongers are selfish. You do see passengers getting up and giving their seats on the MTR or a bus to someone in need, such as the elderly.
 
Therefore, it is fair to say that not everyone is uncaring, they do not always think of themselves first. There needs to be more civic education by the government, so that Hongkongers are more willing to help each other.
 
If people showed more consideration for each other then I think we would have a happier and better quality society.
 
People need to communicate more with each other and understand people’s needs.
 
Yeung Yan-ki, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post December 11, 2017
Marcus Leung 2B

SCMP December 11, 2017
Leo Tse 2D

SCMP December 11, 2017
Jason Lau 2D

SCMP December 11, 2017
Tony Tam 2D

SCMP December 11, 2017
James Wong 5E

SCMP December 08, 2017
Chioe Wong 2A

Therapy dogs great idea for stress relief
 
I refer to the report on the University of Hong Kong bringing a therapy sheepdog to campus to help their students relax before exams (“Exam stress getting to you? Meet Jasper, the HKU therapy dog”, November 23).
 
The report said while some local universities do offer one-off therapy sessions, HKU’s ¬pilot ¬programme is unique, as it will be the first to have a “resident” therapy dog available for three days next week.
 
I really hope to adopt a dog. However, my parents have not agreed so far.
 
If there were a therapy dog at school, I think I would look forward to classes everyday.
 
Students in Hong Kong these days are always under a lot of pressure, from exams, the high expectations of their parents and teachers, from fear of failure, and so on. All this affects our quality of life. A therapy dog can make us relax and forget all the unhappiness in our daily lives. So I welcome the idea of having a therapy animal on campus.
 
However, I understand that not everyone may agree. Some students may be afraid of dogs or have an allergic reaction to animal fur. But for those who do love dogs, I think they are a great way to relieve stress.
 
Chloe Wong, Po Lam

SCMP December 08, 2017
Melody Ho 5E

SCMP December 08, 2017
Daisy Ip 2D

SCMP December 06, 2017
Marco Kwan 5E

SCMP December 06, 2017
Alice Ma 5E

SCMP December 05, 2017
Michael Li 2C

SCMP December 05, 2017
Desmond Chan 5E

Young Post December 04, 2017
Toby Wong 1A

SCMP December 04, 2017
Daniel Hui 5A

SCMP December 02, 2017
Hilary Lee 2D

Country parks should be left as they are
 
I refer to the report on the government’s housing development plans (“Study into building on Hong Kong country parks faces scrutiny”, November 24).
 
I think the government should not build homes in the fringes of country parks, because that would damage the ecological diversity of these areas. The parks are home to many animals and, if the government wants to develop this land for housing, they will lose their habitat.
 
Such housing projects will also increase visual pollution in the city, as green areas will be greatly reduced, with high rises taking their place. This will also add to the heat island effect and exacerbate global warming.
 
Hilary Lee, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post December 01, 2017
Marcus Leung 2B

SCMP December 01, 2017
Kelly Wong 2B

SCMP December 01, 2017
John Wu 2D

SCMP November 30, 2017
Heidi Wan 2B

SCMP November 29, 2017
Jason Luk 5A

SCMP November 28, 2017
Teresa Ng 5B

Schools often neglect creativity and independent thinking
 
 
While it is good that some local schools do encourage pupils to think outside the box, the exam-oriented system is still dominant and even in primary school a lot of pupils are under pressure to do well so they can get into top secondary schools.
 
In the fight to get one of these places, parents may often neglect the need to encourage their children to be creative and think independently. They are sometimes forced to sign up for extracurricular activities that do not interest them.
 
These children can become so disillusioned that they lose interest in the entire learning process. They then just concentrate on rote learning, copying the right answers to get the best results in exams, without really thinking about what they are studying.
 
Parents need to reflect on what their children really want and what would be good for them, including aiming for a school, based not on its reputation, but whether it is suitable for the child.
 
The government should be encouraging schools to have more active learning schemes where teachers take a more integrated approach in a subject. This encourages pupils to be more creative and inquisitive and to question themselves. This is better than blindly copying material from textbooks.
 
I do not believe it is good to turn youngsters into exam machines. They need to see learning as a lifelong process.
 
The happiness of pupils is just as important as scoring high marks in tests and exams.
 
Teresa Ng, Hang Hau

SCMP November 28, 2017
Kelly Wong 2D

Government should encourage people to cut back on plastic
 
I welcome a new policy launched at government premises (“Hong Kong government vending machines to ditch small water bottles in battle against plastic waste’’, November 23).
 
This is a good policy, but the administration has to do more to raise levels of public awareness about the importance of environmental protection. It needs to get its green message across forcefully with more adverts on television and online. Citizens need to realise that they have a role to play in trying to protect ecosystems in Hong Kong, including doing basic things like helping to keep our streets clean. Residents should be cooperating with the government.
 
There should also be more talks and workshops in schools with environmental themes so that pupils learn from an early age that we all need to try to protect our planet. They are more likely to want to do this if they have a deeper understanding of the issues.
 
Kelly Wong Ka-yi, Po Lam

SCMP November 28, 2017
Eric Lui 2B

Diners have to think about what they are eating in restaurants
 
The Consumer Council and the government‘s Centre for Food Safety found “alarming levels of salt and fat in 10 popular Hong Kong-style dishes” (“Choice of restaurant may be the key to healthier eating”, November 16).
 
They looked at food which is popular with local diners such as sweet and sour pork, scrambled eggs, fish fillets, steamed pork patties and salted eggs. Some dishes, especially the pork patty and salted egg, had very high sodium content.
 
It is important that restaurants take note of these findings, especially with raised levels of awareness about the health implications of what we eat. But of course, owners of these eateries want to make food as tasty as possible, so, for example, they add too much seasoning, when it is not needed in a particular dish.
 
I think legislation may eventually be needed to force restaurants to reduce salt content in their dishes as excessive salt raises the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
 
Eric Lui, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 27, 2017
Katrina Lo 5E

Young Post November 24, 2017
Trisha Tobar 4B

More than 60 per cent of Hongkongers use plastic utensils or straws when dining out, and that's not okay
 
I am writing in response to an article, “Two in three Hongkongers use plastic disposables for dining, adding to city’s waste crisis”, which was published on the South China Morning Post website on November 14.
 
According to the article, 66 per cent of respondents who took part in a survey use plastic utensils, and 68 per cent use straws when dining out. This trend has helped increase Hong Kong’s pollution problems because all those things end up in landfills which are almost full.
 
These landfills not only produce pollutants which spoil the atmosphere, they also waste precious space and cause a variety of health problems for residents. Therefore, I think it’s very important that Hong Kong reduces its use of plastic disposables.
 
The article mentions that Greenpeace has urged fast-food chains to encourage customers to bring their own cutlery, which I think is a great way to solve the problem. If restaurants started offering discounts to customers who brought their own cutlery, this would be a good incentive for others to follow suit.
 
It would help if people who use disposable cutlery reused the spoons, knives and forks, and recycled them when they could not be used any more.
 
However, it would be much more effective if we stopped using plastic disposables completely and switched to metal utensils instead.
 
Trisha Tobar, King Ling College

SCMP November 24, 2017
Sara Wong 5A

Helper subsidy for elderly an overdue move
 
China plans to allow more of its citizens to hire domestic helpers from abroad.
 
At the same time, the Hong Kong government says it may look into the feasibility of a subsidy so that elderly citizens who are on low incomes and living alone may hire helpers.
 
As the demand for these workers increases, we will have to find ways to encourage them to choose Hong Kong, including attractive terms.
 
I certainly back the launching of a pilot subsidy scheme for the single elderly to hire helpers.
 
Many elderly people who live alone in public housing would prefer to stay in their own flats rather than at a care home. They value their independence and believe they would enjoy a better quality of life by staying at home. Having a full-time helper would make this more feasible.
 
The subsidy scheme could also be extended to old people living with their families, as often the children have a lot of demands on their spare time, with jobs and their own young children to look after.
 
Sara Wong Kit-yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 24, 2017
Marco Kwan 5E

Citizens rightly objecting to restrictions
 
The central government is continuing to expand the “Great Firewall”, following from its decision earlier this year to shut down unauthorised VPNs. I do not think this crackdown can be justified.
 
Basically, China’s leaders do not want their citizens to know about the country’s dark side. For example, they want people to accept their sanitised version of history, such as the actions of Mao Zedong. They prefer to gloss over the tremendous suffering caused by many of his policies, such as the Cultural Revolution.
 
It also wants no discussion about what happened in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
 
The central government does not want its citizens to know the truth.
 
Many people have reacted angrily to these forms of online censorship.
 
They feel they should be free to use VPNs to surf websites they want to look at. I can understand their anger over these heavy-handed crackdowns by the authorities.
 
I am sure citizens on the mainland will continue to object to this internet crackdown.
 
Marco Kwan, Hang Hau

SCMP November 24, 2017
Tony Tsoi 2D

Angered by latest internet crackdown
 
I am concerned about the latest internet crackdown on the mainland by the central government (“Goodbye Skype. China internet censorship juggernaut rolls on without its former cyber tsar”, November 23).
 
This is the latest form of internet censorship, with the popular Skype application no longer being available in app stores for people to install in their smartphones.
 
People have used some of the apps on sale to read news from outside China, but they also use them, especially Skype, to keep in touch with friends and family. Now it will be more difficult for them to do this.
 
Not only are their rights being infringed, but I see this as an invasion of their privacy.
 
Such a move must raise concerns among citizens that virtually everything they now say online will be monitored by the authorities.
 
If they say something that the security forces object to, they could be arrested and end up in prison. So just expressing themselves in the privacy of their own home could land them in trouble.
 
However, I wonder if the central government can really crack down on all forms of internet communication between citizens, including shutting down virtual private networks (VPNs).
 
Leo Tse, Yau Tong

SCMP November 21, 2017
Leo Tse 2D

Custodial sentences can be a deterrent
 
The government should establish new laws with tougher punishment for people found guilty of bullying, including custodial sentences. Anyone under the age of 18 can be sent to a facility for young offenders.
 
People might think twice about bullying if they know they could be jailed and then come out with a criminal record.
 
The government also has to raise levels of awareness, so people realise that this is a serious problem and that anyone who witnesses bullying must report it to the authorities.
 
Other things can be done, such as having smaller class sizes in local schools. This has happened in Japan and has led to a decrease in the incidence of bullying.
 
Leo Tse, Yau Tong

SCMP November 21, 2017
Emily Shek 3B

Pupils would benefit from study hours cap
 
Young people in Hong Kong face a heavy workload. After spending around eight hours at school they will often then have extracurricular activities or tutorial classes and when they get back home have to do a lot of homework, including revision and preparing for tests.
 
Therefore, I support the proposal that there should be a daily study hours cap for pupils and I think it should be set at 10 hours. This law should also stipulate that there should be 30 minutes of exercise every day in school and pupils should have one hour free time to do whatever they want.
 
If they have this regular exercise period then hopefully they will develop a healthy habit and participate in sports in their spare time.
 
Also if they have a study hours cap then hopefully they can spend a lot of time with the rest of the family and parents will communicate more with their children leading to a closer relationship. Parents will then be able to discuss important topics like moral education.
 
Some countries do lay down guidelines for schools on the maximum amount of homework that pupils should have to do every evening.
 
I do agree with those people who advocate legislation being enacted to stop youngsters facing an impossible workload. It is important to place a limit on study times.
 
Emily Shek, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 20, 2017
Miki Chung 2D

Focus on the road, not your smartphone
 
I keep reading press reports about yet another traffic accident, and it would seem that there are now more crashes than ever before in Hong Kong.
 
These crashes may involve private cars, taxis, minibuses, buses or trucks. But I wonder why Hong Kong has so many of these accidents. While drivers can be at fault, for instance, if they had been speeding, sometimes careless -pedestrians can also be to blame.
 
I often see people walking across a road when the red “don’t walk” light is on at a pedestrian crossing, with their eyes glued to their smartphone instead of looking out for approaching vehicles.
 
If a car is going too fast, it may not be able to stop in time, causing a terrible accident.
 
However, it is not just careless pedestrians, impatient drivers caught in traffic can also cause accidents. All road users, whether drivers or pedestrians, need to take greater care.
 
People should be looking at the road and not their phones when they cross or drive.
 
Miki Chung Chi-yan, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP November 20, 2017
Trisha Tobar 4B

Urge diners to bring their own cutlery
 
It is disturbing to learn the results of a Greenpeace poll, which found that 66 per cent of respondents used plastic utensils and 68 per cent used plastic straws when dining out.
 
The use of disposable plastic is an increasing trend, and this is tough on our landfills which are close to saturation point.
 
I believe that fast food chains should encourage customers to bring their own cutlery, rather than use disposable plastic knives and forks. Or they could offer discounts to diners who return the plastic cutlery, rather than throw it away. Also, all these eateries should make sure they use biodegradable plastic.
 
Trisha Tobar, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 19, 2017
Edna Lau 2B

Trump, Kim need to show more maturity
 
There is an ongoing war of words between the leaders of America and North Korea.
 
US President Donald Trump has called President Kim Jong-un a “madman” and “rocket man”. Kim has branded Trump a “mentally deranged dotard”. Trump has also said he will, if necessary, use the full range of his nation’s weaponry to defend his country and its allies.
 
If a conflict did break out, even one with only conventional weapons, the death toll would be high. I hope we will see greater maturity from both leaders and that they will step back from any military option.
 
Edna Lau Wing-lam, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 19, 2017
Sandy Chan 5B

Hospital fee hike has hurt the grass roots
 
The Hospital Authority has reported an 18 per cent drop in the number of non-critical patients at public hospital emergency units, after charges were increased in June from HK$100 to HK$180.
 
While this may ease overcrowding, my concern is that many of those who visit these units are from low-income families and so may not be able to afford the increased fee. This is worrying if they are seriously ill and need urgent medical help.
 
I also think overcrowding will continue. Many people who do not have a medical emergency but can afford the HK$180 will still visit emergency departments when they should go to an ¬outpatient clinic instead. So I am not convinced that the fee hike has achieved its objective.
 
Sandy Chan, Yau Tong

SCMP November 19, 2017
Benson Wong 5A

Offer helpers permanent residency
 
The Labour and Welfare minister has said that Hong Kong will need a large number of domestic helpers to deal with the city’s ageing population, many of them acting as carers for elderly citizens.
 
However, as the mainland grows more prosperous, it will become more popular with helpers from the Philippines. So we will have to compete with employers from over the border and in other countries.
 
We will not get the numbers we need unless these workers are offered good employment packages. This must include allowing them right of abode when they have been here for seven years. Having worked as helpers for that period, as permanent residents they would then be free to apply for any job.
 
Also, the law must be changed so that helpers no longer have to live in their employers’ home. Flats in Hong Kong are often so cramped that there is nowhere decent for the helper to sleep. Prospective employees are more likely to come here if they can choose their own accommodation.
 
Benson Wong Tat-hin, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 18, 2017
Christy Lam 4B

Chinese history has a place in school
 
I refer to the letter by Lau Lok-yiu (“Pupils should learn about nation’s history”, November 13).
 
In recent years, survey results have shown that many Hong Kong people see themselves not as Chinese but as Hongkongers. Many of them have no sense of belonging to the country, and more people asking for Hong Kong independence. I agree that Chinese history should be a compulsory subject in junior secondary schools, even though I support neither the “yellow” nor “blue” factions in society.
 
Studying the past can help people learn from it, not just to avoid the wrongdoings, but to learn from the good; just like students study past exam papers to note common mistakes and avoid repeating them.
 
There may be similarities between the past and today, and students thus have a chance to reflect on whether our current government is working well.
 
Studying Chinese history, combined with liberal studies, will help students think outside the box. Through Chinese history, students can also learn about changes in Hong Kong.
 
History is not only about rulers, but interesting ideas like the invention of paper. By studying these developments throughout the centuries, students will be admiring the beauty of some Chinese traditions.
 
Chinese history can be combined with English too. Simply reciting facts is boring, so how about creating a history drama? Students could translate historic scenes into English and perform them. With this teaching method, students will learn history more easily.
 
Christy Lam, Po Lam

SCMP November 18, 2017
Vincy Pun 4B

E-sports will increase job opportunities
 
E-sports are a new concept for some people. But the technology has developed rapidly.
 
Many adolescents and adults like to play electronic games and the government has been urged to help (“Call for e-sports to be recognised and -subsidised”, November 13).
 
When e-sports are recognised, professional teams will have their own coaches and receive training like athletes do. Some people really do well with electronic gaming, but their talents are often not recognised as most people still consider games only as a form of entertainment.
 
Playing games is not always a good thing. Playing too much will hurt people’s eyes. However, there are advantages. E-sports will increase job opportunities, especially for young people. Some students do not do well at school and e-sports are a new job option.
 
Vincy Pun, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 17, 2017
Samuel Yu 5A

Allow helpers to feel at home in Hong Kong
 
The Labour and Welfare secretary has said that 600,000 domestic helpers will be needed in the next 30 years to take care of Hong Kong’s rapidly ageing -population.
 
Demand for domestic helpers will also increase across the border, among well-off mainland families.
 
If we cannot offer helpers an attractive package they will go elsewhere, including over the border. Hong Kong will become a less attractive place to work.
 
The government will have to offer them more than helpers already working here get. For example, they will have to be eligible to apply for permanent residency after seven years, just like other expatriates.
 
Also, government monitoring procedures must be beefed up to protect helpers from abuse. For instance, you read of workers being forced to go outside on ledges to clean windows on a high floor of a block of flats. The laws protecting these helpers must be tightened.
 
The live-in rule, which says helpers must stay with their employer, should be scrapped. Many flats are so small that domestic helpers are forced to sleep in a bathroom or on the kitchen floor. This is wrong.
 
Samuel Yu, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP November 17, 2017
Jackie Lo 5D

Belt and road schemes can help graduates
 
I agree with those who say that Hong Kong citizens, especially young graduates, can gain from the city’s involvement in the “Belt and Road Initiative”.
 
This development strategy was announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to boost the nation’s economic growth and its trade with other countries on the route of the old land-based and maritime silk roads.
 
It will improve connectivity between these countries, and bring about enhanced business, cultural and academic exchanges. More undergraduates from here will go to universities in the countries along the belt and road to study and vice versa, helped by funding from the Hong Kong government.
 
Hopefully, once they have graduated, many of them, with the experience gained during these exchanges, will start their careers in projects linked to the belt and road strategy.
 
Studying and then working in those countries will help them to broaden their horizons.
 
I certainly feel the initiative will offer me more opportunities when I graduate.
 
I hope that there would be a lot of belt and road career opportunities for young Hongkongers like me.
 
Jackie Lo, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post November 17, 2017
Icy Wong 4B

SCMP November 17, 2017
Marco Chan 5C

Young Post November 15, 2017
Tiffany Lau 1A

SCMP November 15, 2017
Carrie Chong 6A

SCMP November 14, 2017
Mandy Hui 2D

Much more must be done to tackle’s Hong Kong’s mental health crisis
 
I refer to the article (“As one in six Hong Kong people suffers from mental illness, Dr Lucy Lord talks about how the city can change its outlook”, November 11).
 
It is important to ask why so many citizens have psychological problems. With students, stress caused by their high workload, is a major factor. Many adults are unhappy in their workplace and if they have to put in a lot of hours at the office they cannot get enough time to rest and relax. Then there are external factors, such as not earning enough to get a mortgage and eventually own a home.
 
Less pressure should be placed on children. Often, for example, they are forced by parents to do extracurricular activities that they don’t enjoy. They should be allowed to sign up for those activities which interest them.
 
Troubled teenagers need the support of their families. They are more likely to be able to deal with stressful events if they are able to talk things through with caring family members. This can help them to calm their emotions. They can also seek professional help.
 
Companies should recognise the importance of providing a healthy working environment for their employees which can help to lower stress levels. If these levels appear to be high, employers should look into this and see if solutions can be found. If necessary, counselling services should be provided. Staff who have to work long hours, should be given sufficient time to rest between shifts.
 
There are not enough government-run mental health facilities. The Hospital Authority must have integrated mental-health community centres in all 18 districts offering comprehensive programmes for citizens.
 
Mandy Hui Kei-tung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 14, 2017
Cherry Yeung 6A

School’s initiative shows how pupils can enjoy the learning process
 
As a secondary level pupil I really appreciate the ideas adopted by a school in Tin Shui Wai (“How one Hong Kong school broke away from city’s cramming culture”, November 11).
 
W F Joseph Lee Primary School operates what it calls “multiple intelligence” classes, comprising various activities, including gardening and washing dishes. When I was at primary school, I had to endure a rote-learning culture and days filled with tedious tests and drills. This spoon-fed education system does not encourage creativity or your critical thinking faculties.
 
Therefore, it is great to find a school which does not only focus on textbooks, but allows pupils to get involved in activities which are non-academic, stimulating and enjoyable. At this school they are not just learning academic subjects in class, but also life skills.
 
I would like to see more local schools following the example set by W F Joseph Lee. They can benefit so much from learning these life skills and it gives them time away from their textbooks and can help to relieve the pressure they face from a heavy workload.
 
Schools should be aiming to create all-round individuals, not just young people who can do well in exams. Teachers and school heads need to think outside the box and beyond the compulsory syllabus.
 
Cherry Yeung Chin-wai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 14, 2017
Burnet Chong 5A

SCMP November 14, 2017
Eugene Ho 2D

Young Post November 13, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP November 11, 2017
Carina Cheung 2C

Addiction to online gaming hurts studies
 
I refer to your article on free online games (“Are you being played?”, October 30).
 
Many players want to download popular games, especially if these are free-to-play.
 
However, they may have to pay real money during the game when they need some land or weapons, which helps game publishers to make money.
 
Teenagers are big fans of online gaming, but I think they must focus on studies and not waste all their time on this.
 
They can spend all day playing at the weekends, which will affect their school work. Their parents can get angry if they are so addicted to gaming, and this can lead to quarrels in the family. So it is best that teens limit their gaming time, so that their studies are not hampered.
 
Carina Cheung, Hang Hau

SCMP November 11, 2017
Priscilla Ko 6B

Non-Chinese parents being left in the lurch
 
I refer to your report on the lack of English in preschool evaluation reports (“Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities can’t assess preschool quality as reports are not in English”, November 2).
 
Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city, where non-Chinese speakers (aged five and over) number more than 430,000. Ensuring quality education for non-Chinese pupils is also a pressing problem for society.
 
The government and the bureau have always advocated the idea of “integrated education”, saying pupils of different needs and ethnicities should study together. Therefore, it is ironic that the bureau is failing to support non-Chinese parents.
 
Without official education quality reports in English, these parents will struggle to find out whether these preschools suit their children or not. Eventually, they may be driven away from local to international schools. This not only goes against integrated education, but also hurts non-Chinese parents’ trust in Hong Kong’s education system.
 
Being a large-scale government organisation, the Education Bureau should be able to provide Chinese and English documents as references.
 
Priscilla Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 11, 2017
Patrick Leung 4D

Let hawkers showcase local food culture
 
I refer to Niall Fraser’s column on the food truck scheme being a poor substitute for Hong Kong hawkers (“Food truck scheme hard to stomach after glory days of Hong Kong’s street hawkers”, October 31).
 
The government started a food truck scheme for selling snacks or Hong Kong-style dishes in different areas around town, such as tourist spots. -Unfortunately, the results have disappointed everyone.
 
Because of the high cost of the license and few patrons, the food had to be sold at high prices to meet costs.
 
It became so tough to turn a profit that three truck operators chose to quit, with only two from the waiting list willing to take their place in the scheme, which was rolled out in February with 16 food trucks.
 
News reports said it can cost as much as HK$1 million in monthly rents and initial investment to operate a food truck, while a hawker’s trolley only costs HK$8,000.
 
Moreover, because the pressure of maintenance costs is lower, hawkers can sell their snacks at a low price. Most ¬importantly, the food they sell is very popular among locals.
 
The government has cracked down on hawking activities in recent years, citing hygiene concerns. But hawkers serve the community with their cheap and tasty street food, and are a tourist attraction as well. I feel the government should be more flexible about street hawkers. It is very hard for the grass roots to apply for a hawking licence. They only wish to earn enough to support themselves and their families. Why not give them a chance to do so?
 
Seeing as how some visitors to the city actually prefer to eat at unlicensed hawker stalls, maybe it is time to legalise such hawker activity.
 
Not only will this help the hawkers to find a stable livelihood, it can also become a cultural draw for tourists, like the night markets of Taiwan.
 
Patrick Leung, Sai Kung

Young Post November 10, 2017
Anson Chow 3B

SCMP November 10, 2017
Teresa Ng 5B

SCMP November 09, 2017
Kaka Lau 6B

SCMP November 09, 2017
Spencer Lee 6B

SCMP November 09, 2017
Michael Ke 5A

SCMP November 09, 2017
Karen Chan 6B

SCMP November 08, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP November 08, 2017
Emily Leung 4D

SCMP November 07, 2017
Gary Chan 2C

Important to protect personal data when you are online
 
I refer to the report (“Are you being played?” October 30) about how free apps collect our data.
 
Popular apps take information and profiles of users and sell it on. Also through these profiles some of those developers of computer games can work out how people will play and those players who be willing to pay for extras. If your data is sent to other firms then you may get apps you are encouraged to buy.
 
Of course most of us use popular social networks like Facebook all the time and with any platform or app, we have to log in and we will have to give some personal information and details.
 
However, we do have to think more carefully about what they will do with that data and who it will go to when we register with a new app. It may not create any problems for us and we may welcome the offer of an app to purchase, because it is something that we want. However, I hope all internet users will think more carefully about what personal information they share online.
 
Chan Kei-wai, Sai Kung

SCMP November 07, 2017
Lok Lo 4D

Pensioners not getting enough help from the government
 
It is often assumed that with such a low tax rate, people in Hong Kong are well placed to save a lot for their retirement. However, this is not the case for all citizens, especially those on low incomes.
 
The government pension system is far from perfect and because of that many people cannot look forward to a carefree retirement. The Mandatory Provident Fund, while it helps, will not provide enough money for people in their old age. It does at least force employees to save and employers to make a contribution, but it does not go far enough. It will not meet the various expenses faced by pensioners, especially in this city with such high prices and inflation.
 
Also, many citizens are saving desperately to make a down payment for a flat. With the high price of property, this leaves them with little left to put aside for their retirement. Even if they get to own an apartment they could struggle with insufficient savings for daily necessities.
 
The government must overhaul its retirement and pensions policies. It must have a comprehensive strategy which can make a real difference to the lives of those old folk who are faced with poverty.
 
This is an international finance centre. None of our elderly citizens should be living miserable lives, because they do not have an adequate pension.
 
Lo Man-lok, Po Lam

SCMP November 07, 2017
Tor Yeung 4D

It is a common practice in other countries for citizens to respect their national anthem
 
The pan-democrats have called for a comprehensive public consultation exercise over how the national anthem law will apply in Hong Kong. However, a pro-Beijing politician has said that asking citizens about every detail of this legislation is impractical (“What will get Hongkongers into trouble under national anthem law? Government called on for details”, November 5).
 
It is important to have a proper public consultation process and not a cosmetic exercise. Citizens want to know what the consequences of their actions will be under this legislation. It would be wrong if they were arrested for breaking a law they do not understand.
 
I understand the motivation behind a national anthem law. It is important for Hong Kong citizens to realise that while we have “one country, two systems” this city is still part of China. We should be doing the same as citizens in other countries who show respect for their national anthem. The pan-democrats would argue there is a difference, because these countries are democracies which is not the case with China. However, we are taught in school to show respect for others and we should also show respect for this important song.
 
Perhaps the government should do more in the area of civic education where pupils are taught about showing respect for certain things in society. It could be included in the liberal studies curriculum.
 
Also, classes could look at the lyrics in the anthem and the history behind the song.
 
As I said, youngsters in other countries learn to show respect for their national anthem and I think this is a reasonable law.
 
Tor Yeung, Hang Hau

SCMP November 07, 2017
Kaley Au Yeung 4D

SCMP November 07, 2017
Ken Ting 2C

SCMP November 07, 2017
Kaecee Wong 4D

Young Post November 06, 2017
Kelly Zheng 3C

Young Post November 06, 2017
Phoebe Lee 3B

SCMP November 06, 2017
Janice Chan 5B

SCMP November 06, 2017
Adrian Wong 3C

SCMP November 04, 2017
Cindy Wong 5A

For an easy life, phone apps are the way to pay
 
As technology makes life more convenient, the way people pay has also changed. Applications like Apple Pay and Alipay have already become popular alternative payment methods, and they have dozens of advantages.
 
First is convenience. Users do not need to bring cash when dining or shopping, which means there are no limits to their choices.
 
With these payment apps, they do not have to wait in line at the ATMs, which saves a lot of time. No more remembering passwords to withdraw cash, or counting it out at checkouts or when settling bills.
 
These payment apps are also more accurate, as the bill up to the last cent can be settled immediately. No more struggling with loose change or getting the amount wrong. The process of finishing a payment is made so much smoother.
 
Cindy Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 04, 2017
Simon Chung 5A

Egyptian relics revealed city’s cultural bent
 
A recently concluded four-month exhibition at the Science Museum about ancient Egyptian culture, featuring mummies from the British Museum, drew a lot of crowds.
 
The popularity of the exhibition showed that Hongkongers enjoy learning about different cultures. However, they do not get enough chances to do so. The response to the Egyptian cultural relics only proves that more large-scale exhibitions are needed in the city.
 
These can also help Hong Kong students broaden their horizons, as they become familiar with other cultures and gain a more global outlook, adding to their competitive edge. The government and big private firms can together arrange for more such exhibitions in the city.
 
Simon Chung, Kwun Tong

SCMP November 03, 2017
Janson Luk 5A

Study hours cap in schools is unrealistic
 
There have been calls for standard hours to be established for secondary school students to relieve the stress they feel.
 
The argument is that the workload takes a heavy toll on the mental health of youngsters and that many do not get enough sleep so they can allocate more time for homework and revision.
 
However, if a standard hours rule was implemented, this would leave some pupils with insufficient time to do all their academic work. It would mean they were unprepared for the important exams like the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam. This could actually lead to them feeling greater stress, because of their fear of doing badly.
 
In order to do well in the DSE exam, many teenagers have no choice but to put in a lot of hours. Many attend tutorial classes and then have homework. They feel they have to do this if they want to score well in the exam. Different students have varying levels of ability. It would not be realistic to implement a study hours cap in local schools.
 
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP November 03, 2017
Shirley Lau 3C

Happy racers reported a clean harbour
 
This year’s cross-harbour race was special because it started from the original site for the first time in almost four decades. Swimmers went from Kowloon side to Hong Kong Island.
 
This will have brought back a lot of good memories for elderly residents who are old enough to remember these races.
 
I was pleased to read that many racers reported that the water was clean and this has encouraged them to join the race again next year.
 
The race highlights the importance of keeping our harbour and the rest of our city clean. I hope citizens are becoming more aware of the need to be environmentally friendly and not to discard litter on the streets or in any of our beautiful coastal areas.
 
Shirley Lau, Hang Hau

SCMP November 03, 2017
Kitty Lui 5B

SCMP November 03, 2017
Sandy Chan 5B

SCMP November 03, 2017
Sky Kwan 3C

SCMP November 03, 2017
Clarins Ng 5B

SCMP November 02, 2017
Jojo Wong 3C

SCMP November 02, 2017
Mike Fung 3C

SCMP November 01, 2017
Anshar Mok 4C

SCMP November 01, 2017
Jordan Chan 4E

SCMP November 01, 2017
Ivan Tsoi 4E

SCMP October 31, 2017
Suki Lee 5A

Bike-share problems show need for more parking areas
 
Bike-sharing services are becoming more popular in Hong Kong. They offer a more environmentally-friendly way for people to get around town especially where there are cycle tracks, such as in the New Territories. However, they are also creating problems. A lot of these bikes are just left by users in areas that are not designated for bicycle parking.
 
This is obviously unsightly and a nuisance, especially in busy public areas, but the government does not seem to be addressing the problem and it needs to act as soon as possible. People who are caught dumping these bikes should be fined to act as a deterrent.
 
One of the reasons this is happening so frequently is because there are so few public parking spaces for bikes. The government needs to designate more areas for these bikes and the police must have more operations where they clear the illegally-parked bicycles.
 
Also, the government must have more civic education and raise levels of awareness. People who hire one of these bikes have to act responsibly and return them to the bike-share operator.
 
The operators should also be deploying staff to collect the bikes so they do not cause such a nuisance.
 
Suki Lee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 31, 2017
Michelle Mai 5B

Students need to focus on having healthy diets
 
The government is failing to pay attention to the important issue of how a bad diet can affect the health of citizens, especially young people (“Teenagers in Hong Kong don’t get enough fruit, vegetable or exercise and risk strokes in later life”, October 29).
 
Students in Hong Kong suffer from a lot of stress, because of their punishing workload. They often have to do so much homework that they might snack instead of having a proper meal. A friend of mine studies virtually all the time and has given up all her leisure activities. She is not eating properly and does not look well.
 
If youngsters like this continue with these unhealthy habits as adults then it will have negative consequences for them and for society and in later life they could be at greater risk of strokes. It is detrimental to society if so many adults are unhealthy and getting sick.
 
The government should recognise there is a problem and take action. It should be getting schools to organise more physical education, including running and swimming. For example, when you go to a swimming pool you notice that many of the people there are elderly citizens, with hardly any young people of school age. They must be encouraged to get into the habit of regular exercise and healthy diets.
 
Michelle Mai, Sau Mau Ping

SCMP October 31, 2017
Oscar Au Yeung 5B

SCMP October 31, 2017
Coco Wong 4C

SCMP October 30, 2017
Miriam Deng 3A

SCMP October 28, 2017
Ken Au 4E

Parents can do more to stamp out bullying
 
I am writing in response to Anthea Rowan’s article (“Are boot camps the best way to deal with bullies?”, October 16.)
 
I believe schools should play a key role in stopping students from bullying others, but ¬parents can also address why some children feel they have to harass and push others around.
 
Children need to understand the effect of their actions, and in this sense boot camps would help by instilling a sense of tolerance and discipline.
 
In the camps they can learn from the coach the skills and attitude needed to conform to the basic standards of a civil society.
 
In my opinion, boot camps could be a crucial turning point for bullies to fix their unacceptable behaviour.
 
If schools and parents work together, bullying will be much less of an issue, but it is parents who can have the most influence. Since children spend much more time with their ¬parents than with a teacher, ¬parental influence and guidance is a most significant factor.
 
Parents should take control to ensure their children know what is acceptable behaviour, and that it is wrong to be a bully.
 
Ken Au, Kwun Tong

SCMP October 28, 2017
Kevin Wong 4E

Crack down on country park litterbugs
 
I refer to your article on littering in country parks (“Four in five Hong Kong country park visitors back removal of rubbish bins by end of year”, October 22).
 
The article said that roughly half of country park visitors took their rubbish away with them. As autumn is the peak walking and hiking season, I am worried more rubbish will be left behind.
 
At this time of year, more and more visitors also use the country parks to unwind with family and friends with barbecues. Inevitably, extra rubbish piles up and bins overflow, all because thoughtless people can’t be bothered to clean up and take their waste away.
 
The government makes regular efforts, broadcasting advertisements to educate the public about the importance of protecting the ecology of our country parks, but the message is not getting through to everyone.
 
It’s not just lack of knowledge that is the problem, but also apathy. People enjoying a barbecue will often just dump garbage on the ground without thinking.
 
The government should show zero tolerance. Penalties must be imposed to let irresponsible citizens know the consequences before they damage the environment. More security ¬officers can be allocated to watch for litterbugs in country parks. Surveillance cameras would also act as a deterrent.
 
Kevin Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 27, 2017
Jerry Lam 5A

Rich-poor gap could trigger social conflict
 
Hong Kong is a global financial hub, but still has 70,000 families surviving on HK$15 per meal per person. This is ridiculous. The government must really work towards creating a better wealth distribution system.
 
Even a set lunch at a casual restaurant can cost at least HK$40, so there’s no way these families can afford to eat out.
 
Meanwhile, the rich people are richer than ever, while the poor can never aspire to a better quality of life. The Gini coefficient of Hong Kong is one of the highest in the world. Our small city houses both the richest people in Asia and those who can’t even buy a proper meal.
 
What is needed is welfare policies for the poor and support for the middle class, to prevent serious social conflict in a continued M-shaped society.
 
Jerry Lam, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 27, 2017
Donald Wong 5A

Awareness is first step for mental health
 
Reports say that Hongkongers do not clearly understand how depression or other mental illness can affect their lives.
 
Busy Hongkongers seldom have time to relax. This is true especially of students, who have to face the crucial Diploma of Secondary Education exam and other pressures, be it from parents and teachers or peers.
 
The pressure may see some of them develop a mental illness. However, due to their lack of awareness of the symptoms of mental illness and its impact, they may not seek help or care about it.
 
The government has a responsibility to educate Hongkongers about mental illness and the need to seek help if required. The stigma around mental health issues must be removed.
 
Moreover, schools should help pupils to reduce their stress by communicating more openly with them. Students battling stress may feel helpless and would welcome advice from counsellors. Parents must also be more understanding of the emotional status of children.
 
Many mental illnesses are caused by different forms of stress. If we can identify and express our problems as soon as possible, stress won’t ultimately turn into depression.
 
Donald Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 27, 2017
Icy Po 2A

SCMP October 27, 2017
Peter Tam 5A

SCMP October 26, 2017
Laurant Li 5A

Young Post October 25, 2017
Enoch Yeung 3A

Talking Points: should we use gender neutral toys to prevent stereotypes from forming at an early age?
 
Nowadays, many people believe boys like the colour blue while girls prefer pink or purple. For the most part, it is actually true, thanks to gender stereotypes being formed at a young age. Everyone is shouting “gender equality”, while one sex is allowed to do things the other cannot. Things need to change and giving gender-neutral toys to kids aged below three is a good start. Then, for instance, girls who don’t like dolls don’t have to worry about fitting in with girls who like dolls.
 
But what if the baby rejects gender-neutral toys? Parents who only give such toys to their kids will face many limitations. Then the children should be allowed to make their own choice. If a baby likes a toy, whether it is gender-neutral or not, it won’t cause discrimination as long as the parents don’t talk about it.
 
Enoch Yeung, 14, King Ling College

SCMP October 24, 2017
Chammy Chow 4E

Young Post October 23, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

Young Post October 23, 2017
Katie Sze 3B

SCMP October 23, 2017
Mandy Hui 2D

SCMP October 23, 2017
Yuki Pang 5B

SCMP October 21, 2017
Billy Sit 5A

Soccer fans’ anthem boos disrespectful
 
An Asian Cup football qualifier between Hong Kong and Malaysia on October 10 again had local fans booing the national anthem and some even showed their middle finger as it played. Such behaviour is childish, disrespectful and damages Hong Kong’s reputation.
 
Even though these fans might say that they do not see themselves as Chinese, it is simply a matter of respect recognised around the world that national anthems deserve. Would they boo the American national anthem?
 
US President Donald Trump has criticised players at National Football League games who have knelt in protest at racism and police brutality as the national anthem is played but it should not be an occasion for politics and the issue of freedom of speech.
 
Hong Kong’s pan-democrats always use this as an excuse for booing the national anthem and opposing a proposed national anthem law. They forget that the anthem is not about the right of free speech but nationalities. If they do not recognise their national ¬anthem, no country will want to accept them as their citizens. The soccer fans have already hurt Hong Kong.
 
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 21, 2017
James Wong 5E

Timing of China history rule is odd
 
 
The majority of schools today already teach Chinese history as an independent subject, while others incorporate it in their world history lessons. Extending Chinese history to become an independent compulsory subject will probably not pose a huge threat to Hong Kong.
 
Some might say that this is already national education, but I don’t think so. I’m sure students from forms one to three have critical thinking skills, and Chinese history isn’t very biased in general.
 
However, it is quite odd that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngorhas decided to announce this at such a time, during the peak of teenagers’ disapproval towards China.
 
James Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 21, 2017
Kitty Lui 5B

Make students think for themselves
 
I agree with Roanna Ng about local schools (“Rote learning and exam focus not smart”, October 7).
 
Hong Kong’s education system has been criticised for spoon-feeding because students just memorise the teaching material that is given by the teacher or acquire some skills to take the exam. Many students fail to acquire critical thinking skills and other talents that will be useful in later life, especially when they find a job. Students are simply studying to prepare for exams and they have lost the inspiration to chase more knowledge that will be useful to them. We all know there are many university graduates who cannot find a job.
 
Schools need to offer more liberal studies lessons to allow students to develop their critical thinking, which will be crucial in their futures.
 
Critical thinking and creativity will be much more useful in the long term than just passing an exam. The knowledge needed for an exam may not necessarily be relevant later but the critical thinking skills will last a lifetime. More discussion sessions during lessons would make students think more and not just rely on the answer given by teachers.
 
The government also should promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). The objectives of STEM education are to prepare youngsters for the future needs of society through learning activities that require knowledge and skills across all the four disciplines so that they can solve problems, innovate and create.
 
Kitty Lui Sze-ki, Hang Hau

SCMP October 20, 2017
Christopher Chan 2D

Race shows the potential of solar power
 
I was interested to read about the 3,000km solar car race across Australia’s outback (“Driven by the sun”, October 15).
 
The teams came up with designs that could eventually lead to solar-powered cars being produced and sold commercially. This event is important because there is a growing awareness of the importance of environmental protection.
 
If we are to save the earth’s precious resources, finding more solar energy -options will become increasingly important.
 
Christopher Chan, Po Lam

Young Post October 20, 2017
Joyce Tsang 3D

SCMP October 20, 2017
Andy Yeung 5E

SCMP October 20, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP October 20, 2017
Mario Man 6A

SCMP October 19, 2017
Anson Ng 5E

SCMP October 18, 2017
Sara Wong 5A

SCMP October 18, 2017
Miki Hui 5B

SCMP October 17, 2017
Walter Chong 5B

It is important to understand Chinese history
 
In her policy address Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced that Chinese history would be an independent compulsory subject for junior secondary pupils.
 
Eventually Hong Kong will be fully integrated in the country. Young people need to understand the history of their city, but they should also feel a sense of belonging to the country. We have seen a lot of citizens, including youngsters, adopting radical ideas. I would like to see more of them recognising the importance of being part of the nation.
 
Also, learning this subject can help to develop pupils’ critical thinking skills. It is a long, rich and often complex history, so it will prove challenging to them and help them to become more analytical.
 
Also, if they start studying it from an earlier age, some might find they have a real talent and decide to specialise in Chinese history. So I support it being made a compulsory subject.
 
Walter Chong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 17, 2017
Samuel Cheng 5A

SCMP October 17, 2017
William Wan 5B

SCMP October 17, 2017
Kenneth Cheung 5B

SCMP October 17, 2017
Carly Fung 5A

SCMP October 16, 2017
Suki Lee 5A

SCMP October 16, 2017
Trisha Tobar 4B

SCMP October 16, 2017
Louis Fung 5B

SCMP October 14, 2017
Judy Fung 3A

Mass killing highlights gun control need
 
Following the worst mass shooting in modern US history, in Las Vegas, surely it is time to get serious about gun controls in the United States.
 
Many citizens would have hoped President Donald Trump’s reaction to the dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded would have been stronger than just offering his condolences to affected families.
 
Trump should have been vocal in his support for a crackdown at least on the sale of military-style automatic weapons.
 
Besides the importance of controls on owning guns, ¬checking of travellers’ luggage need to be much tighter. The gunman in the Las Vegas ¬killings, Stephen Paddock, managed to get a pile of weapons, many of them large rifles, into his hotel room without any questions being raised.
 
Judy Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 14, 2017
Walter Chong 5B

Youth should get involved in policymaking
 
It shocks me that some youngsters do not want to be consulted about polices by the government (“Hong Kong’s young people don’t want to be involved in policymaking, consultation shows”, October 2). Apparently they think the government will not listen to them and they feel they do not have enough -experience.
 
If teenagers do nothing and don’t share their views with officials, how can the government know what young people are thinking? It’s important to at least try to make a difference by getting involved in policymaking and making the most of a chance to communicate with the government. If you never get involved, you will never have enough experience to try to make changes.
 
I think young people would be happy to engage in policymaking if they thought the government would listen to them and give them a voice.
 
I hope the government will listen to what Hong Kong’s youth are saying.
 
Walter Chong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 14, 2017
Timmy Chan 5B

Housing first priority, not green belts
 
I am responding to the report about housing and green belt worries (“Green group urges rethink over Tseung Kwan O public housing plan”, October 8).
 
According to the report, the Conservancy Association said an environmental assessment of the area missed several rare species of vegetation and the green group urged the government to rethink the design of the housing plan.
 
I realise that it is important to have some green-belt sites to help protect the environment, but it is far more important to have more public housing to provide everyone with a comfortable, liveable home. Increase house supply first, then consider how to ensure enough green-belt sites.
 
Chan Chak-chung, Po Lam

SCMP October 14, 2017
Michael Hui 5B

Ban annoying phone marketing
 
Most people in Hong Kong have been on the receiving end of cold calling by direct marketers and this practice, which is harassment, should be stopped. Cold calling is not the best way to promote and sell products.
 
These brokers will ignore their potential customers when they say they are not interested in buying anything and it’s little wonder people just hang up the phone in frustration.
 
Surely a smarter way to lure customers would be promoting their goods through the internet. Word of a useful or desirable product would soon spread via social networks.
 
Buyers need time to ponder over a website, and not be ¬pressured on the phone.
 
Michael Hui, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP October 13, 2017
Sisca Chan 3A

More will die thanks to lax gun laws in US
 
While US President Donald Trump expressed sympathy for the victims in the mass shooting in Las Vegas which left 58 people dead and 500 wounded, he -refused to back calls to tighten the country’s gun laws.
 
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, was reported to have over 20 guns in the hotel room where he carried out his attack, raising questions about how one individual can have so many deadly weapons. Trump simply reiterated his argument that it is the right of American citizens to own and carry firearms.
 
If there is no change in the law and rules are not tightened, we will see more of these mass shootings. They can happen at any time and anywhere in the US. I am glad that in Hong Kong, citizens cannot own guns.
 
In the US, how can owners of several weapons argue that they have bought them all to protect themselves? This is a very selfish attitude and it makes no sense.
 
Sisca Chan, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post October 13, 2017
Trisha Tobar 4B

SCMP October 13, 2017
Sandy Chan 5B

SCMP October 13, 2017
Burnet Chong 5A

SCMP October 12, 2017
Don Wong 6C

SCMP October 12, 2017
Clarins Ng 5B

SCMP October 12, 2017
Angela Chan 6C

SCMP October 11, 2017
Sinheilia Cheng 5B

SCMP October 11, 2017
Teresa Ng 5B

SCMP October 11, 2017
Jocelly Tse 5B

SCMP October 10, 2017
Hilary Lee 2D

Long shifts for bus drivers a serious health issue
 
The reports on the recent bus accident highlighted the problem of bus drivers working long shifts. Transport unions have pointed out that shifts as long as 14 hours leave the drivers tired and there must be a review of these shifts.
 
If an employee is tired then there is a greater risk of an accident and this should be a cause for concern for all franchised bus firms and the passengers who use their services.
 
It may make some people think twice about travelling on buses or they may choose areas of the bus where they think there is less likelihood of getting hurt if there is a road traffic accident.
 
It is not good for someone’s health to be working such long hours. If an agreement cannot be reached between the drivers and their employers, the government should consider legislation so that the hours of bus drivers are cut.
 
Hilary Lee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 10, 2017
Yuki Pang 5B

SCMP October 09, 2017
Louis Fung 5B

SCMP October 07, 2017
Carol Mo 6E

Container homes could be an option
 
I refer to the report (“Why is Hong Kong getting container homes? And will they work?”, September 30).
 
Container homes could be regarded as a reasonable alternative to address the inadequate supply of housing and shorten the long waiting list for public housing. The government will need to consider several aspects in dealing with the issue.
 
Firstly, it must decide whether these containers homes will be temporary housing for those on the waiting list or could make viable, permanent dwellings for long-term residency.
 
A converted shipping container may not be to everyone’s taste, but if they are designed well, they could make genuinely comfortable homes for some ¬locals.
 
The living conditions inside the container homes should not be neglected and basics such as air conditioners would be crucial given that the containers usually are made of metal.
 
Energy efficiency must be a priority because of the high cost of cooling, and heating, a metal box.
 
I hope the government can develop this idea and keep coming up with others to alleviate the chronic housing shortage problem.
 
Every Hongkonger deserves a place they can call home.
 
Carol Mo Ka-wai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 07, 2017
Peter Tam 5A

Lack of car spaces drives illegal parking
 
I am writing about the issue of raising fines for illegal parking. I very much doubt higher fines will make much of a difference to this widespread problem.
 
Raising fines seems of little use in addressing the cause of the problem. In too many cases, there are no parking spaces near the drivers’ homes, so they can either use a car park that is far from their homes, or illegally park their vehicles on the street nearby. Obviously, most drivers choose the latter.
 
There are not enough car parks, which are costly, or spaces in Hong Kong and so many drivers risk the fine for illegal parking.
 
If the number of parking spaces is increased to a satisfactory level and the problem of illegal parking still continues, the government should then consider including illegal parking in the driving-offence points system in which loss of points can eventually lead to licence disqualification.
 
The government should act on the root of the problem and ensure drivers have no excuse for illegal parking.
 
Peter Tam, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 06, 2017
Hebe Ng 6E

Aid scheme for poor needs fine-tuning
 
Although Hong Kong is a developed city, there are still a lot of people on low incomes and intergenerational poverty persists. Escaping from the poverty trap is tough, and some government efforts to help are flawed and need fine-tuning (“Low income workers unhappier after joining government allowance scheme”, September 28).
 
Poor working families who get a government allowance are finding that the conditions attached often mean the recipients have to put in long hours.
 
This is because they must make sure their “working hours are long enough while their salary is still within the income limit specified”.
 
This is leaving many of them dissatisfied with the present arrangement.
 
Officials need to review the rules, so that if people work longer hours they are entitled to a higher allowance.
 
If the scheme is forcing people to work long hours for low pay then it is surely not achieving its objective of helping poor families.
 
The government needs to draft policies that can tackle the root causes of intergenerational poverty, and help more people enjoy a better living environment and eventually achieve upward social mobility.
 
Hebe Ng, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 06, 2017
Zoe Chung 5A

SCMP October 04, 2017
Cedar Ma 3D

Don’t let your smartphone rule your life
 
It is often pointed out that one of the advantages of a smartphone is that it helps you to keep in touch with family and friends. So it is ironic that often when you see people at family gatherings or meeting with friends, they spend much of their time on their phones, instead of using this valuable time for one-on-one conversations.
 
We should value these times when we can meet relatives and friends face to face. We can meet for lunch or dinner, and can catch up on what they are doing by talking to them, rather than via social network platforms. It can often be difficult to arrange such meetings, as we Hongkongers lead such hectic lives, so we must treasure them more.
 
We must recognise the ¬importance of ensuring that we are in control of our smartphones, and not the other way around. No matter how often we send text messages or connect online, we should never forget the importance of -meeting up in person as often as possible.
 
Cedar Ma, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 04, 2017
Sharon Lai 2D

SCMP October 04, 2017
Kenny Tong 5A

SCMP October 04, 2017
Mandy Hui 2D

SCMP October 03, 2017
Janice Chan 5B

Government must talk openly to teens about stress
 
Most young people have little interest in the Hong Kong government’s plans to involve them in policymaking, according to the initial findings of a youth policy consultation.
 
During the chief executive election campaign, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had said her administration would recruit young people into the Central Policy Unit and advisory bodies. However, the initial participation rate is very low.
 
When looking at the problems faced by her administration, high property prices and a lack of economic diversity are the most pressing issues she faces. The younger generation faces difficulties trying to find a decent job and place to live. Many feel that their quality of life is not good.
 
Officials need to talk openly to young people about the stress they feel, especially at secondary school. Some students continue to take their own lives, because they cannot deal with the stress and depression.
 
While it may be too simplistic to blame the education system for all the problems experienced by our youngsters, we do need to look closely at it, especially the exam-oriented set-up which causes young people a great deal of stress.
 
The government has to recognise there are problems and do something about them. It should be working hand in hand with youngsters to make the necessary changes.
 
Chan Sum-kiu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 03, 2017
Tony Tsoi 2D

Passengers should be able to make e-payments in taxis
 
I think it would be good if taxis allowed passengers to make e-payments instead of the present arrangement where they must hand over cash (“Hongkongers want e-payment in cabs, even if they have to pay the fees, study finds”, September 30).
 
Being able to pay your fare in this way will be very fast and convenient and the taxi sector should do whatever is needed to allow e-payments to go ahead.
 
Use of Alipay or WeChat to make such payments is possible on the mainland. It is very fast as passengers do not have to count out the money they will hand over and then wait to be given their change. It can be quite tedious, especially with older drivers who take some time to count out the change.
 
I believe that having an e-payment system in cabs in Hong Kong will be helpful to passengers and to drivers as they will be able to accept more fares during their shifts and so will see an increase in their incomes.
 
The taxi sector in the city has come in for a lot of criticism. Making travelling by cabs more convenient might make passengers take a more positive approach. Being able to use e-payments in all areas of commerce, including taxis and shops, will be welcomed by customers.
 
Tony Tsoi Chun-wai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 03, 2017
Kelly Wong 2B

SCMP October 03, 2017
Lily Lau 2B

SCMP October 01, 2017
Miki Chung 2D

Elderly waste collectors need more support
 
The latest problem with a build-up of waste paper, because of an import ban imposed by the mainland authorities, highlighted the plight of those people, many of them elderly, who collect this kind of refuse on our streets every day.
 
These workers can be seen all over the city, whatever the weather, putting newspapers and cardboard on their trolleys to take to recycling operators for meagre sums. They earn so little, but need it just to get by.
 
They have been hardest hit by the problems with the mainland authorities and a build-up in waste paper has led to a drop in the prices that recycling firms would pay them.
 
This must have made their difficult lives even harder. These people face an uncertain future.
 
As we become more environmentally friendly, we try to save paper and use less of it, and also put cardboard in recycling bins. These elderly citizens will gradually find there is less cardboard to collect and even their tiny incomes will dwindle.
 
There is surely more that the government can do to help these old folk so they do not have to do this job. Pushing a heavy trolley, especially during the summer months, is not fair on an elderly citizen. As a society we must do more for our elderly poor.
 
Miki Chung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 01, 2017
John Wu 2D

Better pay can attract young to drive buses
 
The fatal bus accident at Sham Shui Po on September 22 has led to renewed discussions on the working conditions of drivers employed by franchised bus companies in Hong Kong.
 
Unions have called for their maximum hours to be cut from 14 to 12 hours per shift.
 
We need to ask why these employees put in such long hours. It is not that difficult to work out when you look at their average monthly salaries – HK$13,000 to HK$15,000. This is not much to live on and, to ¬increase it to around HK$19,000, they have to do overtime.
 
The Transport Department has guidelines saying drivers should do no more than 14 hours a day. There needs to be legislation stipulating standard hours for bus drivers.
 
The bus firms say there is a labour shortage. If they want to encourage young people to join up, they must start offering higher salaries.
 
John Wu Chun-yan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 29, 2017
Christy Lam 4B

Cut back on school hours to boost learning
 
It is difficult for children to stay focused in the classroom for extended periods. A six-hour day is long enough for most pupils, from 9am to 3pm. They will be more productive during a shorter school day, because they get enough time to rest.
 
If they come to the classroom refreshed and facing a shorter working day, they will be more likely to absorb knowledge. Youngsters who are tired will be less efficient.
 
Their brains cannot handle having to deal with five or six subjects a day. With fewer lessons there is less stress, which creates a more enjoyable learning environment.
 
Talent can be nurtured if students have more time to rest and to study at home after the school day. They can learn about the benefits of good time management.
 
If they are better organised and under less pressure, they can learn how to become more independent and are likely to get better academic results.
 
Many primary and secondary pupils get less than one hour of free time a day, because of numerous school assignments and extracurricular activities.
 
Having more free time can help them relieve the stress they feel on a daily basis.
 
It is also important that they not spend all their free time on smartphones and -computers, but get outside and exercise.
 
Children, like adults, need the right work-life balance, and a shorter school day will help.
 
Christy Lam, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 28, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

Allow helpers from Vietnam to serve in city
 
I hope the government will heed the calls from the Vietnamese consulate to lift the ban on its citizens working in Hong Kong as domestic helpers.
 
We must face the problems associated with Hong Kong’s ageing population and low birth rate, including a shrinking workforce and higher social costs.
 
Various methods will have to be adopted, including raising the retirement age, and importing suitably qualified workers for sectors where there are shortages. This should include domestic helpers who can look after our elderly citizens.
 
I think many poorer Vietnamese would be happy to work here, as they earn low incomes back home and would get much higher wages in Hong Kong.
 
Also, it is not good for us to depend on only a few countries, mostly Indonesia and the Philippines, for helpers.
 
Rainbow Or, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 28, 2017
John Wu 2D

WhatsApp censors mirror North Korea
 
I do not agree with the decision of the central government to severely disrupt the WhatsApp messaging app on the mainland. This is part of the ongoing censorship of the internet, which stops Chinese citizens from learning more about events within the country and around the world.
 
People are entitled to information about all matters relating to the nation, including the negative aspects. When I look at this crackdown, I compare it to the censorship prevalent in North Korea, China’s ally.
 
John Wu Chun-yan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 27, 2017
Rainbow Leung 6D

Help students become more competitive
 
I am not surprised that Hong Kong was ranked 14th in a study which assessed how well an education system prepares people aged 15 to 24 for the challenges of the future.
 
Because young people in Hong Kong have to focus so much on exams, they have little spare time. And they have few opportunities to experience the outside world. Lacking these experiences places them at a disadvantage in the job market.
 
They are not helped to acquire practical skills which can assist them in their chosen careers, as parents and teachers just want them to concentrate on getting a place at a university.
 
The government must do more to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) education. This is one way to tap hidden talent among youngsters and help them to develop problem-solving skills.
 
If Hong Kong is to remain competitive, it will need young people who are able to think outside the box.
 
Rainbow Leung Wai-yu, Hang Hau

SCMP September 27, 2017
Sandy Chan 5B

SCMP September 27, 2017
Ada Yeung 3D

SCMP September 26, 2017
Jocelly Tse 5B

Study hours cap would enable students to have more free time
 
I think there is no doubt that academic pressure is the main reason for students in Hong Kong committing suicide.
 
If you want to get a place at one of the local universities you must do well in the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) and so the competition for one of these undergraduate places is fierce. Therefore students set themselves targets and for those who want to become undergraduates doing badly in the DSE is simply not an option. This causes these youngsters a great deal of stress and to make sure they do not fail they have to complete a very heavy workload.
 
I arrive at school at 8am and have lessons from 8.20 until 3.45pm. After school, I need to attend tutorial classes and go back home for dinner. Then I need to finish all my homework and if I have time I will do some revision, and then sleep. I do not have any leisure time and believe that most students in Hong Kong have similar experiences. I can understand why some youngsters have psychological problems.
 
I agree with those who want the government to have a cap with standard study hours. This would ensure that students had at least some leisure time and did not have to focus all their attention on their studies. Hopefully they could rest more and get a good night’s sleep.
 
I do hope the government will give serious consideration to this suggestion. If students are under less pressure then I think the suicide rate will drop.
 
Jocelly Tse, Hang Hau

SCMP September 26, 2017
Michael Ke 5A

It will take time to get rid of all discrimination in Hong Kong
 
Discrimination remains a serious problem in so many societies around the world. Governments in different countries have implemented a number of measures to try and deal with the problem, but so often they fail to achieve their objectives and some forms of discrimination remain firmly in place.
 
Entrenched views in a society are difficult to change, even if legislation is passed. Ignorance can be prevalent and traditional views remain that go back centuries. So in some developing nations, despite laws, women are still treated like second-class citizens and their communities offer no protection against discrimination. For example, in India, traditional beliefs still mean that many women do not enjoy equal treatment.
 
Another form of discrimination in many societies is against people depending on their sexual orientation. Citizens from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are often treated as outsiders and face discrimination in different ways.
 
While I can understand the relevance of legislation, it is important to change attitudes and that will not happen overnight. It will take time to end discrimination. I think the key is education, with young people being taught to accept differences in race and sexuality. With some adults, traditional prejudices are so entrenched that even education is unlikely to change their attitudes. But as young people are taught the importance of opposing discrimination, hopefully they will grow up as tolerant adults.
 
Of course, education alone will not solve everything. Governments will still need to introduce legislation outlawing discrimination of all kinds in the workplace and in society. Hopefully we will see future generations having more enlightened attitudes.
 
Michael Ke, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 26, 2017
Candy Kong 4E

SCMP September 25, 2017
Amy Hung 4A

SCMP September 25, 2017
Suki Lee 5A

SCMP September 23, 2017
Teresa Ng 5B

Teach Hong Kong students about the risks of high sodium levels in food
 
I am writing in response to the article on the efforts to reduce sodium in school meals (“Drive to cut salt in Hong Kong pupil’s lunches by half in a decade”, September 15).
 
Indeed, high amounts of salt in the diet may lead to higher risk of heart disease or high blood pressure later in life, and the voluntary campaign in primary schools should be welcomed. But the health authorities must promote this policy in secondary schools as well.
 
As the next generation, students should have the right to protection of their health. This can be done through supervising the lunchbox suppliers so that they provide healthy meals and ensure the future health of citizens. Again, if suppliers limit the amount of salt in line with the government suggestion, then more schools would be willing to buy lunchboxes from them and so boost their business.
 
Besides, to increase awareness among students about the harmful effects of high sodium intake, technology and living could be made a compulsory subject for senior form students.
 
The information on basic nutrients from this subject will allow pupils to have a better understanding of how excessive salt can affect the body and lead to disease. For example, the food pyramid is a good tool to learn about the most suitable diets and healthy food habits as suggested by doctors.
 
But all of this does not depend on schools alone. Parents, too, have a vital role to play. Parents should be the role model on dietary habits. Children always like to imitate their parents and have maximum interaction with them. So, if parents like eating salty dishes, the eating habits of their children would naturally be the same, which is bad news for all in the long run.
 
For instance, it would be better for a family to avoid salty food items such as instant noodles, even if they are very tasty, as large amounts of sodium may harm the kidney and even cause hypertension.
 
Teresa Ng, Hang Hau

SCMP September 23, 2017
Toto Chung 2D

Time to tackle mountains of waste paper
 
I suggest that the people of Hong Kong, and indeed the world, try to save on the use of paper and so reduce waste.
 
For instance, we can carry small towels for use in public toilets. That way, tissues are not needed and a lot of paper is saved. Also, towels can be used several times, which is more environmentally friendly.
 
I also encourage everyone to use both sides of any sheet of paper, for writing, photocopying and the like, to reduce waste. Using cloth napkins instead of disposable tissues at restaurants would also be helpful.
 
Import restrictions on garbage in mainland China are already hitting local waste paper recyclers. About 80,000 tonnes of waste cardboard, newspaper and office paper are collected in the city each month, almost all of it exported across the border. We should do all we can to prevent the creation of a crisis if this waste cannot be cleared.
 
Toto Chung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 23, 2017
Simon Chung 5A

Recycling in Hong Kong needs a boost
 
Every day, Hong Kong citizens will generate tonnes of waste. Where is all this waste going? Most likely to landfills or even exported to other regions, such as the mainland. But stricter rules in the mainland on solid waste imports mean this cannot be a long-term solution for our problem of excess waste.
 
The local government must give more support to the recycling industry. Hong Kong has several recycling companies that process different kinds of material, but their profits are too low and people are not too keen to invest in this industry. More technological and financial support from the government could act as an encouragement.
 
Meanwhile, officials must do more to regulate and enhance the use of recycling bins. Public awareness on sorting recyclables is still lacking. Also, recycling bins are not as widely available as needed, which means recycling works are still not effective and efficient enough. Some reports even claimed that some of the waste in the recycling bins was transported to landfills but did not go to recyclers because of poor collection mechanisms. So the government should promote and regulate this process.
 
The most efficient solution, however, is to reduce waste at source, and public service messages about this should be promoted more intensively.
 
Simon Chung, Kwun Tong

SCMP September 23, 2017
Anson Ng 5E

Censorship of internet affects critical thought
 
I refer to the article about a man who was sentenced to nine months in jail because he sold virtual private networks to bypass internet censorship in mainland China (“Man jailed for selling VPNs to evade ‘Great Firewall’ ”, September 5).
 
I wish to ask, first of all, is the law that bans VPN apps reasonable? I do not think so. I believe mainland citizens should be able to access information from around the world, to broaden their horizons. Also, rigid censorship may create social instability, as people may think that the government is aiming for thought control and that may create discontent.
 
Secondly, why does the central government apply internet censorship? This issue is very complicated. I think foreign websites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, are blocked so that any sensitive information or inflammatory speech, especially anti-communist opinion, does not spread around the country.
 
Thirdly, compare the degree of freedom of expression in Hong Kong with that in mainland China. In Hong Kong, we are free to access different websites and download apps, which keeps us connected and better informed. A ban on information, I believe, may affect critical thinking. I hope the central government can rethink its stance on internet censorship.
 
Anson Ng, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 22, 2017
Yoyo Tsoi 2D

Waste paper collectors in city need help
 
Cardboard collectors in Hong Kong have struggled as the prices paid by recycling operators for waste paper have dropped.
 
These collectors are really struggling to get by and many of them are elderly and frail, such as an 89-year-old woman you reported on, who has been collecting cardboard in Causeway Bay for years.
 
She lives with her son in a subdivided flat, which costs HK$6,000 a month. It is very difficult for her to make ends meet, especially now with the drop in prices.
 
Surely, the government could and should be doing more to help these elderly citizens so that their lives are not so difficult. It could offer them guaranteed higher prices for waste paper, even if market prices have dropped, because the waste paper is not being accepted at the moment by mainland recycling firms.
 
In fact, all citizens should be aware of their plight and we should be willing to give them a helping hand.
 
Yoyo Tsoi, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 22, 2017
Jason Luk 5A

SCMP September 22, 2017
Chole Hui 4D

SCMP September 21, 2017
Theodore Tam 5E

SCMP September 21, 2017
Carly Fung 5A

SCMP September 21, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP September 20, 2017
Timmy Chan 5B

SCMP September 20, 2017
Hilary Lee 2D

SCMP September 19, 2017
Melody Ho 5E

Brownfield sites key to solving city’s housing woes
 
I refer to your editorial about the hostel which has beds that resemble the city’s notorious cage homes (“Hostel opens eyes to scourge of poverty”, September 5).
 
Although Hong Kong is one of the world’s major financial hubs, it is estimated that about 200,000 of Hong Kong’s 7.3 million citizens live in these cage homes. These are tiny cubicles and the living conditions are appalling.
 
This is a startling statistic and highlights the problem of poverty in our city. It shows that while many Hongkongers are very well off, large numbers of citizens continue live below the poverty line and have no choice but to rent one of these units.
 
Some people may think that this hostel can help travellers appreciate the problems of the needy, but even if it does, that won’t help those people who have to live in a cage home.
 
The only solution to the serious housing problems in Hong Kong is through more effective policies by the government. It must develop more brownfield sites for public housing.
 
Another reason many people cannot afford to leave a cage home is because they have a poor level of education and can only get the lowest-paid job. So the government has to introduce more vocational training courses so that these people can acquire the skills needed to get higher-paid jobs.
 
Melody Ho, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 19, 2017
Kassandra Wong 6E

Exam-oriented education system is not helping students
 
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of Hong Kong students committing suicide. They are mostly teenagers and many found they could no longer cope with the stress caused by their studies.
 
Hong Kong is a knowledge-based economy requiring young people who have excelled academically and can join the ranks of the various professions needed to ensure the city remains prosperous. Therefore the focus in the education system is on exams and exam results.
 
Schools organise extension classes and tests and give students a lot of homework assignments in an effort to ensure as many of their students get good results. And you even see this emphasis being placed on test and exam results in primary schools. This often leaves youngsters with insufficient time to relax. They may not even have enough time to communicate with their parents.
 
This exam-oriented approach can actually be counterproductive. It leaves some students disillusioned and they lose the motivation to learn.
 
I think having a daily hours cap, with standard study hours set down, can help reduce students’ workload and the pressure they are under. They can then spend more time relaxing and so recharge their batteries. This means they are more likely to maintain better mental health.
 
It really comes down to trying to strike the right work-life balance. But as I say, this can only happen if changes are made to the education system in Hong Kong.
 
Kassandra Wong Hiu-tung, Hang Hau

SCMP September 19, 2017
Sinheilia Cheng 5B

Youngsters are under so much pressure at school
 
I refer to the report (“Parents, pupils call for study cap to prevent suicides”, September 11).
 
It is heartbreaking to read about young people taking their own lives. It is difficult to imagine the kind of pressure that led them to make this tragic decision. However, there is no doubt that Hong Kong students have to endure very stressful conditions. They have a busy school day followed by homework in the evening, including, for example, doing assignments and revising for tests. They have to deal with so many different things and have only limited time. It can just get too much and some youngsters are pushed to the edge.
 
Education officials should reflect on what is happening. They should be asking themselves why so many young people are taking their own lives and what can be done to address the problem.
 
If the Education Bureau agreed to a study cap, restricting the number of hours youngsters spend on their studies every day, then I think students could experience a healthier and happier learning environment. Hopefully, we would then see a drop in the suicide rate.
 
Cheng Sin-hei, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 19, 2017
Clovis Wong 6A

Knowledge the most powerful weapon against injustice
 
In the 21st century people in many countries throughout the world continue to suffer from various kinds of violence and injustice.
 
Some of the worst violence has been in Syria where the war still rages after six years. There have been many atrocities including accusations that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons against civilians. All the civilians in that country want is a stable life free of war.
 
In all these wars in different continents it is always the innocent civilians who are the victims. As Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzi says, poverty, ignorance, injustice, racism and the deprivation of basic rights are the main problems faced by men and women globally.
 
Even where there is no war, children still suffer. In many countries, including India, among some poverty-stricken sections of the population there is still child labour. These children get no education and are often mistreated in the workplace. Also, in some countries, child marriage remains a problem and again these young people are deprived of a proper education and a decent life. So many young women throughout the world are deprived of even a basic education. They have no voice and the indifference of others ensures that nothing changes.
 
The most powerful weapon which can be used to make fundamental changes and improve the lot of these young people is knowledge. The only way underprivileged children can escape the cycle of poverty is through education. If they are given even basic schooling, they can be armed with knowledge which can give them a chance in life. A well-educated population is more likely to take stand against tyranny.
 
I do hope that as global citizens we can all strive towards a more peaceful world.
 
Clovis Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 19, 2017
Sandy Chan 6E

SCMP September 19, 2017
Chole Wong 5B

SCMP September 19, 2017
Christy Lam 3D

SCMP September 19, 2017
Benson Wong 5A

SCMP September 18, 2017
James Wong 5E

SCMP September 18, 2017
Desmond Chan 5E

SCMP September 18, 2017
Candy Kong 4E

SCMP September 16, 2017
Felix Leung 6E

Self-control is a life skill pupils need to learn
 
I refer to the letter from Jenny Sit (“Self-control on smartphones vital for teens”, September 7).
 
It is undeniable that teenagers need to cut down their use of smartphones, but neither should they become too reliant on apps to regulate their lives.
 
Ms Sit mentioned an app called SelfControl which blocks certain websites or apps for a set amount of time. I don’t think this is an effective solution, as it takes away the need for them to be responsible for their actions.
 
Students cannot deny that they are prisoners of their smartphones. When they are obsessed about how many likes they get on Facebook, they will keep checking the post at regular intervals. Installing an app like SelfControl only limits the use of a certain app for a time, but there are plenty of other things that can keep them glued to their phones, such as TV shows.
 
The root of the problem isn’t eliminated, so how can students concentrate better on studies? For this, they should learn not only self-discipline but also time management.
 
Even if there is an app to stop them from connecting to social media for a time, what is to stop them uninstalling the app if they lose their patience, or install -other games and keep playing.
 
Rather than rely on apps to do it for them, students should learn self-control. It is a life skill that will stay with them and help them to ¬manage their time effectively, even in their careers.
 
I think students should see this as an opportunity to train themselves. It is vital to learn not only bookish knowledge but also life skills like this.
 
Felix Leung, Po Lam

SCMP September 16, 2017
Kathy Ho 6E

School is not the only cause of teen stress
 
I am sceptical about a new initiative for students (“Parents, pupils call for study cap to prevent suicides”, September 11).
 
Some students and their parents want “standard study hours” to be set, at “seven hours or fewer” per day, in order to ease stress among youngsters. I do not believe this will work.
 
A few years back, parents started to think it was best for their children to learn to compete from the start, and they wanted schools to give more homework and tests so they had enough lesson practice. Now they have started complaining about what they themselves ¬recommended earlier.
 
What is more, even if their children have enough or extra time to rest or play, the parents will get them to join hobby classes, according to their “interests”. Beside studies, this is also where child stress comes from.
 
The solution is not asking schools to give less homework or setting “standard study hours”. It is parents who have to change the mindset that their child must always be a winner.
 
Kathy Ho Kai-Fai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 16, 2017
Hebe Ng 6E

Libraries show lack of vision on old books
 
I refer to the report on Hong Kong’s public libraries (“Hundreds of thousands of books thrown away as libraries slammed for wasteful practice”, September 12). The article said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), which runs the public libraries, had an annual procurement target of “at least 700,000” items and was throwing away books in perfectly readable condition.
 
Indeed, updating the book lists every year is a necessary act for libraries. Knowledge in this information age is ever changing. Being a knowledge-based city, we should move forward in tune with time and technology.
 
As the number of books keeps increasing but the space for them remains the same, libraries discard some to make room. However, is this the only way to deal with the problem?
 
Hong Kong still has many poor families who can’t afford books. Rather than treat the books as waste paper, libraries could donate to charity organisations or less-well-off families. This will benefit them, as well as promote reading.
 
Moreover, with online reading being more popular among the new generation, they are borrowing fewer books from the library. So the LCSD may reconsider its procurement target, and put the money to better use.
 
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Po Lam

SCMP September 16, 2017
Carol Mo 6E

Tough living conditions are behind exodus
 
I refer to the report on more Hong Kong people emigrating (“Surge in numbers quitting Hong Kong for new life in Canada”, September 11).
 
There may be various major reasons behind this exodus, one of them being the unsatisfactory living conditions. High property prices and cost of living have long been a heavy burden for many local residents. Pollution and a densely packed urban environment make it less than an ideal place to live.
 
The political situation in the city may also be motivating some to leave. Social conflicts taking place in recent years have worsened interactions between political factions in the city, and some Hongkongers may feel there is little hope of any improvement in the near future.
 
Therefore, the government must not only focus on improving overall living conditions, but also strive to restore public trust in the city and its future.
 
The work of restoring trust is one that cannot be neglected. Otherwise, the disappointment of citizens will just deepen, causing more of them to leave.
 
The current situation will probably take a long time to improve, and cannot be done without cooperation and compromise on all sides. This city is home to us all and it should be safeguarded by everyone here.
 
Carol Mo Ka-wai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 15, 2017
Michelle Mai 5B

Sensible use of air cons yet to be seen in city
 
Last month, a scientist warned that due to the effects of climate change in southern Europe, the usage rate of air conditioners would soar. This, of course, exacerbates pollution and adds to global warming.
 
I think this also applies to Hong Kong, with its intensive use of air conditioners during the hot summer months. Most people just automatically switch on the air con when they get up, without thinking of the environmental consequences.
 
When I visit relatives and friends around town, I find they all have the air con switched on during the summer. But I have noticed that sometimes there is no need to do so, because there is a good breeze blowing in from outside and a fan is all that is really needed.
 
A friend told me she just could not live without the air con during summer.
 
Some teachers do try to explain the need to protect the environment, including limiting the use of air cons, but the message does not seem to be getting through to everyone.
 
Michelle Mai, Sau Mau Ping

SCMP September 15, 2017
Andy Yeung 5E

Beijing was wrong to shut down VPNs
 
I am concerned about the ongoing virtual private network (VPN) crackdown on the mainland.
 
This is an extension of the tight censorship which existed before this crackdown, with sites such as Facebook and Twitter already banned.
 
The debate on whether such censorship should exist is controversial, with supporters saying the authorities must have the power to limit the spread of sensitive information. They also argue that it is important to keep out violent and obscene material to protect young people. But what is also kept off the net, is criticism of the government.
 
Another reason the central government is tightening its grip, is that it only wants a positive image of the country to be presented to the outside world.
 
It wants China to be seen as a nation which is making huge strides in terms of development.
 
Social networking sites allow people to share news and views. They help people acquire more knowledge and encourage creative thought. Netizens in China now have fewer opportunities to visit these sites.
 
It does not help to just present the good news, the bright side of China. This harms rational and reasoned discussion, which should also look at the many problems the country is facing. Being able to see the good and bad helps citizens have a more objective view of society. For the sake of China’s future, different voices should be heard.
 
As a Hong Kong citizen, I am glad we enjoy a greater degree of freedom of speech. If China repealed its tight censorship regulations, there would be a greater sense of trust between citizens and the government. Obscene and -violent material can still be banned, but not social networking sites.
 
Andy Yeung, Tiu Keng Leng

Young Post September 15, 2017
Rainbow Or 4E

SCMP September 15, 2017
Louis Fung 5B

SCMP September 15, 2017
Walter Chong 5B

SCMP September 15, 2017
Oscar Au Yeung 5B

SCMP September 14, 2017
Donald Chan 6E

SCMP September 14, 2017
Nicole Ho 6D

SCMP September 13, 2017
Cherry Yeung 6A

SCMP September 13, 2017
Eric Chan 5C

SCMP September 12, 2017
Leo Yuen 5E

Uber can force taxi operators to raise their standards
 
I agree with Michelle J. Tao on the benefits to the city of having Uber (“How Uber can spur improvements in Hong Kong’s taxi service”, August 31).
 
I am sure most readers agree that everyone has been poorly served by our taxi service. When taxi drivers are all about to change shifts or eating, they will refuse a fare, even though it is illegal to do so. There have also been cases of them trying to rip off passengers. So I think that the car-hailing app Uber can make a difference.
 
Taxi operators complain about Uber’s presence in the city saying it has hurt their profits. They should not blame Uber for this. Their profits have been hit because they are providing a poor service. Now that they face real competition they go to the government to complain and ask it to intervene.
 
The government gives reasons for why it cannot legalise Uber, but I do not accept its arguments. There are so many cities and countries where Uber has been made legal and has proved to be very popular with residents. Uber is happy to get involved in discussions with governments and reach an agreement.
 
We need competition in Hong Kong so that we can see an improvement in the local taxi industry.
 
Leo Yuen Chun-yu, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP September 12, 2017
Daniel Hui 5A

Sleepless nights can cause mental health problems
 
It is important to get enough sleep, but I think some students and adults are experiencing more sleepless nights.
 
Busy people who cut back on the amount of sleep they get might think it is a waste of time, but they are mistaken. It is important for health reasons to get enough sleep. At night we are tired and so sleep helps to restore the energy we need for the working day.
 
Students who are not getting enough sleep will find that their studies suffer. And adults will also be less productive. If they are tired at work they may take very short naps and this could lead to accidents if, for example, they are controlling machinery. Deprived of sleep their memory is not as sharp and they may have poor judgment.
 
Lack of sleep can also cause mental problems, such as stress. Therefore, people need to appreciate the importance of sleep and the benefits it brings and make sure they get a good night’s rest.
 
Daniel Hui, Hang Hau

SCMP September 12, 2017
Kristie Ko 6A

VPN crackdown on mainland is bad for business
 
I refer to the report (“Business and academics at risk of losing out as China tightens online censorship”, September 10). I do not use a virtual private network (VPN), but I oppose the decision of the Chinese government to ban the setting up and usage of VPNs as this shows it is tightening up on online censorship.
 
In this way it is stopping its citizens reaching sites from outside the country. A lot of my friends from the mainland use Facebook and Instagram through VPNs and share aspects of their daily lives. It is also a way for them to keep in touch with friends they met overseas. According to the article, 14 per cent of internet users on the mainland use VPN daily. Once they are blocked, millions of these users will be affected. And it will also hurt businesses. Tightening censorship in this way will be disappointing for a lot of overseas companies.
 
Many of them, especially small firms, rely on social media sites, like Facebook, to promote their products and services and communicate with customers. If they find it difficult to continue to do business on the mainland this could hurt China’s economy.
 
The central government might come to regret this decision.
 
Kristie Ko, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 12, 2017
Tom Poon 5D

Fathers in Hong Kong deserve a better paternity leave deal
 
I agree with correspondents who have argued that working mothers need more help to find the right work-life balance. Poor workplace flexibility and benefits are the major factors stopping workers from finding that balance.
 
Ironically, they are also the reasons behind Hong Kong’s economic success story. So many workers in Hong Kong, women and men, have devoted much of their time and energy to their jobs, in order to get a better life for their families. Some would argue that if they get that balance they will work fewer hours and this could impact on the city’s prosperity.
 
What we have to try to do citywide is find the right mix that enables citizens and the city to benefit. This has worked in other developed societies such as Australia, where there is far greater flexibility in the workplace than you find here.
 
One area in particular where we are falling short is paternity leave. The government has legislated to allow the father three days off. The purpose of such leave is to allow him to help the mother take care of the newborn baby, but that is hardly enough time. His wife will be exhausted and possibly stressed and she needs as much help as possible. Three days is not enough time off for a new father.
 
I believe the law needs to be amended so that paternity leave is extended to one month. This enables the father to bond with his child. If he is really essential to the running of the company that employs him then it should arrange ways for him to work from home. That way he can help his firm and his wife.
 
What is important is to find a compromise, so that society benefits from a productive citizen and the new family benefits from a father who is there for his wife and child.
 
Tom Poon, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 12, 2017
Zoe Chung 5A

SCMP September 12, 2017
Sammi Lee 2B

SCMP September 11, 2017
Icy Po 2A

SCMP September 11, 2017
Alice Ma 5E

SCMP September 11, 2017
Jacky Leung 5E

SCMP September 10, 2017
Carina Cheung 2C

Joint terminus will make for smooth travel
 
I look forward to the opening of the West Kowloon terminus for the express rail link. Passengers will then be able to undergo border clearance procedures for both Hong Kong and the mainland under the same roof, before boarding trains to all cities on the national high-speed railway network.
 
Mainland law will apply to certain designated areas of the joint terminus, in a system similar to the US and Canada or the UK and France on the Eurostar.
 
As a Hong Kong citizen,I feel this project will bring great convenience and also save a lot of time. For instance, getting to Guangzhou will take just 50 minutes, instead of more than two hours as it does now.
 
Carina Cheung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 10, 2017
Divine Hui 4A

East Lantau plans: a waste of tax money?
 
I refer to Tom Yam’s article on the debate over the proposed East Lantau town (“Opposition to ¬creating a metropolis in Lantau must be heard”, August 1).
 
Mr Yam calls public consultations “costly road shows” that “are increasingly seen by the people as pro forma exercises”. He also says Hongkongers, “whose taxes pay for public ¬consultations, ¬deserve more transparency”.
 
The demand for housing in Hong Kong is really huge. However, mountainous terrain makes building difficult on a large part of its area. We all know and understand why the government needs to develop the Islands and New Territories. But are these the only methods to create land for building?
 
A lot of land in the city is owned by some developer or company. It would help if the government could buy back this land. When land is bought by companies at a high price, flats built there also become too -expensive for most people.
 
As for Lantau, transport links with the city centre are not as smooth yet, while management fees at estates are high. So how many people would be able to afford houses on the proposed East Lantau Metropolis in 2030? Is it really worth spending our tax money on this?
 
Hui Ching, Po Lam

SCMP September 10, 2017
Jackie Lo 5D

Environment is top priority for Hong Kong
 
I refer to your article highlighting pollution in Hong Kong (“Soaring heat,choking pollution”, August 31). Climate change has become an issue of grave concern these past few years.
 
Hong Kong recorded the highest temperatures ever this summer, which implies that global warming is getting worse and hitting close to home.
 
Changes in climate are caused not just by weather-related factors but by human activities as well. Coal-fired power plants and other factories in China produce smoke that is discharged into the atmosphere every day. When this polluted air blows into Hong Kong, the city suffers from smog and lower visibility. Fumes from fossil-fuel vehicles add to the toxic mix.
 
The Hong Kong government should educate the public about this issue. The chief executive should pay more attention to the issue of environmental protection and ensuring clean air. It is also our responsibility as citizens to come together and find a possible solution.
 
Jackie Lo, Po Lam

SCMP September 10, 2017
James Wong 5E

Creative artists yet to receive all-out support
 
I refer to your article on creative artists in the city (“Meet the young designers leading growth in Hong Kong’s creative industries despite challenges”, August 19), especially this line: “It remains doubtful whether Hong Kong’s highly bureaucratic government has the means to push forward creative industries.”
 
The issue is that there aren’t many measures that actually promote the creative industry.
 
The Design Incubation Programme, run by the non-profit Hong Kong Design Centre, supported just 170 start-ups in the 10 years to 2015; the government’s CreateSmart Initiative ignored most small-scale designers and artists in favour of more lucrative projects in architecture or development. The difference could not be more stark when compared to the creative industries of most other economies.
 
Unesco’s 2010 Creative Economy Report said that, adequately nurtured, creativity fuels culture, infuses human-centred development and constitutes the key ingredient for creation, innovation and trade. In the US, creative industries added US$698 billion to the economy and also 4.7 million jobs in 2015.
 
It is clear that the Hong Kong government should do more to support small-scale designers and artists.
 
James Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 09, 2017
Leo Ho 5C

Policies must improve life for working mums
 
I agree with correspondents who say that working mothers in Hong Kong need a lot more help to find the right work-life balance.
 
Many employees in the city work long hours, and so getting that balance is very difficult.
 
Most women only get 10 weeks of maternity leave, compared with the International Labour Organisation’s recommendation of at least 14 weeks.
 
Also, a lot of workplaces lack childcare services and nursing-friendly facilities for mothers.
 
When these problems exist and there is a lack of flexibility, workers feel more stressed.
 
In developed countries such as Australia, female employees can claim up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, so clearly there is plenty of room for improvement in Hong Kong.
 
The government should consider stipulating longer maternity leave and ensuring that there are more breastfeeding facilities in workplaces, as well as shopping malls throughout the city.
 
It surely has a duty to introduce policies which will improve the lives of mothers in the workplace and give them a better chance to achieve a good work-life balance.
 
Leo Ho, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 09, 2017
Peter Tam 5A

Citizens need to pitch in for greener living
 
I agree with Yvonne Lui about the need to act on the city’s environmental problems (“Soaring heat, choking pollution: Hong Kong’s citizen and leaders cannot ignore climate change”, August 31).
 
As Lui points out, it was reported in March that Central district had recorded “an air quality index of 190 – several times worse than in Beijing”.
 
Bear in mind that the capital is notorious throughout the country for its really high air pollution levels.
 
As chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor should be trying to raise levels of awareness, so that Hongkongers are willing to help tackle the environmental challenges that the city faces.
 
We all need to make the necessary lifestyle changes, such as using public transport instead of private cars and always bringing our own reusable bags to supermarkets when we go shopping.
 
Hong Kong regarded as an international finance centre and ¬popular tourist destination.
 
If we don’t improve air quality, we will soon start losing investors and visitors. As I say, we can’t just rely on our leaders; we all need to pitch in to make a difference.
 
At home, we should recycle as much waste as possible and cut back on our use of air conditioners. It is often just as comfortable with a fan, and this simple step allows us to make substantial energy savings.
 
Less energy use means that power stations would be burning less fossil fuel to produce it.
 
I hope that eventually all Hongkongers will see it as their responsibility to do their bit to save the planet.
 
This is our city and we must all work together to make the necessary improvements to clean it up.
 
Peter Tam, Po Lam

SCMP September 08, 2017
Amy Hung 4A

SCMP September 08, 2017
Cam Cheung 5D

SCMP September 07, 2017
Billy Sit 5A

SCMP September 07, 2017
Jenny Sit 6A

SCMP September 06, 2017
Cherry Chan 2C

SCMP September 06, 2017
Kenneth Cheung 5B

SCMP September 06, 2017
Donald Wong 5A

SCMP September 05, 2017
Kevin Wong 4E

SCMP September 05, 2017
Cindy Wong 5A

Always take sensible precautions when storms hit
 
The damage that was brought to Hong Kong and Macau last month by two typhoons was in some cases shocking.
 
I hope these storms have raised levels of awareness and made us realise that when signals are hoisted by the Observatory we must heed the advice and take the necessary precautions. Our priority should be ensuring our own safety and ensure we are protecting ourselves and our families.
 
Firstly, we must make sure all windows are closed securely in our flat, because they could be damaged by strong winds if they are left open. If a window is damaged residents could be injured by broken glass. As the storm strengthens we must all, where possible, stay indoors.
 
Also, I do not think it is responsible to, for example, call for a food delivery. The person making the delivery could be injured on the road, especially if it is a high typhoon signal with strong winds. You should not expect others to risk injury unless it is an emergency.
 
The number of people sustaining injuries or death can be reduced if we all try to act responsibly.
 
Cindy Wong, Po Lam

SCMP September 05, 2017
Michael Ke 5A

Twin typhoons are a wake-up call on climate change
 
Recently, two strong typhoons hit Hong Kong. The storms brought tremendous damage to villagers living in coastal areas, such as Tai O. The tsunami-like waves destroyed homes during Severe Typhoon Hato on August 23.
 
The process of cleaning up the mess is always long and arduous. So the government can review flood-prevention measures, and also the post-typhoon clean-up operation.
 
People had trouble crossing streets in inundated villages, and there was trash everywhere. Thankfully, there were big-hearted volunteers helping to clean up the mess. But the settlement of the villagers is still a big concern due to some homes being damaged.The government provided places for the affected villagers to sleep, as their homes were destroyed and they had no place to rest.
 
However, it will never be enough for just the government to help. Ordinary citizens must also pitch in, maybe by cleaning up the trash as a volunteer, or even spread the message among friends and family that people need help.
 
This issue is also related to climate change, which is causing more extreme weather, and stronger storms around the world. It may sound tiresome, but it is important to repeatedly promote the importance of a green lifestyle, because people don’t seem to have yet understood how serious the problem is. This is not just for us, but also for the future generations.
 
Natural hazards are taking place more frequently. If we don’t make a change, imagine how hard life will be for our future generations.
 
Everyone in this world has the responsibility to make this planet better, a small change from everyone will make a big difference to the world.
 
Michael Ke, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 05, 2017
Winny Lai 3D

City should learn family values from Sweden
 
I am writing in response to Katrina Lo’s letter (“Hong Kong working mothers need more help to find right work-life balance”, August 12).
 
Lo says that mothers in Hong Kong are challenged by the long working hours and lack of workplace flexibility. It leads to a social phenomenon where some office ladies who are married are worried about having a baby. Short maternity leave and difficulties in breastfeeding are the main problems.
 
Hong Kong allows only 10 weeks of maternity leave. New mothers may lack the time to take care of their newborn if they have to be back at working within such a short time. Also, new mothers suffer a lot of pressure if they have a heavy workload in the office and have to take care of a baby at home. They have little time to rest, so some of them may be prone to depression.
 
Some countries, such as Australia and Sweden, which also have a high female working population like Hong Kong, have more family friendly measures in place. Sweden has been called the country with the best maternity leave policy. Couples in Sweden enjoy 16 months of maternity leave with a salary, and there are lots of allowances for the family.
 
The Hong Kong government should learn from other advanced regions and extend the maternity leave. Besides, they can provide free family counselling services, to help new mothers maintain a good work-life balance.
 
Winny Lai Man-ting, Kwun Tong

SCMP September 05, 2017
Jackie Lo 5D

Hong Kong graduates can travel far on ‘belt and road’
 
I refer to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and benefits it may bring to Hong Kong graduates.
 
There is no doubt that this Beijing-led scheme bring us advantages on account of closer connection with Asian countries. It makes travel to and doing business with other Asian economies easier and more convenient. This gives Hong Kong graduates another option on choosing which university to go to or where to start their career.
 
Once I graduate from high school, I can enjoy the freedom of choosing my study path overseas or continuing my study in local universities.
 
Jackie Lo, Po Lam

SCMP September 05, 2017
Cathleen Shek 5D

Recycling message is still not getting through to a lot of people
 
I am writing in response to the article on recycling (“Hong Kong is misusing its public recycling bins, green group says”, August 31).
 
It is very discouraging to find out that just 40 per cent of the items in a four-in-one recycling bin are actually recyclable. As a person who adopts the habit of sorting recycling materials, this news really annoyed me. The article said 16 per cent of the items in the bins were just garbage. I believe not all of these items were mistakenly disposed of in the recycling bin. Some ill-mannered citizens or tourists evidently neglected the significance of sorting recyclables from rubbish.
 
Their selfish acts led to the contamination of other possibly recyclable items, sending every item in the bin to the landfill. Their irresponsible thinking just killed the thoughtfulness of the others.
 
Even when the municipal waste-charging policy takes effect, such incidents will still continue, unless thorough public education is undertaken.
 
Granted, practising a new habit is hard, not to mention implanting an environmentally-friendly mindset. The government, as the biggest authority of Hong Kong, should sound frequent warnings about how urgent the waste problem is. When citizen are well-informed about the waste crisis, I will become more concerned about recycling, and so show more civic sense when disposing of waste.
 
Cathleen Shek, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 04, 2017
Walter Chong 5B

SCMP September 04, 2017
Jason Luk 5A

SCMP September 04, 2017
Alvin Poon 2B

SCMP September 03, 2017
Jacky Sit 3B

Virtual reality is changing today’s world
 
I refer to the report on virtual reality gaming (“Virtual reality game to study Alzheimer’s could help ward off the disease”, August 29).
 
Technology in the present day is evolving very fast, and now we are in the age of virtual reality (VR) gaming, where people can experience this amazing realistic technology in the comfort of their homes. Not only that, games such as the newly launched Sea Quest Hero are important tools for medical research and treatment.
 
VR technology is also used in military training, where VR training courses or battlefield simulators help to hone the combat capability of soldiers at much lower costs. Then there are flight simulators for pilots to practise their emergency handling capacity. This is how VR is transforming our world.
 
Jacky Sit, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP September 03, 2017
Sara Wong 5A

Exams turning our children into robots
 
I refer to the article on schoolchildren being prone to depression and anxiety (“More than half of Hong Kong secondary school pupils show symptoms of depression”, August 29).
 
The exam-oriented framework is an emblem of our education system. -Students are left stressed out and depressed, as they attend countless tutorial classes in the hope of getting the Holy Grail of 5** in the Diploma of Secondary Education.
 
Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service surveyed 15,560 students in Form One to Six at 37 schools across Hong Kong, and found that 53 per cent displayed symptoms of depression. This was 2 per cent higher than the previous year, showing that students are becoming more frustrated about their ¬academic prospects.
 
Students ¬become like robots as they learn by rote, which kills the enthusiasm for learning. Children do not ask questions and are not curious about different phenomena, trained as they are only to memorise answers.
 
The Education Bureau in Hong Kong must therefore rethink the city’s exam-oriented system, for the sake of the future of the younger generation.
 
Sara Wong Kit-yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 03, 2017
Zoe Chung 5A

Conditions in Hong Kong forcing exodus
 
I am writing in response to the article on more Hong Kong people wanting to move overseas (“Hongkongers’ desire to emigrate higher than global average”, August 21).
 
Human resources company Randstad recently surveyed 13,200 people from 33 places, including about 400 from Hong Kong. The poll showed that 56 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong would be willing to leave the city for a job they desire.
 
I believe the poll reflects the current reality in Hong Kong. In recent years , the political environment has become unstable. Young citizens are concerned about Hong Kong’s future and have participated in activism, which has seen some radicals hurt and even sent to jail,
 
No parent wants their children to face troubles like this. Therefore, many would prefer to emigrate in search of a more stable environment overall.
 
Moreover, work conditions are much better in some other countries. Take our doctors or medical staff, left exhausted and stressed with their workload amid staff shortages. They wish to emigrate for a more comfortable working environment and more flexible hours.
 
High property prices are another factor fuelling the exodus, not only for workers but companies as well.
 
The problem of talent outflow must be tackled by the government, as this will affect the development of the city.
 
Zoe Chung Ka-man, Po Lam

SCMP September 03, 2017
Alice Ma 5E

No excuse for discrimination on age grounds
 
In Hong Kong, age discrimination in the workplace is a serious problem. Although the government has legislated against such discrimination, ageism is a fact of life in the city.
 
According to a survey by the Equal Opportunities Commission, more than one in three employees faced some form of age discrimination in the workplace, including lower pay and denial of advancement opportunities. About one in four workers said they could not get promotions due to their age.
 
This is a distressing trend. According to government projections, about one-third of the population in Hong Kong will be aged 65 or above in 2041.
 
As the population ages, if employers continue to discriminate against older workers, the city will face problems like manpower shortage and a shrinking labour force.
 
Some people have highlighted the problem of sexual discrimination in Hong Kong workplaces. I think age discrimination is even more pervasive.
 
Alice Ma, Hang Hau

SCMP September 02, 2017
Oscar Au Yeung 5B

Taxi driver boosts gender equality hopes
 
I think it is really brave when women break into a line of work that has long been dominated by men (“Hong Kong women taxi drivers on why they love the job and how they deal with sexist colleagues and passengers”, August 28).
 
It is not easy for these women, as they can face discrimination from some male colleagues, as well as insulting comments from passengers who still hold prejudiced views.
 
I was particularly impressed by 72-year-old Anna Tam Choi-har, who has been behind the wheel of a Kowloon red taxi for 45 years, longer than many of her male counterparts.
 
Despite the difficulties she faced, she has persevered for decades.
 
The experience of these women emphasises the importance of having gender equality in the workplace. The government talks about the importance of achieving such equality, but it is still not a reality.
 
The gender of a candidate for a job should not be a concern for employers. They should only concentrate on the qualities of each applicant.
 
Sexual stereotypes are still prevalent. However, it is good to see attitudes are changing and many people are becoming more tolerant. I hope we will eventually see genuine gender equality in society.
 
Oscar Au Yeung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 02, 2017
John Hung 4B

South Korea’s missile defence system is vital
 
US President Donald Trump, in responding to North Korea’s firing of a missile over Japan, tweeted that talking to the regime was not the answer.
 
Pyongyang’s actions will worsen its relations with other countries, including its main ally – China. Many people fear that, by his actions, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could undermine efforts to find a peaceful solution, as he forges ahead with the country’s ¬nuclear weapons programme.
 
However, despite the tough response from Trump, it should be remembered that the president of South Korea has cautioned against any form of military action against its northern neighbour. The government in Seoul is fully aware of the consequences of any action by the US. South Korea would face a devastating counter-attack from North Korea.
 
What is happening highlights the importance of the missile defence system that the US has installed in South Korea – called Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD).
 
It has met with a lot of opposition, from Beijing and from some South Koreans who complain about environmental issues and the cost. But, I think South Korea does need to provide more security to its people, and I hope THAAD will be fully operational soon.
 
John Hung, Po Lam

SCMP September 02, 2017
Anson Chan 5A

Strong attack on observatory was off-target
 
The Macau observatory came in for a lot of criticism over raising high typhoon signals too late in the day, as Typhoon Hato approached last month.
 
However, the former head of Hong Kong Observatory, Lam Chiu-ying disagrees (“Don’t blame Observatory warning signals for Macau’s Typhoon Hato mess, former top Hong Kong weather official says”, -August 27). I think he has a point.
 
While Macau’s electricity supply was disrupted and low-lying areas were flooded, what was clear was that the government’s contingency plans (such as ensuring there was enough fresh drinking water) to deal with these problems were inadequate. That was the real problem in the storm’s aftermath.
 
Transportation also came to a standstill, and the government was slow to get the post-storm clean-up operations underway throughout the city.
 
These problems would have existed no matter when higher typhoon signals were raised. And, as Mr Lam pointed out, issuing the typhoon signal later than Hong Kong could be justified, because the storm hit Macau at a later time.
 
Hopefully, the government of Macau has learned important lessons and there will be better urban planning and improved infrastructure, especially to help residents in low-lying areas.
 
I also hope that future contingency plans will have been put in place so that, should a major storm hit the city again, fewer residents have to suffer from its effects.
 
Anson Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 01, 2017
Candy Tsang 4D

Age of peace? Not if you are Kim Jong-un
 
The North Korean missile which flew over northern Japan did not threaten the country, but it did cause some confusion.
 
One citizen in Hokkaido who was interviewed on a TV news report said people were being advised to take shelter, but she did not know where she should go, and whether she should evacuate her home.
 
Another citizen interviewed hoped the US would not react too strongly, because this could exacerbate tensions.
 
People have often described this era as “the age of peace”, but when you see what is happening on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere in the world, you know that is not really an accurate description.
 
I wish the political and ¬military leaders involved in these conflicts would realise the cost to countries involved in them, in terms of economics and loss of life.
 
We should learn lessons from the past and realise that, when a war starts, citizens in those conflict zones lose friends and family members.
 
Tsang Ka-yee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 01, 2017
Adrian Wong 3C

Playing with fire could cost North Korea
 
Following its firing of a missile over Japan’s airspace, North Korea defended its actions, with leader Kim Jong-un saying the missile was a “meaningful prelude” to containing Guam.
 
What Pyongyang is doing is very dangerous. What if there was human error and one of its missiles hit a civilian airliner? Such a disaster would lead to a serious reaction from countries like the US, and even China.
 
Misunderstandings like this can lead to an escalation of the crisis. I hope Kim faces reality and realises that he has to stop these missile tests.
 
The aim of Kim’s government and the international community should be to seek a peaceful solution.
 
Adrian Wong, Po Lam

SCMP September 01, 2017
Jason Wong 5D

Mothers in the workplace left with tough job
 
I agree with Katrina Lo that achieving a work-life balance proves difficult for many working mothers in our city (“Hong Kong working mothers need more help to find right work-life balance”, August 12).
 
She referred to a survey which showed that over 60 per cent of the respondents felt frustrated while trying to balance family and work.
 
Having enough leave and flexibility in the office are key factors in helping working mothers get the right work-life balance. Many employees here work an average of 50 hours a week, which must be among the longest in the world. This leaves people, especially mothers, with little time to spend with their families.
 
Compare this to developed nations like Australia. In the same survey, fewer than half of Australian working mothers complained about lack of flexibility or inadequate leave.
 
The maternity and paternity leave allowed in Hong Kong is inadequate (10 weeks and three days, respectively). The government has to allocate more ¬resources to help working mothers. It must also ensure -offices are mother-friendly, especially for those who are nursing.
 
The right work-life balance would also make these employees more productive.
 
Jason Wong Kun-tong, Tseung Kwan O