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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 2016-2017:

SCMP January 13, 2017
Chloe Ng

Daniel Hui 4A

SCMP January 12, 2017
Wong Tat Hin 4A

SCMP January 11, 2017
Ma Chung Yan 2B

SCMP January 9, 2017
Billy Sit 4A

Young Post January 9, 2017
Kary Chan 6A

SCMP January 8, 2017
Tutti Sung 5D

Small-class teaching has its pros and cons
Small-class teaching has been in the news lately, and sparked a lot of debate.
Many see this teaching method as a means to improve the education system. However, it has its pros and cons.
In terms of the benefits, small-class teaching can definitely provide opportunities for personal attention and additional instructional help.
If a class has only 10 students, the learning process tends to be more effective as the teacher can spend more time on each ­student. Even if all 10 have questions, the teacher can answer them one by one and interact with them. This is impossible in the case of a large class. One-on-one attention is what small-class teaching can ensure.
Apart from individualised attention, a better learning environment is also an advantage. Discipline problems will be fewer or better tackled in smaller classes. This will leave the teachers with more time and energy for effective teaching, and they will be less stressed out as well.
However, while it may seem that small-class teaching is the superior system, it also has a few disadvantages.
Smaller classes might mean less competition between ­students, as keen rivalry thrives when there are many contestants. With just 10 students per class, the competition between them may not be that tough, and students may feel less motivated to push themselves. Competition leads to better academic ­results – this is a fact. So small classes may actually lead to loss of motivation to study.
Moreover, small classes mean more classes per school day, which means more teachers will have to be hired. But the supply of teachers is insufficient. If a school does not have enough teachers, each one will need to teach many classes throughout the day and become exhausted.
Given these drawbacks, it is hard to decide whether small-class teaching is the best way to improve the education system or not. There are other means as well to achieve that goal, such as improving teacher quality, better teaching methods, and so on.
Small-class teaching can be an alternative but it will never be the only choice.
Tutti Sung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP January 7, 2017
Jerry Lam 4A

Abuse of study rooms now a big problem
When we are approaching an exam period, the public libraries’ study rooms become very crowded.
As a student, I like using them to do my homework and to revise, because at home there are distractions such as television, computers and ­smartphones. However, some users are abusing these study rooms and this abuse has reached serious levels.
Sometimes I see youngsters asleep at desks or surfing on their smartphones, rather than studying.
I appreciate that the priority of librarians is to maintain good order in the library, but they should also be curbing this abuse of study rooms, otherwise this is a resource that is being wasted. I also urge all users to act responsibly.
Jerry Lam, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post January 6, 2017
Sammi Lo 5D

SCMP January 6, 2017
Fung Siu Chung 2D

SCMP January 5, 2017
Sarah Tam 5A

Lynette Tang Wing Yan 4E

SCMP January 3, 2017
Ada Yeung 2C

SCMP January 1, 2017
Kathy Ho 5E

Education best way to raise recycling rate
Due to materialism and consumerism, most Hong Kong ­students do not treasure what they have.
Unlike Eunice Li Dan Yue (“Get Hong Kong students to embrace recycling culture from early age”, December 26), I think the city has enough recycling bins. However, most people still throw all their refuse into the ­ordinary rubbish bins.
What is needed is more education, so citizens start separating waste and using the recycling bins. Having a lot more of these bins all over the city is of little use if they are ignored or misused. With education, the many recycling bins we already have will be fully utilised.
Quality is more important than quantity. And it is important to get the recycling message across to students at an early age.
If this is done, then they will more readily embrace recycling culture as children and then as adults.
Kathy Ho, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 31, 2016
Tsang Cho Him 6E

Disneyland not as popular as it used to be
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung has asked the Legislative Council to support the government’s proposal to partially subsidise the planned expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
I do not support the expansion as I do not see how it can really benefit the Hong Kong economy. Of course, Disney’s theme parks are well known all over the world, but I do not think that the Hong Kong theme park is as popular as it was with visitors say 10 years ago and I do not believe a planned expansion would make much of a ­difference.
Also the project would be expensive and involve HK$5.8 billion of public money. This is money that could be better spent, for example, on building more public housing estates or giving additional subsidies to citizens living in poverty.
Tsang Cho-him, Ngau Tau Kok

Jojo Wong 2B

Lax controls over factories which pollute
The air pollution in northern China is really serious.
There are too many factories and they are not being properly monitored to ensure emissions are within legal limits. You see pictures of thick smoke coming from factory chimneys and it even causes problems in parts of the country some distance from industrial areas.
Imagine what it must be like for communities next to those plants. People in cities like Beijing wear masks when the smog is bad, but many still suffer from respiratory diseases.
The central government must impose tighter emission controls on factories and build more residential estates some distance from these factories.
It should also encourage citizens to use public transport instead of private cars. It can do this by charging higher taxes when people purchase a car.
Jojo Wong, Po Lam

Kelly Fung 2B

Cut back on food waste next Christmas
While Christmas is a joyful day, too often we do not think about the environment and next year I hope more of us will try to be more eco-friendly.
At Christmas parties there is a wide selection of food and much of it is wasted. We drink out of paper cups which cannot be ­recycled.
When organising these ­parties we should calculate how many people will be coming and how much food we will actually need and try not to order too much.
Food that is left over, if it is still edible, should be taken home by people so it is not ­wasted. People should bring plastic containers for that ­purpose.
Next Christmas I hope will all try to be environmentally aware at our festive parties and make sure we keep food waste to a minimum.
Kelly Fung, Tseung Kwan O

Sara Wong 4A

Give more incentives for electric cars
The government is trying to encourage more people to buy electric cars, as they do not emit pollutants.
However, there are not many charging stations and, often, the parking spots next to these stations in car parks will be occupied by non-electric cars, especially during peak hours.
The government should increase the financial incentives available to motorists who buy electric cars to make these cars more attractive.
Electric cars are just one aspect of people being eco-friendly. Even if we don’t own an electric car, we should all be trying to do more to protect our environment.
Sara Wong Kit-yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 29, 2016
Debby Wong 6E

Long haul from MTR platform to station exits
I agree with correspondents who have been critical of the layout of Ho Man Tin MTR station, which opened in October.
As they pointed out, it is on seven levels. It can be easy for passengers, especially those who are elderly, to get lost. They need to travel on at least three escalators to reach an exit.
At Chung Hau Street exit, there are only two lifts. Therefore, queueing is inevitable and the only alternative for people is to use the stairs. Many elderly citizens live in Ho Man Tin and Oi Man estates and will have to wait for the lifts and sometimes face a long queue.
The station is also quite far from some locations. For example, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk from the Chung Hau Street exit to Oi Man mall.
More escalators are needed, and signs clearly indicating exits to stop people from getting lost.
Debby Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Zoe Chung 4A

Higher charge will not curb overcrowding
There has been a great deal of discussion about overcrowding in public hospitals, especially in accident and emergency (A&E) departments.
To try and alleviate this problem, the Hospital Authority wants to raise A&E charges from HK$100 to HK$220. General outpatient and rehabilitation bed charges could also go up.
I do not think these price hikes will have the desired effect. Most patients who use A&E departments are on low incomes, many will receive Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and so they will be exempt from these charges and therefore ­unaffected by the increase. This means that the overcrowding problem will persist and many citizens will continue to abuse this service.
Instead of this price hike, the authority should undertake a ­review to get to the bottom of the abuse of the system and implement penalties where there is abuse.
Zoe Chung Ka-man, Po Lam

Samuel Yu 4A

Underground spaces good for city’s economy
The government wants citizens to express their views on a proposal to build underground spaces in some urban areas.
It is proposing to develop underground areas in very busy urban locations, namely, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, Happy Valley and Admiralty-Wan Chai.
I agree that there is potential to develop underground spaces. I think these projects would bring a lot of advantages.
At ground level, it would ­help to improve flow of traffic with less congestion and so we would see a better living environment for nearby residents. It would free up space which could be allocated for community use and it would help to boost tourism.
With more visitors and local residents enjoying a better quality of life, we would likely see an improvement in Hong Kong’s economy.
Some critics of this proposal have questioned the feasibility of building underground shopping malls, but examples have already been set in Japan, which has well-developed underground malls. They have proved to be very popular with Japanese shoppers.
I am sure we could have a network of these shopping malls in the designated underground spaces.
Samuel Yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 28, 2016
Ng Yik Huen 5E

Costa Rica sets example with green policies
With greater economic development globally, there has been an increase in greenhouse gases which envelop the planet.
As a consequence, average temperatures are rising and there are more extreme weather conditions.
Hong Kong has not done enough to tackle global warming, unlike Costa Rica. Costa Rica, like many other countries, has seen temperatures rise and is experiencing drier weather conditions. However, it is now taking action to try and deal with the effects of climate change. It has already declared that it aims to be carbon neutral by 2021 and already is a global leader in the sustainable use of energy.
Most of its energy comes from renewable sources, a mix of hydro, geothermal, wind and solar energy. That means it is possible to generate energy without burning fossil fuels like oil and coal.
Costa Rica is also trying to stop deforestation. It recognises that its trees play an important role in reducing carbon in the atmosphere. It compensates landowners in a scheme to encourage reforestation.
Tourists visiting the country are invited to make a donation to reforestation projects. In the last decade, Costa Rica has already increased its forested area by 10 per cent.
Hong Kong can learn from Costa Rica’s example and do more to alleviate the ­effects of climate change.
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O

Suki Lee 4A

We must deal now with ageing society
Our ageing population is a serious issue in Hong Kong and is creating many problems for our society.
It will place a financial burden on the government. As the number of the elderly keeps increasing, there will be more single elderly citizens. As they get older, many will have to stop work and some will be dependent on allowances from the government. They will need help from welfare schemes such as the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA). The government’s expenditure on such payments will increase as this ageing population grows in size.
With more elderly people and a low birth rate, the city’s competitiveness could be adversely affected. We could see a decline in the workforce with not enough young people to fill all the vacancies on the job market, jobs that Hong Kong needs. The government will have to consider recruitment drives to attract people with the necessary training and talent from overseas to come and work here.
The increase in the number of elderly will also place an additional burden on our public ­hospitals. More patients will ­require treatment for chronic conditions.
Many elderly people will choose public over private ­hospitals, because they are a lot cheaper. If they are recipients of CSSA, the government will have to pay their bill at the public ­hospital.
The administration has to do more in the way of planning so that it can deal effectively with the problems linked to an ageing population. It needs to start planning its strategy.
Suki Lee, Hang Hau

SCMP December 27, 2016
Billy Sit 4A

Brownfield sites offer best housing option
I refer to the letter by Shirley Lee (“Long-term solution to housing crisis”, December 14).
Not all underground areas in Hong Kong will be suitable for developments.
Some areas might be prone to flooding and pose a risk. Also, in an emergency it would be more difficult and take longer to evacuate people from underground sites if there was an accident such as a fire, than if they were in a high-rise at street level.
Also, if these underground sites were extensive, a lot of fresh air would have to pumped into buildings located there.
The government should ­instead be looking at ways to maximise the many brownfield sites that can be found throughout Hong Kong. They could provide a lot of land on which to build new flats. Many of these sites are abandoned land and ripe for ­redevelopment.
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

Fok Pui Yi 5E

Fight against corruption is top priority
I agree with Kathleen Kong Hoi-hung (“Citizens suffer when waste is dumped”, December 22) that the central government must do more to curb air ­pollution.
It must crack down on illegal factories and tightly control the proper disposal of waste.
Indeed, the government is trying to reduce pollution levels in the country, but is obstructed in its efforts by some corrupt ­officials.
It already has some strict laws in place, but it can be difficult to track down all the illegal factories. The government must effectively curb corruption if it wants to ­successfully tackle pollution. I do not see problems such as bad air being solved if the high levels of ­corruption continue ­unchecked.
Fok Pui-yi, Tseung Kwan O

Vivian Shea 5C

Start planning now for city’s ‘grey tsunami’
Earlier this year, a study warned of the increased pressure that would be brought to bear on public hospitals because of our ageing population, what has been described as a “silver ­tsunami”.
It is anticipated there will be a massive rise in elderly patient admissions to hospitals by 2041. Clearly this problem is going to get more serious, so our government must start preparing now so that by then there are enough public medical facilities.
With many more senior citizens, there will be a greater ­burden placed on public hospitals. The government must now draw up its plan to increase the number of public hospitals in Hong Kong and staff numbers.
It also needs to ensure a change of mindset. The message must be got across to citizens that emergency rooms are for emergencies, not for patients who do not have an urgent need of medical services. We must all learn to treasure our public ­hospitals and not take them for granted.
Vivian Shea, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 26, 2016
Daniel Hui 4A

Underground spaces have safety issues
I understand why some people have supported proposals to develop large underground spaces in some urban areas, but we have to recognise that there are potential disadvantages.
One area that would be a cause for concern is safety. If there was a fire, how easy would it be to evacuate everyone, especially if a lot of people were in underground locations?
Surely it would be more difficult than getting out all the occupants of a building at ground level. There would only be so many exits and everyone would be heading to them at once.
Also, I think the risk posed by smoke inhalation would be greater underground.
I am also not convinced that these spaces would reduce overcrowding. If they became a major tourist attraction, we might see a large influx of ­visitors.
I do not support extensive underground developments.
Daniel Hui, Hang Hau

SCMP December 23, 2016
Jojo Wong 2B

Let’s pledge to cut waste this festive season
During the festive season, as people celebrate Christmas in different ways, including parties, a lot of waste is ­generated. When Christmas is over, a lot of stuff is thrown away.
Christmas trees that could be recycled end up in landfills, as do decorations that could easily be stored and used next year. People need to become more environmentally aware.
When people receive a gift, they should make sure they put the wrapping paper in a recycling bin and not just throw it away. Shopping malls pull out all stops for Christmas, with a lot of trees and decorations being put up. I hope they dispose of them in a responsible manner.
I have also seen some Christmas lights on buildings in Tsim Sha Tsui remaining on during the day, which is a waste of electricity.
Jojo Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Peter Tam 4A

Higher fees at hospitals is a ridiculous idea
Public hospitals have backed a proposed increase in the charge for accident and emergency (A&E) treatment, from HK$100 to HK$220 (“Hong Kong Hospital Authority proposes higher charges for use of public services”, December 15).
The purpose of the price rise is to reduce overcrowding, but will it be effective?
Many of the people who go to A&E departments in public ­hospitals are elderly and people on low incomes. The elderly get health-care vouchers and many of those on low incomes get welfare payments – they do not have to pay hospital charges, so the overcrowding will persist.
Also, a higher fee will hurt those who are on low incomes but are not entitled to receive benefits. It will be a struggle for them.
I think it is a ridiculous idea to increase the A&E charge.
Peter Tam, Tseung Kwan O

Jason Luk 4A

Leave country parks out of housing plans
I appreciate that the housing problem in Hong Kong is ­serious, but I do not believe that building homes in our country parks is a viable solution.
Our country parks offer citizens a great opportunity to relax and deal with the stress we feel at the workplace or in ­college. They do occupy a lot of space, but that is no justification for building on them.
Once a natural environment is ­destroyed, the damage is ­irreversible.
These rural areas are precious retreats and should be seen as such in this small, densely populated city.

Building on them would also present logistical problems as parks include lots of hills.
The government should be making greater use of older residential and industrial buildings.
Many old apartment blocks have only a few floors. They could be redeveloped into much taller high-rises with many more flats.
Redevelopment of older buildings and entire ­estates can create a lot more apartments and go some way towards alleviating the housing shortage.
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 22, 2016
Donald Wong 4A

Place a ban on selling alcohol to under-18s
A lot of youngsters now drink alcohol. There are various reasons for this, such as peer pressure and the feeling that it makes them feel more grown up if they drink.
Also, they may try alcohol ­because they have seen their parents drinking and want to act like them and other adults.
However, the problem of teenage ­drinking is becoming more ­serious as youngsters can easily buy alcohol at retail shops. This is a legal loophole which must be plugged as soon as ­possible, as alcohol can do a lot of harm to youngsters who are still developing physically and mentally.
Once an alcohol sales ban is in place for under-18s, the government should order shops to check teenagers’ identity cards before billing. Shops found guilty of selling to ­underage youths should face fines.
Donald Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 21, 2016
Isabella Chan 1A

Brownfield sites always a better option
I do not agree with the assistant director of planning, Amy Cheung Yi-mei, about how to deal with future housing needs (“Artificial island or country park development? Hongkongers face hard housing choices, official says’’, December 7).
I do not believe there is any need to construct an artificial island in the middle of the sea. Nor do we need to encroach on our country parks to meet our housing targets.
What the government needs to do is fully utilise the brownfield sites which can be found all around Hong Kong, including abandoned agricultural land and places such as scrap yards, which may be located illegally on government land.
They can be cleared for much-needed housing projects.
It saddens me when I read of government officials talking about possible residential ­developments in our country parks.
These parks have high ecological value and it is important that they are preserved for future generations.
Isabella Chan, Tseung Kwan O

Dickens Mok 5C

Transgender citizens left feeling isolated
Although Hong Kong has a unique East meets West culture, in certain areas, it is less than open-minded, because of traditional Chinese ways of thinking.
Therefore, many locals may be unlikely to be tolerant of transgender citizens.
There is now greater acceptance in many countries of the transgender community and it is time for Hong Kong to follow this trend.
Transgender people here face a number of difficulties. Apart from a designated centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital, they have limited medical and ­psychological support.
This can often result in their feeling marginalised and it can make it difficult for them to be positive about life. Even in prison, transgender inmates have reported facing discrimination.
If we want to see a more harmonious society, Hongkongers must show tolerance towards ­transgender citizens.
Dickens Mok, Hang Hau

Kathleen Kong 6C

Citizens suffer when waste is dumped
Residents of cities like Tianjin (天津) are suffering from the ­ smog that is ­affecting northern China.
The measures introduced to tackle this problem have been inadequate and there are frequent red alerts for air ­pollution.
Also, the central government needs to regulate all illegal ­factories and tightly control the disposal of waste.
So ­often factory owners simply dump all solid waste and sewage into the sea and rivers.
This damages the environment and the quality of life for people living near these plants.
The government must come up with an effective strategy to ­ensure comprehensive monitoring of these factories and this should be done as soon as ­possible.
Strict rules, and punishments for those who break them, are necessary. It is also ­important to make citizens more aware of the importance of protecting the environment.
Kathleen Kong Hoi-hung, Tseung Kwan O

Samuel Cheng 4A

Time to get tough with worst polluters
Severe air pollution continues to be a serious problem on the mainland and a major concern for affected citizens (“Flights grounded and highways shut in smog-choked north China”, ­December 19).
Smog from vehicles and ­factory chimneys envelopes ­cities and towns, and blanks out what were once blue skies.
As a consequence, the environment and the people of China are ­suffering. The severe air pollution is causing health problems, ­leading, for example, to respiratory diseases, various cancers, cardiovascular diseases and asthma.
The air is full of suspended particles and ­visibility on the streets is low.
It is difficult for ­pedestrians and motorists to see what is in front of them, and there is a high risk of traffic accidents.
The government must do more to address this problem.

It must tighten the legislation ­banning the most polluting vehicles and ensure that it is ­enforced. And there must be ­stricter control over carbon emissions from factories.
It also has to encourage ­wider use of renewable sources of energy, like solar and hydroelectric power, in order to be able to limit the use of fossil fuels, which are the main cause of the air pollution.
Samuel Cheng Ka-ho, Sai Kung

Benson Wong 4A

Hospital fee hike will not be effective
I do not think the proposed ­increase in accident and ­emergency services charges (from HK$100 to HK$220) in ­public hospitals will be effective.
The purpose of the increase is to alleviate the overcrowding in A&E units, but I do not believe it will achieve that objective.
Most of the patients are elderly and people on low ­incomes who cannot afford the fees charged by private clinics.
Middle-class citizens generally prefer private clinics to ­public hospitals as they do not have to wait so long and can ­afford to pay around HK$300 for a consultation. This will now only be around HK$80 more than the proposed new charge for A&E units.
Many of the people on low incomes at these units are recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance or elderly citizens who get health ­vouchers, so they will be unaffected by the fee rise as they do not pay it.
Therefore, despite the fee hike, they will still keep ­coming and so it will not solve the problem of ­overcrowding.
The best solution to cope with so many patients is for the government to hire more ­doctors and nurses.
With increased manpower, public hospitals will be able to deal with the large number of patients, but raising fees is not the answer.
Benson Wong Tat-hin, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 20, 2016
Kenny Tong 4A

Suki Lee 4A

SCMP December 19, 2016
Yuki Wong 6C

Natalli Lo 5A

Young Post December 19, 2016
Mak Hoi Lam 2B

SCMP December 18, 2016
Lee Tsz Chung 5D

More bikes can ease roadside pollution
I am writing to express my ­concerns about global warming.
Extremely unusual weather has become more prevalent in all corners of the world today. And it is a fact that most of this abnormal weather, if not all, is induced by global warming.
Cutting the emission of greenhouse gases is a prerequisite in addressing global warming. In Hong Kong, roadside air pollution has been a major ­reason behind an intensifying greenhouse effect.
To reduce heavy traffic and the pollution it creates, it has long been advocated that people bike to work, as they do in Denmark and the Netherlands, but the idea has not caught on.
The construction of cycle tracks connecting urban areas would inspire more people to get on their bikes, but this has neither been introduced nor discussed in development plans put forward by the government or Legislative Council. The government must take action to advocate healthy lifestyles with a low carbon footprint.
Lee Tsz-chung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 17, 2016
Eve Wong 5A

Brownfield sites obviously the best option
I think it is more sustainable to develop brownfield rather than greenbelt sites to resolve Hong Kong’s housing shortage ­problem.
In economic terms, the cost-benefit ratio of developing brownfield is greater than greenbelts.
This means the profits and cost savings are greater, and this is important when a government’s goal is to provide ­sustainable economic growth.
In terms of the environment, using brownfield sites is clearly better, because a greenbelt site (and its natural ecosystems) is preserved.
Fewer natural resource are used as the brownfield site is land that had been used before.
Pristine areas of the greenbelt do not have to be destroyed, and there is also no need for ­deforestation.
Potential pollution problems can be minimised when homes are being built, by having a well-prepared environmental management strategy, such as using high-tech machinery. The cost to the environment is therefore kept to a minimum.
Eve Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post December 16, 2016
Chan Wing Yin 1C

Leung Wai Yu 5D

SCMP December 15, 2016
Shirley Lee 5A

Angela Chan 5C

Poon Ho Yin 1A

SCMP December 14, 2016
Candy Kong Lok Son 3D

SCMP December 13, 2016
Tai Wai Chun 3C

Young Post December 12, 2016
Mandy Lau 5B

SCMP December 10, 2016
Tam May Yuk 1B

Mobile phones making kids lose out in class
I refer to your article about falling standards of science among Hong Kong students (“Students stumble to new low in science”, December 7).
Hong Kong students may have ranked second in the world at reading and maths, but their science scores are dropping, according to the latest survey by the global Programme for International Student Assessment.
Some experts attributed this to fewer students taking up ­science under the new senior secondary school curriculum.
But I have another explanation. I believe students’ scores are dropping due to their addiction to mobile phones.
These days, most students like to play with their phones all day. Consequently, they pay less attention during lessons. Constant phone use may even dull their brains, so they are not able to learn new concepts easily.
Also, playing with the phone means they will not engage in conversation as much, and will end up having fewer friends. They won’t even have time to talk to their parents. And the most serious effect: staring at an electronic screen all day will take a toll on their eyesight.
May Yuk Tam, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP December 9, 2016
Owen Mak 4E

Young Post December 9, 2016
Ng Cheuk Ka 2C

SCMP December 8, 2016
Karen Chan 5B

Roslin Law 5E

SCMP December 7, 2016
Spencer Lee Hiu Ming 5B

SCMP December 6, 2016
Emily Leung 3D

Sammi Lo Wing Sum 5D

Young Post December 5, 2016
Peter Leung 6E

Jamie Cheung 5C

SCMP Novermber 30, 2016
Priscilla Ko Ka Ying 5B

Struggle to find historic food culture in city
The government wants to set up a street food bazaar over Lunar New Year and had initially ­proposed a location in Mong Kok.
I am glad to see officials ­trying to promote these hawkers, as street food is part of the collective memory of Hong Kong and is an important part of our ­culture. The food that these hawkers sell, such as fishballs, is a unique part of this city.
However, these hawkers and their stalls are now a rare sight in our urban areas. People seldom have a chance to experience this kind of cuisine, though it was common in the past. I think this is a pity ­because it is definitely worth preserving.
However, I am not sure if the government’s proposal for a temporary bazaar will do that much to promote street food. It has proposed quite a high rent, whereas most hawkers are on low ­incomes and will only have a limited budget. You might only find larger restaurant chains ­setting up temporary stalls.
Also, a temporary bazaar does not solve the problem of those people who want to be given long-term hawker ­licences so they can run their own business and earn a decent living.
I suppose even having a temporary, tightly controlled food bazaar, if it gets the go-ahead, is better than nothing, but I am not sure it really represents the busy street food ­culture that has been such an integral part of Hong Kong’s ­history.
Priscilla Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP Novermber 28, 2016
Cherry Chan 1D

Tourists will flock to larger theme park
I support Disney’s plans to expand its theme park in Hong Kong (“Frozen and Marvel superhero attractions to boost Hong Kong Disneyland in HK$11 billion expansion”, ­November 23).
I think this expansion with some new features and a six-year upgrade will attract more tourists to the city and add ­thousands of new jobs to the tourism sector.
This expansion is needed, because some features of Hong Kong Disneyland are now a bit old and some visitors might even find them boring now.
With this expansion, the park will look even more beautiful and gain a global ­reputation as a place to come to Hong Kong to visit.
It will increase the number of visitors who stay for a night or even longer, especially as new attractions come online. Superheroes from the Marvel comics series, for example, will arrive at the park in phases.
Cherry Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP Novermber 27, 2016
Samuel Yu 4A

Fight diabetes with fat tax on unhealthy food
Levies on unhealthy food, known as fat taxes, are being adopted by more countries.
Hungary, for example, has imposed this tax on food which is high in sugar, salt and fat. Mexico taxes sugary drinks, breakfast cereals and sweets.
Diabetes is a serious problem in Hong Kong, and it is the same globally.
Many poor people with diabetes in underdeveloped and ­developing nations cannot ­afford to buy healthy food.
However, people here are better off. I would like to see a fat tax levied in Hong Kong.
I believe that if more citizens move away from eating food which has high levels of sugar, salt and fat, there will be fewer cases of diabetes and expenditure on treating diabetes will drop, not just in Hong Kong but worldwide.
Samuel Yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP Novermber 26, 2016
Kassandra Wong Hiu Tung 5E

Urban benefits multiply below ground level
I am writing in response to your editorial on underground spaces (“It’s time for Hong Kong to go underground,” November 21).
Hong Kong is such a spectacular city but it still faces problems related to the lack of land and a large population. I believe the use of underground spaces can alleviate this problem.
Take the MTR – it reduces the need for land for roads and helps ease traffic jams. Besides, the air quality may improve markedly if more people choose to take the MTR instead of road transport, such as private cars.
Underground spaces can make urban living more convenient. Apart from underground railways, such spaces could be used to build shopping malls as well. Hong Kong should take the Japanese-style underground spaces as an example.
Kassandra Wong Hiu-tung, Hang Hau

SCMP Novermber 25, 2016
Wing Kwok 5A

SCMP Novermber 24, 2016
Harry Ng 6A

SCMP Novermber 21, 2016
Don Wong 5C

Felix Leung 5E

Young Post Novermber 18, 2016
Ding Boxuan 2D

SCMP Novermber 18, 2016
Jenny Sit 5A

Shirley Lee 5A

Chan Ching Fai 2A

SCMP Novermber 17, 2016
Mario Man Yuk Kin 5A

SCMP Novermber 16, 2016
Edward Wong 5C

Elmo Fung 6A

SCMP Novermber 14, 2016
Ronnie Tse 5C

SCMP Novermber 12, 2016
Chris Chan 6E

Shortage of A&E doctors highlighted
I am concerned about the long waiting times in the accident and emergency department (A&E) of one of Hong Kong’s public hospitals.
Last Thursday, having a high fever, I went to see a doctor at 4pm. I was sent to the triage ­station and classified as a semi-urgent level four patient. Then, I waited for five hours in A&E until I was called to the doctor’s room. To my astonishment, only two rooms were calling patients to go in within that period. It was 10pm by the time I left.
I understand doctors are busy but why are there only two rooms, which means only two doctors, helping patients? It seems there are not enough doctors in Hong Kong.
As a student I can’t afford ­private clinics and general outpatient clinics are always full when I try to make a booking.
This issue is alarming. There are many patients like me ­waiting in A&E.
I hope the Hospital Authority will step up its efforts to alleviate the problem. I’m looking forward to seeing the remedial measures made by the government.
Chris Chan, Tseung Kwan O

Sandy Chan 4B

Cultural show live streaming was good start
I refer to your article on live streaming of shows (“Cultural hub embraces live streaming with Greek classic”, October 31).
There are many advantages to live streaming. We can watch the shows for free and enjoy them anywhere. But, of course, a live show have a special appeal, as it allows the audience to truly feel the emotions of the actors.
I believe live streaming will be popular with teenagers, most of whom have a mobile phone these days.
Also, Hong Kong’s fast pace of life may not allow people to go and watch a live show too often. But with internet streaming, they could enjoy the show on their daily commute, if they wished. Such broadcasts are also good for those who cannot afford tickets to cultural shows.
Lastly, it offers an opportunity to enhance public awareness about different cultures.
Sandy Chan, Tiu Keng Wan

Gordon Cheung 6C

Target cooking fumes in urban pollution fight
I believe cooking fumes must be taken into account in targeting roadside pollution.
The government does not appear to pay much attention to the problem of cooking fumes, especially in crowded areas such as Mong Kok. Restaurants allow their extractor fans to blow right onto the street. Sometimes, I even avoid walking past as I can clearly see the clouds of smoke.
The Environmental Protection Department must act to ban restaurants from letting fumes escape into the street and impose fines as a deterrent. It should also bring all restaurants under one emissions control system, with frequent checks to ensure cleaner air for all.
Gordon Cheung Chun-Hong, Tseung Kwan O

Angela Chan 5C

Ageing city faces a myriad long-term ills
A greying population is a serious problem that may bring numerous negative impacts to Hong Kong in the long term.
According to the 2016 policy address, the proportion of the population aged 65 or above will go up from 15 per cent, or 1.07 million, in 2014 to 36 per cent, or 2.58 million, in 2064.
As a result, the pressure on the younger generation to ­support the family will increase, as will medical costs – as the elderly get even older.
Coupled with a falling birth rate, an ageing population will mean dwindling labour supply.
Suggested steps to tackle this include providing employment information for the second generation of Hong Kong emigrants and for our students educated in overseas tertiary institutions.
Also, increasing housing prices, salaries that never catch up with inflation, and dissatisfaction with the administration are fuelling a desire among the young to emigrate.
According to the Census and Statistics Department, almost 19,000 Hongkongers emigrated in the year to June, and the above factors could be among the reasons. The situation could change for the better if the government is willing to improve citizens’ quality of life.
Angela Chan, Tiu Keng Leng

SCMP Novermber 9, 2016
Edward Wong 5C

Oscar Chan 5C

SCMP Novermber 8, 2016
Toby Tsoi 1A

Jacky Chow Tsz Kiu 6C

Young Post Novermber 7, 2016
Ip Wai Yan 2C

SCMP Novermber 7, 2016
Sandy Chan 4B

SCMP Novermber 5, 2016
Felix Leung 5E

New stations could well see hopes derailed
I refer to the letter from Carol Mo Kai-wai (“New stations can ease road congestion”, November 1).
I do not agree that new MTR stations will really benefit local residents. The A3 exit for Ho Man Tin MTR station has a total of 562 steps. This is an unacceptably long daily climb, especially for the elderly.
The design of the single-track railway between Ho Man Tin and Whampoa stations means they will struggle to meet the demands of the rush hour. Some trains may have Ho Man Tin as the last station instead of Whampoa, and that may mean time costs for commuters.
Ms Mo also mentioned that demand for buses, minibuses and taxis in these areas is likely to drop, and so reduce congestion on the road. But demand will not drop drastically. Also, the MTR keeps raising prices, so some may prefer cheaper options.
Felix Leung, Po Lam

Roslin Law 5E

TSA adding to burden for young students
I agree with those who say that the Territory-wide System Assessment is useless in our education system(“Hong Kong lawmaker urges Education ­Bureau to scrap controversial test”, October 31).
In my view, TSA is a selfish product of the bureau. Its claimed purpose is to evaluate the skills of students in English, Chinese and maths. But is it ­necessary? Primary students are still children; whatever their learning ability or creativity, these have yet to fully develop.
However, TSA is forcing them to memorise complicated content like letter formats and difficult maths formulas.
As a secondary student, I was luckily spared the TSA in ­primary school, but couldn’t ­escape in Secondary Three.
In order to not bring shame on the school, a steady flow of notes, mock tests and homework came the way of students. I can’t see any reason to memorise these things given today’s advanced technology, and neither can I see any advantages the test brought to my school or me.
The bureau may think the TSA can help to assess and then improve academic standards, but it doesn’t. Multiple surveys have pointed to falling English-language skills in Hong Kong. The reason is very simple: students are not given time to enjoy English books or movies or other learning resources, the sole ­emphasis is on rote learning.
Students in Hong Kong are undoubtedly smart. However, most are educated under the wrong method.
Roslin Law, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP Novermber 4, 2016
Kyle Wong 1A

Permanent car-free zone not feasible
On September 25, part of Des Voeux Road Central was closed to all traffic except trams and ­became a pedestrian zone for six hours.
I think this was a good trial and it attracted a lot of people, ­including families who got ­involved in different activities.
It prompted some groups to call for a permanent pedestrian zone. However, I do not think it would be feasible.
It would mean that traffic that normally uses it would be diverted to other nearby roads, such as Queen’s Road Central and Connaught Road, and this would make congestion on these roads worse.
Kyle Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Kathleen Kong Hoi Hung 6C

Heidi Cheng 2A

SCMP Novermber 3, 2016
Kaecee Wong 3D

SCMP Novermber 1, 2016
Cally Kong Tze Yiu 3D

SCMP October 31, 2016
Peter Tam 4A

Carol Mo Ka Wai 5E

Kassandra Wong Hiu Tung 5E

Young Post October 31, 2016
Jacky Lau 6E

SCMP October 29, 2016
Christy Ma 6C

Choice of the voters must be respected
I am opposed to moves to forbid the two Youngspiration lawmakers, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, from entering the ­Legislative Council.
I accept that Leung and Yau do speak impolitely, which ­offends many people. However, they should not be barred from Legco.
After all, they are lawmakers. They represent their supporters and pro-democracy citizens. It is unfair to the voters to remove the two lawmakers’ rights.
Leung and Yau were voted in by Hong Kong citizens. Some say they have not behaved well, but that does not relate to the work they will do in Legco on the citizens’ behalf.
The lawmakers described China in disrespectful terms. Yet, the voters trust them and so they are entitled to join the council.
Christy Ma, Tiu Keng Leng

Hebe Ng 5E

Schoolwork drives stressed teens to drink
Amy Ho calls for tougher action to prevent underage teens from being able to purchase alcohol (“Stop alcohol sales in shops to under-18s”, October 17).
There are many teenagers under 18 who have experience of drinking. Since underage drinking can inflict irreversible changes to the body’s nervous system as well as the organs, we must address the issue.
We should first find out the reasons for underage drinking.
Other than family environment and peer influence, sheer boredom is one of the most common reasons. Many adolescents suffer from a lack of physical activity. Teens also find that drinking makes it easier to discuss their emotions in a social setting.Hong Kong students have a heavy academic burden, and this leaves them little time for anything else. Hence it is important to encourage students to join out-of-school activities.
Although the government ought to tighten the regulations to stop youngsters from being able to purchase alcohol from shops, it is hard for shop staff to recognise people who are underage.
For example, the 7-Eleven chain has a policy not to sell alcoholic beverages to customers under the age of 18. However, employees do not check IDs. Educating teenagers that drinking has an impact on their health is the best way to alleviate the problem.
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 28, 2016
Simon Chung 4A

SCMP October 27, 2016
Cathy Yuen Tsz Wai

Localists’ oaths were insulting to all ­Chinese
The oath-taking ceremony when all new legislative councillors are sworn in should be ­regarded as a solemn occasion.
The two localist lawmakers, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, should make a public apology for their behaviour during the ceremony.
Article 104 of the Basic Law requires lawmakers to swear ­allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR government of the People’s ­Republic of China. The correct wording in the oath-taking must be used. Failure to do that means you are not qualified to be a legislative councillor.
The two localists should have appreciated how insulting it was to pronounce China as “Chee-na”, given that it was similar to the word used by the Japanese for China during the Sino-Japanese wars. This was ­therefore insulting to all ­Chinese.
When you have a political objective, in their case, independence for Hong Kong, you need to come up with the best way to achieve that. Nothing will be gained by using abusive language. An apology is necessary because if they are disqualified they will have let down the ­people who voted for them.
Cathy Yuen Tsz-wai, Po Lam

Kong Lok Son 3D

Monitoring of nursing homes not sufficient
I fully supported Sunday’s demonstration which slammed the government for not doing enough to protect people with special needs (“Protesters demand reform of care homes”, October 24).
There has been no strict monitoring of nursing homes. The government has said 251 homes will have three years to meet new licensing requirements, but this is too long a grace period.
It means that special needs residents who are being abused will continue to suffer.
In my opinion, the government should shorten the period of time for the homes to meet the requirements to 12 months at the most. And it must increase the frequency of inspections of care homes.
Candy Kong Lok-son, Tseung Kwan O

Donald Chan 5E

Phoebe Ko 5C

SCMP October 26, 2016
Zoe Chung Ka Man 4A

SCMP October 25, 2016
Joey Li 6C

Spare thought for those who keep working
Many people welcomed the No 8 signal being raised because of Typhoon Haima, as it ensured they would have an extra day’s holiday.
However, we should not forget those people who had to keep working, despite the storm.
Many workers, such as those in transportation and communications, had to work, despite the conditions, as did health-care workers and firemen who had to remain on call and deal with emergencies.
And we need to also bear in mind that when so many businesses shut down for a day and flights are cancelled because of a typhoon, the city ­incurs financial losses.
When I look at some of the damage done by heavy rain and high winds, I feel fortunate that I have a safe shelter.
Joey Li, Sai Kung

Winnas Wong 6C

Emily Leung Choi Yan 3D

SCMP October 22, 2016
Dennis Fan 4A

Poor water quality still a problem
I understand that some swimmers expressed concern about the poor quality of the water during the cross-harbour race.
They complained about seeing rubbish such as wood and paper on the surface. This illustrates the need for the government to do more to improve water quality in the harbour.
Unfortunately, some people continue to throw refuse into the sea and exacerbate the problem of water pollution.
I think the organisers of the race should test the water quality beforehand and ensure that it is suitable for people to swim in. Obviously this is a health issue and it is very important.
There were also problems with the start of the event, when some competitors were disqualified, including past champions, because they did not hear the starting gun. This is something the organisers must rectify for next year's race.
Dennis Fan, Tseung Kwan O

Young Post October 21, 2016
Era Siu Nok Yin 6C

More paid paternity leave would benefit all of Hong Kong society
Looking at data on paternity leave around the world, I found myself wondering why Hong Kong allows only three days of paid leave, which is far lower than some countries? In my opinion, more paid leave is needed for new fathers.
The pace of life in Hong Kong is fast, and most citizens focus on long working hours in a bid to earn more. This is true especially of employers, which is why paid paternity leave days in Hong Kong are so few.
However, the most frustrating thing is that a lot of research into this topic often goes ignored. Such studies illustrate how beneficial paid parental leave can be not only for the couple concerned, but also for children, society, and companies as well.
More paid leave could increase the incentive to work, as fathers would be able to take the time they need to bond with their babies and return to their jobs feeling confident and ready.
Also, employees who have been able to get paid paternity leave may feel greater loyalty towards their employers.
Besides, getting paid time off can also bring mental health benefits for new fathers. The babies and even older children can benefit if the leave is used for a family trip.
Such paid leave lets a new father immerse himself in parenting duties, and also spend more time with their wife and older children. This can enhance child development and improve marital relationships. It seems that more paid leave can help the entire family’s mental and physical health.
I hope the government can move to increase the paid paternity leave allowed to Hong Kong workers, in order to benefit the whole of society.
Era Siu Nok Yin, Tseung Kwan O

Yuki Wong 6C

Top 10: what’s the best thing to do on a rainy day?
Who’s up for KTV?
Sometimes the bad weather may make you a bit sad but don’t worry, because, as the old saying goes: “There are always more solutions than problems.” Even though we can’t go outdoors, we can still do something indoors. For example,,we can go to karaoke with all our friends. Not only will this bring us closer, the singing will make us happy and relaxed!
Yuki Wong, 14, King Ling College

Zina Chong 6D

SCMP October 20, 2016
Mario Man Yuk Kin 5A

SCMP October 19, 2016
Li Kai Wing 6C

SCMP October 14, 2016
Christy Ma 6C

Wrong time and place for these protests
I understand that some of the new lawmakers are young and passionate in defence of their beliefs.
However, I think their behaviour when they were being sworn in as legislative councillors on Wednesday was reckless (“Declaration of war as Legco opens”, October 13). What they did will have resulted in many Hong Kong citizens now ­holding very negative views of the more radical pan-democratic parties in the Legislative Council ­chamber.
Being courteous should be part of your moral code. Using insulting and sometimes foul language, which is what happened during the swearing in ceremony, is improper and ­impolite. It cannot be justified under any circumstances.
They have a responsibility to win over those who are opposed to, or have doubts about, their political platform.
Unfortunately, some of them showed on Wednesday that they are not mature enough to shoulder that responsibility.
The oath-taking session was not the appropriate forum to take this kind of stand. It was a moment to act in a serious ­manner, not to insult the nation.
I understand their discontent with Beijing, but with this kind of behaviour they will lose people’s trust.
Christy Ma, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 8, 2016
Tsang Cho Him Joe 6E

Many students enjoy reading actual books
I refer to the article on the government website (news.gov.hk), titled, “Subsidy suspension is reintegration”, justifying the decision to end book subsidies for primary and secondary schools.
The secretary for education, Eddie Ng Hak-kim, argues that reading habits have changed, with more young people getting their reading material from electronic gadgets.
The subsidies were used by both primary and secondary schools to buy books and multimedia reading materials. ­Because of the change of policy, schools will not have the budget to pay for new books and help promote reading habits. This was not the right time to end this subsidy.
Many students still enjoy reading actual books rather than scanning them online, and when they read more they ­improve their language skills, in both reading and writing.
I hope officials will ­reconsider this decision.
Tsang Cho-him, Ngau Tau Kok

Candy Ho 6C

Young drivers drawn to apps over taxi trade
I am writing in response to the article (“Hong Kong taxi trade hit by driver shortage as young are put off by its bad reputation”, October 3).
People nowadays don’t take a taxi as frequently as before, ­because they have an alternative. GoGoVan is one such. It is the first app-based platform for transporting goods in Asia, and the app GoGoVan was created to connect drivers and customers.
As more ride-hailing apps are launched, young people are tending to choose to become van drivers. The first reason for this is the desire to avoid paying expensive rental fees for taxis. Some drivers have their own cars. They are afraid earnings will not cover costs if they ­become taxi drivers.
The sector’s reputation of rude drivers overcharging and taking longer routes also puts off young people.
Candy Ho, Tseung Kwan O

Edwin Chung Yiu King 5D

Administration needs to heed voice of people
The “umbrella movement”, which lasted for 79 days, was a meaningful event for Hongkongers as they sought to ensure a democratic future for the city.
However, it did not achieve its goals. Two years on and Hongkongers are still fighting for universal suffrage, which the Hong Kong and Beijing governments now seem to want to avoid.
This is the wrong approach to take. Both local and central governments should listen to Hong Kong citizens.
If they do not, there will be more political protests like the umbrella movement and we will face a future of disunity as we ­approach 2047.
There are issues which need to be resolved if Hong Kong is to have a bright future.
Edwin Chung Yiu-king, Yau Tong

Kathleen Kong Hoi Hung 6C

Boost positives so children say no to alcohol
I am writing in response the ­article (“Children drinking ­alcohol as young as 10, study finds”, October 3).
The survey from Polytechnic University’s school of nursing found that 38 per cent of 840 Form Three students surveyed had drinking experience, with peer influence a key factor.
There is no doubt that this is a matter of grave concern that schools, parents and society at large must come together to tackle urgently.
To start with, offering moral education lessons should be a must for schools, to inculcate the important message that drinking alcohol may cause irreversible brain damage and harm the nervous system.
Parenting education is ­another crucial factor in helping children. Caring for children’s needs, listening to them and showing love are important things parents should always keep in mind.
Children are basically ­vulnerable and easily influenced by acquaintances and schoolmates. Keeping an eye on their activities can help prevent ­unhealthy habits and more heart-to-heart conversations can bolster the parent-child ­relationship.
Above all, if society as a whole has a healthy, energetic and ­positive atmosphere, doubtless we, the next generation, will be influenced by the positivity. Conveying the message of ­saying no to alcohol requires the cooperation and willingness of all sections of society.
Kathleen Kong Hoi-hung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 7, 2016
Vivien Suen 6C

Pedestrian zone a viable green project
For six hours during one Sunday last month, the government turned part of Des Voeux Road into a pedestrian zone.
Often, people just focus on Hong Kong being an international finance centre, with its hub in the central business ­district.
But this experiment showed the potential in this area if there are pedestrian zones where people can relax, have fun and be creative. It also helped to raise public awareness about environmental protection.
I can understand the views of some critics, that shutting part of this very busy road was inconvenient for drivers and could have resulted in more congestion on nearby roads. However, as a secondary school student, I welcome this initiative and think it helped to promote ­the different cultural aspects of Hong Kong.
I ­believe having this part of Des Voeux Road closed to all traffic except trams is a good idea and can benefit citizens from all age groups.
Vivien Suen, Tseung Kwan O

Priscilla Ko Ka Ying 5B

New iPhone craze means more e-waste
The release of the jet-black ­iPhone 7 Plus models in Hong Kong last month was certainly a momentous event for Apple fans in the city.
When I read that the new models were snapped up within 10 minutes, the word “wasteful” popped into my mind. I assume that many of those who bought these smartphones will have discarded their current models, thus adding to the volume of electronic waste in the city.
Every year, Hong Kong generates about 70,000 tonnes of e-waste and most of this is exported for recycling. The remainder fills up aour landfills.
I am worried that some of the exported e-waste will adversely affect the environment of the countries taking it, for example, the heavy metal from appliances could cause water pollution near recycling plants. And the health of workers at these plants could be at risk if the proper precautions are not taken when handling the e-waste.
Many teenagers ­appear to be caught up in the craze whenever a new iPhone model is launched. I am a student and I cannot see point of spending over HK$7,000 on a new smartphone, especially when you will not need many of the extra features in this hi-tech gadget for your daily life. It is a lot of money for a student to pay.
I know of many schoolmates who placed an early order for the ­iPhone 7. I think some of them see owning it as a kind of status symbol. I wonder if having this kind of materialistic attitude is really good for them?
Maybe we need to remember the saying, “Buy what you need, not what you want”.
Priscilla Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 6, 2016
Hana Cheung 6C

China must act now on perils of air pollution
When my class went on a graduation trip to Shanghai, we looked forward to enjoying the Bund’s spectacular scenery, but were disappointed when we learned there was a yellow smog alert. This brought home to me the pollution problems China faces, and the central government must deal effectively with them.
International cooperation is important. All nations must work together and multinationals operating in China, like Nike, Adidas and H&M, must also play their part.
Also, the government must shift its focus from economic ­development to environmental conservation.
The health of citizens should always be top priority. Besides, economic development could stall if citizens fall sick because of serious pollution in the country.
The people of China are ­becoming increasingly concerned about the nation’s pollution problem. I hope the central government will listen to their voices and take action to alleviate the problem. I also hope that the next generation will be able to live in a safe and beautiful environment. But for that to happen, the government must take action now.
Hana Cheung, Po Lam

SCMP October 5, 2016
Lee Tsz Chung 5D

Pointless high fines with few parking spaces
I take a dim view of the government’s proposal to increase fines for illegal parking.
The reason is I have doubts about how effective it can be at tackling illegal parking in Hong Kong.
I do not think that raising the levels of fines that are imposed will address the root of the ­problem.
There will be cases where, with no legal parking spaces near their homes, drivers can either park far away from their apartment or illegally park closer to it. Obviously, most drivers choose the latter option.
In some other cases, drivers have to opt for costly fees in a car park, although these car parks are in short supply.
Where demand is high, the monthly charges can be very steep, making paying fines more economical.
These cases I have described clearly show that the root problem is the lack of ­parking spaces available to ­drivers. Until this problem of lack of supply is addressed, raising fines will not curb illegal parking.
If the number of parking spaces is increased to a satisfactory level and the problem of illegal parking still continues, then the government can consider including illegal ­parking in the driving-offence points systems.
This could lead to drivers ­losing their licences and act as an effective deterrent.
Lee Tsz -chung, Tseung Kwan O

Mabel Wong 3B

Ease pollution threat with air purifiers
I refer to the report (“‘It’s like they’re killing our children’: ­parents call for tougher action on air pollution at Hong Kong schools”, September 30).
Parents are very worried about their children’s health ­because of the air pollution in Hong Kong.
They have called on the government to take appropriate measures, but it has failed to act.
Officials could order air purifiers to be used in schools to ­reduce the effects of pollution. This would be an important measure as most schools are ­located near roads. The purifiers can mitigate the effects of roadside pollution and ensure the students are breathing cleaner air.
The Education Bureau should also establish a rule that any PE lessons planned for ­outdoors must be cancelled if the air quality index is higher than 7. When the index is that high, ­students should not be involved in ­outdoor activities.
This should not be a guideline that schools may follow; it must be regulation that is enforced.
The government has the power to make sure that Hong Kong students enjoy better ­protection against the city’s air pollution, but it is not using that power.
The measures I have suggested could be implemented by the relevant government departments.
They must heed the calls of ­concerned parents to take the appropriate action.
Mabel Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP October 4, 2016
Justin Lu 6E

Young Post October 3, 2016
Oscar Chan 5C

Carson Cheng 6E

SCMP October 3, 2016
Walter Chong 4B

Oscar Au Yeung 4B

SCMP October 1, 2016
Shirley Lee 5A

Breastfeeding facilities lacking in HK
A recent study by New Zealand’s University of Otago showed that breastfeeding can provide more vitamin D to babies.
Vitamin D is important for the growth and repair of bones. Some studies also show that breastfed babies grow up ­cleverer than those who are not.
Recognising these health benefits, more and more ­mothers are willing to breastfeed their babies.
However, in Hong Kong, there is no legislation which support mothers wishing to breastfeed in public areas.
I think the government should either introduce laws to protect the rights of mothers and breastfeeding babies or it should build more breastfeeding facilities throghout the city.
In Hong Kong, the lack of such facilities is a serious ­problem.
Mothers already take on a great deal of responsibility when they have children. And the government has a responsibility (in the interests of a harmonious society) to ensure that they can easily find facilities to breastfeed these children.
Shirley Lee, Tseung Kwan O

James Wong 4E

iPhone 7 will leave music fans in lurch
I refer to the article (“Should you upgrade to the iPhone 7? Here are the pros and cons”­, ­September 14).
The iPhone 7 has received a lot of criticism after it was launched, and for good reason. One of the most special features for this iteration of iPhone is its lack of headphone jacks.
Apple claims that removing the headphone jack from the ­iPhone 7 was a “courageous” move in order to make the ­device smaller and thinner. But this will not work as well as they anticipated.
Apple said that in order to use headphone jacks, users would have to buy an adapter (which costs around HK$70) to connect the headphone jack to the lightning port. However, this occupies the only lightning port in the entire phone, and the user would not be able to use anything other than the headphones at one time.
The user would not be able to charge the phone and use headphones at the same time ­without additional hardware.
If one wishes to listen to ­music and charge the battery at the same time on the iPhone 7, they will have to use Apple’s wireless headphones, or buy an additional HK$300 dongle with two lightning ports. And that is not including the adapter you have to use in order to connect the headphone into the dongle.
Considering both the dongle and the adapter’s large size, this is extremely inconvenient for the user, and contradicts ­Apple’s goal of “making things simpler and more streamlined for the user”. Basically, the user has to attach his headphones to an adapter to a dongle to the iPhone – just to listen to some music.
James Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 29, 2016
Christy Lam

Tommy Yeung 4E

SCMP September 28, 2016
Tsang Kai Yuet 2D

Kathleen Kong Hoi Hung 6C

Cathy Yuen Tsz Wai 4E

SCMP September 27, 2016
Zoe Chung Ka Man 4A

Edwin Chung Yiu King 5D

Priscilla Ko Ka Ying 5B

SCMP September 26, 2016
Trisha Tobar 3D

SCMP September 24, 2016
Winnie Lui

Even a little food waste harms planet
Last month, the BBC reported that British households throw away 7 million tonnes of food waste every year. But about 60 per cent of Britons claimed they wasted a little or none at all. ­Unfortunately, that isn’t the truth.
Hongkongers are similar to the British. Having no idea about how much food we waste every day is the main reason that the amount of food waste has kept on rising in recent years.
If we don’t know how much we waste, then we will not train ourselves to waste less because in our mind, we only waste a little food which will not affect the environment a lot. It is hard to waste less without knowing how serious the situation is.
I wonder of readers know how serious the situation is. Even a little food waste can bring detrimental consequences to the environment.
Winnie Lui, Tseung Kwan O

Chantel Cheung 6A

Home market bans will strike at ivory trade
I refer to the article (“International vote means ivory trading may soon be extinct”, ­September 12). In order to stop the killing of elephants for their tusks, world governments have voted to urge the closure of all domestic ivory markets.
This came at the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, which was a 10-day meeting that drew a lot of people to Hawaii.
The only way to stop the ivory trade at the international level is to ban all illegal imports, exports and domestic markets, and it needs governments all over the world to cooperate.
There is an annual decline of 8 per cent in the population of African elephants, who are mainly hunted for ivory. I couldn’t agree more that “the shutting down of domestic ivory markets will send a clear signal to traffickers and organised criminal syndicates that ivory is worthless and will no longer support their criminal activities causing security problems in ­local communities and wiping out wildlife”.
Domestic ivory markets must be shut down. Animals must not live to be hunted, used as decoration, or put on sale.
Chantel Cheung, Tseung Kwan O

Wilson Chan 6C

Education best way to boost organ donation
I am writing to express my views on the secondary teaching material developed by the Hong Kong Organ Transplant Foundation.
First of all, the donation rate in Hong Kong is low because of superficial knowledge about ­organ donation. People think donation may have negative health effects or simply do not know how to register as a donor.
Education is the best way to inform young minds about the significance and advantages of organ donation. I believe ­students can get a deep understanding of the advantages and procedure of organ donation through learning from the materials and class discussions.
They will know how to register as a donor, and that becoming a donor would have little or no effect on their health. They will also know they are ­making a life-changing decision. After ­getting a deeper understanding of organ donation, the young will become more willing to be ­donors. That way, the donation rate will ­increase.
Secondly, the donation rate in Hong Kong has remained low because of Chinese traditional beliefs about keeping the body intact after death.
To change this belief, ­perspectives from religions ­including Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Islam have been included in the teaching materials, with leaders of all faiths ­making positive ­comments on organ donation.
Wilson Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 23, 2016
Mario Man Yuk Kin 5A

Young Post September 23, 2016
Hugo Chan 1C

What's a good excuse to skip school? In a (snail) shell
There are a lot of big snails outside my house now, and they are preventing me from coming to school. Teachers say we should not kill animals so I cannot step on them. And, I don’t have any helicopter or spaceship. So I cannot go to school today.
Hugo Chan, 12, King Ling College

Anson Chu 1C

What's a good excuse to skip school? Marvellous trick
I was on my way to school, but I got sucked into a black hole and ended up in the Marvel world where I saw Iron Man, Hulk and a bunch of other heroes. By the time I found my way out, the black hole had transferred me directly to my home.
Anson Chu, 14, King Ling College

SCMP September 23, 2016
Connie Cheng 4C

In future, think about enjoying green festival
I refer to the letter by Joey Li (“Stop children buying toxic glow sticks”, September 19).
It has become more popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival for children to play with glow sticks. Sometimes they throw them into trees and make a wish which they hope will come true if the glow stick stays on the branch.
They may think what they are doing is fun and harmless, but these glow stocks with their chemicals inside damage the environment.
I hope next year young ­people will think about the real meaning of the festival, to enjoy the beauty of the moon and the legends connected with the festival, such as the one about Hou Yi and Chang’e.
Adults must get the right environmental message across to their children. and discourage them from buying glow sticks.
Connie Cheng, Tseung Kwan O

Cathy Yu 4E

Trump’s ideas would hurt the US economy
I refer to the article, “Trump presidency would spell trouble for China’s economy, says ­Daiwa economist” (September 14).
I do not think there is any doubt that a Donald Trump presidency would be bad news for China’s economy, with his pledge to impose a 45 per cent tariff on Chinese goods imported to the US.
This trade makes up a relatively large proportion of China’s economy. A 45 per cent tariff could also be disastrous for the global economy.
If China was unable to find new export markets, many ­factories might shut down and the unemployment rate would rise. This would have an adverse effect globally and hurt emerging markets. There would be reprisals from those markets and this would hurt ­exporters in the US.
Trump’s proposals would harm other nations and not benefit America. He is a shrewd businessman; so why does he not understand this?
History shows that protectionism hampers the growth of international trade. The policies he is proposing show him to be a short-sighted politician. They would not help companies. Take the US steel industry as an example. Protectionist ­measures will not solve its fundamental problems. If he ­became president, the policies he has proposed would hurt the US economy.
As the world’s largest ­economy, the US should be ­actively promoting the development of free trade as a means of having a healthy global ­economy.
Cathy Yu , Shek Tong Tsui

Carly Fung 4A

Presidential election has turned nasty
Many Americans have said they are unhappy with the bitter US presidential election campaign and the trading of insults by the two mainstream candidates.
We recently had Donald Trump highlighting Hillary Clinton’s health problems and her sending of classified information on a private e-mail ­domain while secretary of state.
Clinton has fired back by saying that Trump discriminates against various groups of people, including women and Muslims.
Although Trump has no experience of government, some Americans will back him. They are ­unhappy with Barack Obama and think more of the same policies will not aid ­economic recovery.
I wish the candidates would focus more on policies that can really help US citizens and offer them a better future.
Carly Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 22, 2016
Tweety Sung 6D

SCMP September 21, 2016
Wing Yau 5A

SCMP September 20, 2016
Lum Chi Lok 5C

Roslin Law 5E

Yuki Tsoi Ka Yee 3D

Christy Lam 4E

SCMP September 19, 2016
Kitty Lui 4B

SCMP September 18, 2016
Joey Li 6C

Stop children buying toxic glow sticks
I think one of the reasons so many glow sticks are wasted every Mid-Autumn Festival is because of peer pressure.
Children see other youngsters holding these glow sticks in parks and so they go out and buy some. Afterwards, they are thrown away and leak toxic chemicals which is bad for the environment.
Education is the key here. Children should be taught about the damage the glow sticks can do to the environment and that buying them runs counter to what we should all be aiming for, which is sustainable development.
Adults must be good role models and discourage youngsters from buying them.
Joey Li, Sai Kung

SCMP September 16, 2016
Lynette Tang Wing Yan 4E

Transforming old clothes a green option
I refer to the report “Researchers ferment old clothes into new textiles”, (September 8).
About three per cent of the more than 9,000 tonnes of ­municipal solid waste that ends up in our landfills each day is ­textile waste.
Many Hongkongers are very wasteful when it comes to clothes. They follow the latest trends and fashions, often throwing out shirts and jeans that could last them a decade. They may only be worn for a fashion season and are then thrown away.
We could see a reduction in this volume of waste if recycled old clothes can be turned into new fabrics through a “range of new technologies” being developed by researchers in the city.
I hope the techniques they are using can be expanded so that old clothes can be reused. With less waste going into our landfills, they can have a longer lifespan.
Lynette Tang Wing-yan, Tseung Kwan O

Desmond Chan 4E

Encouraged by lawmaker’s strong support
I refer to the report (“ ‘King of votes’ seeks democracy from bottom up”, September 8).
Independent lawmaker ­Eddie Chu Hoi-dick got more votes than any other candidate in the five geographical constituencies (84,121).
I do not fully support Chu, but it is good to see a localist ­getting more votes than pro­establishment candidates. This is proof of the rise of democracy in Hong Kong.
An increasing ­number of citizens are speaking out in defence of it and this indicates that we are starting on the road to ­democracy.
As I said, I have problems with some of Chu’s political programme. I am not convinced that what he calls “democratic self-determination” would be suitable for Hong Kong. I believe it could lead to serious social ­conflict and I do not think it is feasible.
However, I do think that, as a lawmaker, he will fight for greater democracy for Hong Kong ­people.
Desmond Chan Chun-fai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 14, 2016
Jacky Leung 4E

Transport sector still has negative image
I refer to the letter by Ivana Lam (“Transport sector must ­increase wages to attract young recruits”, September 8).
The average age of employees in the transport ­sector is over 35 and the number of youngsters joining transport firms is decreasing.
The major reason for this low level of recruitment may not be a lack of promotion opportunities but the generally bad working environment.
Bus drivers put in long hours and cannot have a break while on a route. The travel time for a bus route can be anywhere ­between 30 minutes and one hour, depending on distance and traffic conditions.
Also, drivers have to work ­different shifts, and that will ­include sometimes having to work on buses running through the night.
They only get fairly short breaks and so overall their ­working environment puts off some youngsters.
Bus drivers are not required to have good educational qualifications. Parents often think that the job will only be done by people who got bad exam results and quit school early. So they will oppose their children if they say they want to ­become a bus driver.
In 2013 the South China Morning Post ran a story about a degree holder who gave up his well-paid job as an analyst to ­fulfil his dream of being a bus driver. Young people should not ­dismiss the idea of driving a bus as a career choice.
However, companies in the transport sector have to look into improving the overall working environment, if they want to change the negative image of bus driving as a job and get enough young people to fill the many vacancies.
Jacky Leung Kai-kit, Tseung Kwan O

Joey Chan Yuen Yi 5D

SCMP September 13, 2016
Ng Cho Kiu Teresa 4B

SCMP September 12, 2016
Ma On Ni Christy 6C

Burqini ban leaves Muslims feeling isolated
I understand the reasons behind efforts to ban women from wearing burqinis in France, given the terrorist attacks in the country for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.
However, I think the ban breaches the freedom of individuals to choose what to wear. If citizens cannot be allowed to wear what they want how can it be called a free country?
Many Muslims feel this ban will leave them feeling isolated.
Christy Ma, Tiu Keng Leng

Priscilla Ko Ka Ying 5B

SCMP September 11, 2016
Kelly Lai 5D

Using digital technology beats books
I agree with correspondents who argue that digital technology should replace traditional textbooks in schools in Hong Kong.
Computers and iPads are lighter than a textbook and, in any school day, students might have to carry up to five of these books and some are large. This is a heavy weight to have to carry around or store in your locker, as most secondary schools have lockers.
Also, digital technology is more convenient. At the end of the school day, the students must choose which books to take for homework and ­revision that evening, but they might not always get it right.
It must be annoying to know you’ve got the wrong book and the one you need is in your ­locker. With a computer, the ­material for all your subjects is at your fingertips at any time.
Students can take the ­computer with them wherever they go and do their revision any time they want. This is ­another reason why it is far better than sticking with textbooks.
If students are carrying a lighter load, this will be better for their health.
Having a heavy school bag can lead to long-term back pain, so switching to digital technology is the healthier ­option for students.
Kelly Lai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 10, 2016
Louis Fung 4B

Citizens should choose earlier time to vote
The government should take measures before the next major election in Hong Kong to ­prevent a repeat of what ­happened on Sunday when queues were so long that some people did not get to vote in the Legco election until around 2am on Monday.
It should open more polling stations to reduce the length of queues and make sure people do not have to wait so long ­before they can vote.
It should also urge citizens to try and vote earlier rather than waiting until the afternoon or evening.
Louis Fung Lam-lap, Sau Mau Ping

Kitty Lui 4B

Open more polling stations at next election
I was happy to see so many ­citizens turning out to vote in ­Sunday’s Legislative Council election.
I think this was because many Hongkongers became more politically aware and ­started thinking seriously about the future of society after the ­Occupy Central movement in 2014.
I was encouraged by the fact that so many younger people voted. But because of this much higher turnout, some polling stations were feeling the strain and there were long queues late into the night.
It seems clear to me that there were not enough polling stations and not enough officers to man them.
The government needs to be better prepared in the future and make sure it has enough polling stations so that people do not have to wait so long to vote.
It is important that the voting and the count should be able to stick to the planned schedule.
I hope that this trend of greater political awareness that we saw on Sunday continues that we see a high turnout at the next election.
Kitty Lui Sze-ki, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 8, 2016
Tsang Kai Yuet 2D

Citizens can take Zika virus precautions
Researchers have still not found a vaccine for the Zika virus, which is spreading in the region and poses a threat to pregnant mothers and their babies.
Citizens need to be reminded of the measures they can take in their homes to lower the risks of being bitten. Water in vases and that collects in saucers for plants must be emptied regularly, as should drip trays for air conditioners.
People can use insect repellent when they are outdoors, especially when hiking, and wear clothing that covers the arms and legs. Preventive measures can be effective.
Tsang Kai-yuet, Tseung Kwan O

Michelle Mai 4B

Homework makes stress levels worse
While learning is essential for every child, students attending local schools in Hong Kong say there is too much stress. And they are concerned that adults lack awareness of this problem.
Last school year, a number of students either committed ­suicide or attempted to do so and, in many cases, this was ­attributed to the stress they felt.
I read about one survey where a school student from Finland and one from Shanghai tried to do the homework normally assigned to their counterparts in Hong Kong. The Finnish youngster was frustrated by the large number of repetitive questions. The Shanghai student felt many of the questions were meaningless.
In an ideal school environment, learning should be an enjoyable process.
The reality in Hong Kong is that many students feel trapped and cannot see the reason for some of the work assigned to them. Often they join ­interest groups to achieve goals their parents have outlined for them. With so many extracurricular activities, they then have to work late to finish their homework.
If they fail to complete it, they are punished at school then scolded by their parents and the stress gradually builds up. Adults want the best for their children, but often do not listen to them.
Michelle Mai, Sau Mau Ping

Clarins Ng 4B

Jocelly Tse 4B

Wong Hiu Tung 5E

SCMP September 7, 2016
So Kwan Yu Coco 5B

SCMP September 6, 2016
Ko Ching Nga Mary 5E

Regular regime of exercise is so important
One of the highlights of the Mid-Autumn Festival is to gather with the family and enjoy some delicious mooncakes.
However, we seldom think about the ingredients and the fact that many brands contain a lot of sugar (“8 sugar cubes’ worth of sweetener in mooncake”, September 2).
Other traditional festivals have food which can also be fattening. As they are annual events, this should not be a problem as long as people try to get more ­exercise. They can work off the extra calories and lower the risk of obesity and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Getting into the habit of exercising is also good for your mental health as it can help to relieve stress. I wish that more Hongkongers would make exercise a ­regular part of their lives.
Mary Ko Ching-nga, Tseung Kwan O

Anna Hui 3D

Why corporal punishment does not work
There are still some people who support the use of corporal punishment in schools, but I do not think it can be justified in this day and age.
Supporters of the use (and reintroduction, where it is banned) of corporal punishment in schools would say that it can act as a deterrent. ­However, that is no justification for having this form of punishment, given the physical and psychological harm it can do to young people. This has been proved by a number of studies.
I think it would lead to greater antisocial behaviour within a school and it would ­also create a hostile environment that is definitely not conducive to learning.
It is therefore counterproductive and simply is not necessary, and there are other effective options to create an atmosphere that encourages learning.
A school that allows corporal punishment will inevitably experience a worsening of student-teacher relationships.
Students who are punished in this way will feel shame and low self-esteem.
I would not like to see it practised in any schools in Hong Kong.
Anna Hui, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 5, 2016
Kiera Wong Ki Kei 5B

City’s unique past is still so important
I refer to the article, “Meet one of Hong Kong’s last working stencil workers” (September 1).
These traditional skilled workers are disappearing and, with them, the collective memories of what they did.
So many youngsters care more about the latest fashion trends and forget about valuable aspects of Hong Kong’s past. Traditional crafts, like stencil making, may seem irrelevant, as they have been replaced by ­machines. However, they remind us of a time when the world was not so advanced.
Skilled workers like stencil maker Wu Ding-keung really cared about what they did and took real pride in their work. They were not just motivated by money.
It reminded me of an elderly newspaper vendor who saw her stall as an extension of her home.
Teenagers can learn from these people and the attitude that they had to the jobs that they did.
Kiera Wong, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 2, 2016
Kelly Leung 5A

SCMP September 2, 2016
Jonathan Lam 5A

SCMP September 2, 2016
Jenny Sit 5A


SCMP September 2, 2016
Susanna Leung Tsz Shan 5D

Voting a way to make your voice heard
I encourage all citizens who have the legal right to vote to do so at tomorrow’s Legislative Council election and thereby fulfil their civil responsibilities.
Every vote represents the voice of a citizen and it is time for all Hongkongers to use that voice.
I am not suggesting what party they should vote for, that will be up to each individual, just get to the polling station.
Susanna Leung Tsz-shan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP September 2, 2016
May Chong 5A

Investing in sport makes financial sense
Hong Kong citizens are proud of the athletes who represented the SAR at the Rio Olympics.
I believe that more resources have to be allocated to the development of sport.
It has been neglected in the past because Hong Kong is seen as primarily a centre of finance and free trade. But so much has been spent on white elephant projects like the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.
We are losing some business now to Shanghai and Shenzhen, which has hurt us economically and we would be worse off than we are if the Hong Kong dollar was not pegged to the US dollar. It is important now to diversify investments in Hong Kong and one area to look at is sport.
It can help bring citizens ­together as they show their ­loyalty to Hong Kong.
I am sure there is a lot of potential sporting talent in the city. It would be sad if so much of that talent was to go to waste.
If the government tries ­harder to promote sport then hopefully more citizens will be encouraged to lead healthier lives.

May Chong, Tseung Kwan O


SCMP August 31, 2016
Chan Lau Kiu Sandy 5E

More recycling bins needed in country parks

I think more rubbish will be ­deposited and have to be ­collected in country parks after refuse bins are removed ­(“Family walks, nature trails to go bin-free”, August 27).

Removing bins and reducing the size of bin openings, deals with the symptoms but not the ­disease.

The government should be praised for its efforts, but there is more it must do if it wants to extend the time it will take for our landfills to reach capacity.

I believe the key is recycling. ­Instead of removing bins, the government should have even more ­recycling bins on roads and in ­country parks.

This can reduce volumes of discarded litter and enable more people to become accustomed to the idea of ­reusing things. It is important to raise levels of ­public awareness so that more people are willing to lead environmentally-friendly lives.

All citizens should be trying to reduce waste at source. This will lead to lower volumes of waste and increase the lifespan of landfills.

We must recognise the ­importance of protecting our city and our planet.

Sandy Chan Lap-kiu, Yau Tong


SCMP August 30, 2016
Sung Tsoi Ling Tutti 5D

When diets can have tragic consequences 
In society, being skinny equates with being pretty.
Many teenage girls are so heavily influenced by this idea that they try different methods to lose weight.
While it is good to exercise, have a balanced diet and drink a lot of water, some of these teens want quick results and so take short cuts which can prove dangerous, such as taking slimming pills or skipping meals.
Some of them develop anorexia and become so thin they look skeletal. And tragically, sometimes, anorexia can prove fatal.
I wish these young women could appreciate that being ­obsessed with losing weight can be so destructive.
The message needs to be got across to teenage girls that slimming is fine, but it must be done in a healthy way with a ­balanced diet.
Tutti Sung, Tseung Kwan O

Lau Hei Yu Kaka 5B

Why working hours law will help workers 
There has been conflict between different stakeholders, including the government, ­employees and workers’ unions, over whether or not to introduce a standard working hours legislation in Hong Kong.
There are people who work long hours and hardly ever have the time to talk with their family members and simply do things together like guide their children with their homework, or just going for a meal with relatives.
In order to rectify this I think there should be standard ­working hours legislation. Employees are entitled to be able to spend more time with their family.
They also need more time to relax and do things like sport, which can make them healthier. It can also help to reduce stress and the likelihood of becoming depressed. This also makes them more productive.
This is an important quality-of-life issue. Without legislation, many people will continue to be forced to do a lot of unpaid overtime and the opportunities to do things, like advanced studies at college, will be lost, because they have to spend so much time in the office.
I hope the government will finally get round to passing the necessary law.
Lau Hei-yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 29, 2016
Ho Wing Lam Nicole 5D

Safety issue must always be considered 
Car-hailing apps like Uber are proving very popular in many countries. However, a terrible crime in India, where an Uber driver was convicted of raping a female passenger, showed the need for users to always think about their personal safety.
These apps make a real difference during busy periods when it is difficult to catch a cab, but we must always be vigilant.
Whatever car-hailing app people use, especially for the first time, they need to check it out and ­ensure it is safe to use.
Nicole Ho Wing-lam, Tseung Kwan O

Ko Ching Ngo Mary 5E

Teens can get too involved in phone games 
The recent craze over Pokemon Go put the spotlight on mobile games on general and the potential risks involved.
Some people who got too ­involved in Pokemon Go had mishaps, in some cases resulting in injury and even death, and this led to calls for the location-based augmented reality game to be banned.
I agree that if they are misused, games played on smartphones can have serious pitfalls and do harm, especially to young people.
There is a risk that some adolescents could become addicted to some games as they are emotionally immature and vulnerable and are easily led. 
Because of that, they will ­often follow the latest online fad. They practise incessantly so they can show off their perfect game skills and spend money they do not have on games. 
Youngsters need to deal in a mature way with games and ­limit the amount of time and money they spend on them. 
They need to recognise that it is just a game and the mass appeal will be short-lived and then a new game will be all the rage. 
Mary Ko Ching-nga, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 27, 2016
Leung Wai Yu Rainbow 5D

Employers and maids must know of rights
I refer to the article (“Employers are victims too: man wrongly ­accused of maid abuse wants to help others like himself”, August 8).
The case of abused Indonesian domestic helper Erwiana Sulistyaningsih has stirred ­heated debate about human rights and the ­unfair treatment of maids in Hong Kong.
Increased awareness of this kind of “modern slavery” has led to reinforcement of laws as well as services from local agencies, in hopes of preventing the exploitation of maids by their ­employers.
Undoubtedly,domestic helpers are an easy target for abuse, since they usually suffer financial predicaments in their home country.
Despite receiving unfair treatment and low salaries in Hong Kong, they feel their ­labour here can help their family back home lead a better life.
Admittedly, the percentage of exploitative employers ­remains really high because of the lack of adequate laws and regulations to deter unscrupulous employers from taking ­advantage of their helpers.
Also, with few aid organisations reaching out to maids,their voices are not heard enough.
Local agencies could try to make monthly insurance available to domestic helpers in order to provide financial support. The agencies should clearly list the amount of commission fee they would charge on the ­worker’s salary and provide ­contract papers written in their native language.
The government should conduct regular monitoring of local agencies to prevent them from depriving workers of their rights. At the same time, domestic helpers should be brave enough to speak out in case they receive any unfair treatment from either their local agency or employer.
It is a fact that both employers and domestic workers can end up as victims. To avoid exploitation,they should clearly understand their rights, be ­cautious when signing the contract and be ready to speak up if they face any inequality.
Rainbow Leung Wai-yu, Po Lam

Cherry Yeung 5A

Public housing woes call for better remedy 
I refer to the report (“Public housing waiting time now 4.1 years as observers say government has failed to deliver”, ­August 12).
The housing problem is still a controversial issue in Hong Kong. According to the Housing Authority, families need to wait an average of four years to get into public housing.
This shows that the increase in supply cannot catch up with the substantial increase in ­demand in the short term.
Although the authorities are working hard to offer more flats, they face challenges such as public opposition.
Also, they need to get approval from different agencies to rezone and reclaim land. All these obstacles lengthen the waiting time.
I agree that the government should work harder on rezoning and reclaiming land so as to shorten the waiting time. However, many Hongkongers living abroad have public housing flats in Hong Kong which they have rented out. The government should clamp down on those owners as it is unfair to local citizens who are queuing for flats.
There is no doubt that the government should modify public housing policies and always keep people informed about regulations so as to eradicate any loopholes.
Cherry Yeung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 26, 2016
Kiera Wong Ki Kei 5B

There is too much focus on exam results 
I refer to the article by Paul Yip (“Hong Kong’s exam obsession must end if we are to bring the best out of all our young people”, August 18).
Hong Kong is a city obsessed with exams. This can have a ­negative effect on young people and good exam results do not always guarantee success in life.
It is important for young ­people to pursue the things that interest them and look at other options than university, such as starting an apprenticeship.
Tests and exams should not be seen as the only way to ­measure the ability of students.
Youngsters have different kinds of talent and some may not be good academically, but could find other rewarding ­careers that do not require ­having a university degree.
I wish teachers, parents and the Education Bureau would realise this.
Kiera Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Mandy Yu 5A

Harassment in workplace is unacceptable 
Earlier this year, 60 per cent of prefectural assembly women surveyed in Japan said they had been sexually harassed by ­people including male ­colleagues and voters.
I think most cases of sexual harassment happen in the workplace, with perpetrators generally being male colleagues or bosses. It is also a problem in Hong Kong. Such behaviour causes women to feel uncomfortable, annoyed and ­distressed. Although men might sometimes be victims, most of the time it is women who are ­harassed in this way.
They feel so helpless and ­often stay silent, thinking that speaking out will do no good.
Victims must not be afraid to speak out. Also, the government must provide education so that the next generation learns about how to deal with sexual harassment.
Mandy Yu, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 25, 2016
Wong Hiu Tung 5E

Working hours law must heed adverse effects 
I refer to the letter by Borromeo Li Ka-kit (“Boycott of standard hours talks in Hong Kong will hurt low-income groups”, ­August 13).
The debate on whether Hong Kong needs a standard working hours law has proved to be controversial.
There is no doubt that such legislation would improve ­employees’ working conditions. Many would have a shorter working week if employers were not willing to pay overtime. This would give them more time to relax. Where overtime was paid, employees would find they were earning more than when they worked additional hours with no extra pay.
However, critics have expressed concerns about such a law, such as a higher unemployment rate. They claim some ­employers will lay off staff to cut labour costs and the worst hit will be the low-skilled poorly educated workers who did not earn much in the first place.
Also, they argue that there can be no specific definition of standard working hours and such a law cannot apply to all jobs, for example, a doctor or a teacher. And what about those who work from home? How can their working hours be calculated?
I think there should be a standard working hours law, but the government should ensure that measures are included which provide suitable assistance to those groups and ­people who are negatively ­affected by the legislation.
Kassandra Wong Hiu-tung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 23, 2016
Lee Tsang Tsang Kathy 5D

Think twice before setting animals free
I understand why Buddhists continue with the practice of ­releasing animals into the wild.
However, before they do this they have to think about the ­welfare of the animals they have chosen to set free and whether they would actually be able to survive in the new environment.
For example, animals purchased from a pet shop may not have the instincts needed to ­survive in the wild. They only know a life of captivity where they have been fed and cannot fend for themselves. They are not fit for release into the wild.
Also, if the animal is not a ­native species, Buddhists have to think carefully about releasing them into an environment where they might pose a threat to indigenous species, especially if they breed at a high rate.
A better option for people wanting to protect animals is simply to become vegetarian. This can save more animals than releasing them into the wild. 
Kathy Lee, Tseung Kwan O

Eva Chow 4E

Many citizens not getting enough sleep 
Insomnia is a problem for Hong Kong citizens these days.
A survey in 2012 found that the average amount of sleep for residents was 6.46 hours which is a lot lower than many countries. Also, the survey showed that four in 10 adults suffered from insomnia so it is clearly a serious problem here.
A major cause of insomnia is stress and it has to be recognised that lack of sleep can result in health problems.
Some people resort to taking sleeping pills to help them sleep, but I do not think this is a good idea as they can become dependent on the medication and so this does not really solve the problem.
People need to try and think of ways to help them get a decent night’s sleep.
It is important that they feel relaxed when they go to bed and so they should try different things, such as drinking warm milk or listening to some soft music.
It is important that they ­finish their work in the office rather than having to take any work home with them.
Unfortunately, some Hongkongers will probably think that insomnia is just a small problem and will not last long. But if it does persist they should go and see a doctor.
They need to recognise the health problems and should not ignore them. I hope the widespread problem of sleeplessness can be dealt with in Hong Kong and that more citizens can enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Eva Chow, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 20, 2016
Vivian Lo 5A

There must be zero tolerance for doping 
Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi has been kicked out of the Rio Olympics for failing a drug test (“Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi booted out of Olympics as doping ban is upheld”, August 19).
The 18-year-old competed in the 100-metre butterfly event, placing fourth in the final. However, after the competition, she tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which is banned.
Another Chinese swimmer, Sun Yang, was also involved in a drug controversy. In 2014, he tested positive for the drug trimetazidine, which he said was used to treat his heart condition. Consequently, he was stripped of his first-place finish in the 1,500m free at the national championships and made to serve a three-month ban from swimming.
There must be zero tolerance for athletes who used drugs. Such conduct is totally unfair to the other athletes who use their own abilities to perform their best.
Even when there may be legitimate reasons for the use of drugs, the coaches, medical teams and the athletes themselves must know what can be taken and what should not be. It would be ridiculous for an athlete to fail a drug test because he or she didn’t know any better.
The Olympics is where the world’s best athletes come together in tough but fair competition. If athletes take drugs because of their ambition, it would destroy the original meaning of the Games.
Vivian Lo, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 19, 2016
Jocelly Tse 4B

Government should ban mobile game 
An American man recently came to Hong Kong as part of a global quest to catch all Pokemons (“Pokemon master arrives in Hong Kong on worldwide quest to complete his collection”, August 13). Should we cheer on this Pokemon master? I think not!
I am not a player and I support any move for the government to block the playing of this game. Firstly, I know of students who failed a test during the summer holidays because they were too busy playing the game.
Secondly, many people are so wrapped up playing the game while walking around that it is likely to put them in danger of getting hurt.
Thirdly, I am annoyed that they are blocking the streets. I jog at night and, when I am out, I find many players blocking the streets, forcing me and other runners to go around them. Their actions are so annoying and disturbing.
I wish the government would take action to block this game soon.
Jocelly Tse, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 18, 2016
Ng Yik Huen Hebe 5E

Exploitation of poor workers must end 
I refer to the report, “Hong Kong firm making Disney toys in China under investigation for mistreating workers” (August 3).
As described in the article, the conditions in some Chinese factories are harsh. Workers are willing to work overtime to earn more money, and companies take advantage of that willingness to exploit them.
To compete for contracts from companies like Disney and Apple, these original equipment manufacturers try to lower their costs of production so they can offer a better deal. This usually means low salaries for the workers. What is more, in some cases, when workers get hurt on the job, they don’t get adequate support from their employer.
As a result, many workers are overworked and underpaid.
This must change. The government should strictly implement the laws on labour protection, which already exist on the mainland but are not ­enforced. To do that, officials must do a better job at monitoring abuse.
Most importantly, the workers themselves who are being mistreated must be ready to speak out and seek help.
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 16, 2016
Leung Wai Yu Rainbow 5D

Transgender people deserve fair treatment 
I refer to the case of the transgender woman who was placed in an all-male prison (“Transgender woman kept with men to protect female inmates, Hong Kong court hears”, August 9).
I understand the concerns of prison officers who worry about the safety of women prisoners, as women are often the target of sexual harassment. However, I believe transgender women who have been receiving hormone therapy and are undergoing sex reassignment surgery are no danger in this respect.
By contrast, detaining a transgender woman in an all-male facility and subjecting her to strip searches in front of male officers seem a violation of basic human rights.
We should respect people’s choice of gender identity. Under no circumstances should we tolerate unfair treatment in our society.
There seems to be loopholes in the laws and regulations when it comes to protecting the rights of transgender people, as well as inadequate education.
Transgender people and other sexual minorities in Hong Kong face discrimination. As global citizens, we should do more to give up our prejudices, and learn to respect differences.
Rainbow Leung Wai-yu, Tseung Kwan O

Choi Hiu Ki 5A

Personal best at the Games is good enough 
Sports has been in the news because of the Olympics. Hong Kong athletes don’t receive the same amount of support as those in countries like the US. Despite this, they still strive for the best. Achieving their personal best is already a feat, with or without a medal. This is the kind of spirit we should promote.
Choi Hiu Ki, Tseung Kwan O

Hillary Chan 5A

Sportsmanship should trump medal results 
In the world-class swimming competition that just concluded at the Rio Olympics, we not only saw some stunning performances but emotions also ran high.
Take Chinese swimming star Sun Yang. Although he is known to be arrogant and has been accused of being disruptive during training sessions, he does not deserve to have people challenge him for a past doping offence (“Sun Yang may not be a nice guy, but neither is he a drug cheat”, August 11). Accusing a professional swimmer of doping is a grave insult, and we should not do that unless there’s a positive drug test.
One other Chinese swimmer also made a name for herself – Fu Yuanhui became a fan favourite for her funny expressions after learning she had won a medal (“Funny girl: China’s ‘surprised’ medal winner Fu Yuanhui becomes an instant internet darling”, August 10).
This suggests athletes do not have to be top-ranked to win over fans; they just need to come across as real people to the public.
For me, sportsmanship matters more than results. If an athlete behaved in a disgraceful manner, he or she does not qualify to be a sports person.
Hillary Chan, Tsueng Kwan O

Cathy Yuen 4E

Time for digital over traditional in classrooms 
I think digital technology should be used to replace traditional textbooks and learning.
A study has shown that teenagers in wealthier northern European countries are more likely to use the internet to get information, rather than playing or socialising. Therefore, it is suggested that digital devices such as computers and iPads be used to replace traditional classroom lessons.
A report also shows that parents might want to encourage computer skills to give children a head start. Using computers in schools is beneficial; students no longer need to buy expensive textbooks as all teaching ­materials can be accessed ­online. Also, they can take down important notes by just saving a file.
It does not need to come down to a choice between ­improving reading or focusing on digital skills, as they are ­mutually beneficial.
When students search for information online, they have to go through the steps of reading, comprehending and analysing, in order to find the most suitable article. Thus both their reading and digital skills are enhanced.
Some may argue that being on the internet too much will cause addiction. I believe if teenagers always use the internet for studying, it is a positive addiction.
However, if they always use the web for fun, time management should be taught and parents should play a role. If teenagers learned time management from the start, internet ­addiction would not exist.
Cathy Yuen Tsz-wai, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 15, 2016
Fei Hiu 3D

On MTR, all seats should be ‘priority seats’ 
It has been seven years since priority seats – seats set aside for passengers who need it most – were introduced on the MTR. Four years ago, KMB buses followed suit.
Such campaigns have raised citizens’ awareness of caring for people in need.
However, there is growing criticism that passengers may in fact have become more inconsiderate, as they think giving seats up to others is the responsibility of only those sitting in the priority seats.
The purpose of such seats is to remind us to be aware of others’ needs. People who are not sitting in priority seats should not take it as an excuse to ignore people in need.
Why do people have to be told to do something so basic? Actually, every seat is a priority seat. You should offer your seats to ones in need.
Schools could organise talks on moral education, and parents should be role models for their children, giving up their seats when needed.
Fei Hui, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 14, 2016
Fok Pui Yi 5E

Citizens should change their wasteful ways 
Environmentalists have been calling for Hong Kong residents to face up to the city’s waste crisis and change their ways.
Government figures for 2014 show that residents generate more waste per capita than any other city in Asia.
Therefore, green groups are calling on citizens to reduce their volumes of household waste. They point to landfills nearing capacity and beaches strewn with huge quantities of rubbish.
Most of us still have bad habits with the extravagant use of resources and ­energy. The government should learn ­lessons from Japan, ­Taiwan and Korea, where governments have vigorously pursued recycling policies, with the ultimate aim being zero waste.
Luckily, there are people here who care about our environmental problems and who are setting good examples and setting up recycling enterprises.
I admire their enthusiasm, but what is required is the concerted effort of all citizens. There has to be more education on the part of the government, and it should target young people with talks in schools.
It should also be looking at ways of further developing renewable energy, such as solar power, so there is less reliance on coal. But it is not just up to the government. All citizens should be trying to recycle more and waste less. We should only purchase as much food as we need.
Fok Pui-yi, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 12, 2016
Melody Ho 4E

Plan to charge for congestion is flawed 
Proposals have been put forward for the government to impose a ­congestion charge for driving in Central.
With more vehicles in the city every year, congestion is getting worse. It is a really unpleasant experience being stuck in one of the city’s many traffic jams. They cause serious air pollution which harms humans and the environment. One suggested congestion charge is electronic road pricing (ERP).
Such a scheme would certainly generate revenue for the government and, with fewer vehicles in ERP zones, pollution levels might drop. Some cities, such as Singapore, have ­adopted ERP and it has been very successful.
However, if ERP was ­imposed in one area of the city, motorists might choose alternative routes on nearby roads ­outside it and create congestion problems there.
It would be better for the government to try and raise the fee for registration and licensing of a vehicle.
Melody Ho, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 11, 2016
lan Wan 4B

Allow banned candidates to run for office 
I refer to the report, “Disqualifying localist Legco candidates lets politics ‘eat into’ legal system, former Bar Association chair says” (August 5).
Some prospective candidates in next month’s Legislative Council election, including Edward Leung Tin-kei, have been disqualified from standing by the Electoral Affairs Commission because, it is argued, they are not following the Basic Law.
I can understand why Leung feels upset over not being allowed to stand. He had already signed an agreement saying he accepted the Basic Law, but ­because of previous comments he had made about independence, the returning officer did not believe he would uphold it.
He and other banned candidates should be allowed to stand. I fear that if these things keep happening, Hong Kong will become more like the rest of China and will lose its unique characteristics and freedom.
Ian Wan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 10, 2016
Wong Hiu Tung Kassndra 5E

Teachers make good use of computers 
With advances in new technology, devices such as computers and smartphones have become an essential part of our lives.
While they can be helpful to students, there has been some controversy surrounding e-learning. Critics say that schools can rely too much on e-learning and there is a risk that computers can actually be a distraction for some students in the classroom.
However, it cannot be ­denied that it is very convenient. ­Before, students would have to go to a library and look for a book, while now they can do an online search that takes only about a minute. Teachers use it for homework, sometimes via WhatsApp, and iPads are commonly used during lessons.
Some parents may have mixed feelings about e-learning, fearing it can be a distraction with so many entertainment apps. However, I think overall it does more good than harm. Most students can strike a ­balance between academic work and chatting online.
Kassandra Wong Hiu-tung, Hang Hau

Candy Kong 3D

Dialogue is better than confrontation 
Disputes between teenagers and their parents are common in families.
Youngsters can be very strong-willed and if the arguments get serious this can ­damage relationships between children and their parents.
Along with other kinds of pressure this can adversely ­affect the mental health of ­students and can even lead to depression.
It is important for youngsters to learn to control their temper. Parents also have to learn to compromise and not always dig their heels in.
If both sides make a real ­effort then I think a harmonious relationship is possible in the long term.
Parents do have to sometimes take a hard line on issues, but when they refuse a request from their child they have to explain why they said no.
They should try and see things from the point of view of their children. At the end of the day, having a discussion is always better than a very bitter argument.
Children benefit from ­growing up in a harmonious family environment and it ­enables them to develop relationships with people. This can help them when they are adults.
Candy Kong Lok-son, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 6, 2016
Kitty Lui 4B

Glued to the mobile screen is risky 
I refer to Karina Lo’s letter (“Blame players, not the game, for accidents”, August 1).
The mobile phone game Pokemon Go has become very ­popular and there are many players walking the streets. Unfortunately, too many are so ­immersed in the game they are not aware of their surroundings. Accidents can easily happen. Not only will the players get hurt but also innocent people just minding their own business.
The players sometimes go to workplaces such as construction sites, police stations and hospitals, causing a nuisance to people who need the service. It is not the game that is dangerous – the danger comes from irresponsible players.
Played properly, Pokemon Go can get teenagers who always stay at home during the summer holidays to exercise outside catching pokemons.
Kitty Lui Sze-ki, Tseung Kwan O

Prisclla Ko Ka Ying 5B

Care needed to sidestep game dangers 
I refer to the report (“Man ­playing Pokemon falls into river attempting to retrieve phone”, August 1).
The new Pokemon Go virtual reality game is the talk of the globe among many millions now playing it and Hong Kong is no exception since its release here on July 25. Clusters of Pokemon trainers sliding their fingers on the screens of mobile phones are springing up across the city.
I’m a player and I think the game is indeed interesting and alluring.
Frankly, owning a Pikachu or certain kinds of Pokemon is the dream of most children who have watched the Japanese mangas called Pokemon. With Pokemon Go, this dream comes true.
Besides, Pokemon Go not only helps players live their childhood dreams, but also gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The more popular are the pokemons that are being caught, the higher the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction gained by players.
Nonetheless, Pokemon Go undoubtedly brings benefits and drawbacks to the public, just like every coin has two sides.
For example, in the US, it has been reported that some armed robbers used Pokemon Go to trap players.
Such reports highlight the need for players to stay alert when they are using their mobile phones on the streets. Wandering into traffic is also a potentially serious risk.
Care and self-discipline must be used, otherwise playing this ­exciting game may have a sad ending for some people. In a nutshell, playing Pokemon Go should be a pleasant and pleasurable pastime as long as all players pay enough attention to their own safety.
It hope that the game can only bring gratification instead of grief.
Priscilla Ko, Tseung Kwan O

Fung Chi Hang 6A

Action needed to end discrimination against breast feeding mums in HK
I agree with those who say that that mothers must be allowed to breastfeed their babies in public areas in Hong Kong, however, they face discrimination if they do. It seems the government has failed to act properly to offer enough privacy to mothers who have to breastfeed in public.
Biologically, breast milk is the most natural food resource for babies. It contains a lot more nutrients than milk powder, and the antibodies in breast milk can protect babies from pathogens as they help to build up a stronger immune system than baby formula.
Interestingly, the nutrients in breast milk can be automatically controlled according to the growth of babies and their demand. Therefore, it is more suitable for a baby to drink breast milk as they grow up.
Nevertheless, Hong Kong citizens do not quite understand the benefits of breastfeeding. Even though breastfeeding mothers may cover up with a scarf in public areas like buses and shopping malls, Hong kongers still tend to look at them in a hostile way as if they are doing something weird.
There is nothing wrong with babies drinking breast milk when hungry. No one can control what time babies get hungry. Therefore, some mothers have to go to the nearest washroom to breastfeed in order to avoid angry looks.
It is disheartening to see this phenomenon in Hong Kong, as breastfeeding is not something sexual or dirty, but just a means of providing food supply to babies.
The Hong Kong government has a responsibility to promote the benefits of breastfeeding. For example, it should launch more campaigns to educate the public that breastfeeding is not something that damages a city’s image.
Citizens also must try to be more open-minded. They cannot look down on and discriminate against breastfeeding mothers. It is important to support the normalising of breastfeeding.
Elmo Fung, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 5, 2016
Joyce Lee Lok Yi 5B

Blame users, not Pokemon, for accidents
Concerns have been raised about whether the mobile augmented reality game “Pokemon Go” could present safety risks. And with it becoming a global phenomenon, questions are also being raised about some players becoming addicted.
There have also been reports of people not paying attention to where they are and straying into bad areas of cities where they get mugged. There have been road traffic accidents and one player stole a boat in ­order to try and catch a Pokemon in a lake.
There have been similar examples of irresponsible behaviour in Hong Kong with some people playing it even when ­typhoon signal No 8 was raised.
The Education Bureau and ­Hospital Authority have said they do not want the game to be played in their schools and ­hospitals.
However, we cannot blame the game for this. The original aim of the creators of Pokemon Go was to encourage teenagers to leave their bedrooms and get outside. And there is the case of the autistic boy who left his home and went outside for the first time in five years to play the game.
It is the people who are at fault. It is the same as recognising that computers are not to blame for cybercrime, the blame lies with the criminals who use the computers to achieve their immoral aims.
A computer programme is always neutral, it is up to the user to decide what to do with it.
People just need to exercise some self-control when they are playing the game and take care so they can avoid having an accident.
Joyce Lee, Tseung Kwan O

Cathy Lo Ka Yi 5B

Game brings some families closer together 
I refer to the report (“Pokemon master arrives in Hong Kong on worldwide quest to complete his collection”, August 3).
The mobile phone game ­Pokemon Go has become a ­global craze. The man who has been dubbed a Pokemon ­master, Nick Johnson, says he is the first person to catch all the Pokemon in the US and is on a quest to catch them in different regions.
This just shows the ­impact the game has had on people throughout the world.
In Hong Kong, some ­netizens have said the game will bring more harm than good as many players waste a lot of time trying to catch Pokemon and some put themselves at risk on roads as they do not look where they are going.
They also talk about the ­negative effect the game has on personal relationships, where ­people regard playing on their smartphone as being more ­important than face-to-face communication – it is known as “phubbing” and it obviously affects the communication skills of “phubbers”.
Yet, I notice that Pokemon Go players do talk a lot to each ­other, so in that regard, there is more communication as they exchange information. In fact it may improve relations between teenagers and their parents, ­because it is not just youngsters who have been swept up by ­Pokemon Go, parents are also ­involved, so families can play ­together.
Also, more people are taking the tram, ­because it is easier to play the game on board as they travel at slow speeds. And it means that these players can enjoy the ­marvellous views of the city from the upper deck.
This is happening all over the world where people are discovering new locations and ­beautiful scenery as they play the game.
Of course, there is no way of knowing how long this craze will last.
Cathy Lo, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 3, 2016
Ng Yik Huen 5E

Russia’s honest athletes should be at Games 
I refer to the report (“Disharmony: Wada ‘disappointed’ as IOC fails to ban Russia from Olympic Games over doping scandal”, July 25).
Many Russian athletes have already been banned from the Rio Games.
This is one of the world’s ­biggest sporting events and clean athletes should be able to take part knowing that there is a level playing field and that all their competitors are clean.
The Games are supposed to symbolise peace and friendship and these principles are undermined when some athletes are drug cheats.
However, not all members of the Russian team are cheats. I am sure there are many who did not violate any rules on doping. Therefore, I think the International Olympic Committee made the right decision to let the governing bodies ­of individual sports decide who can and ­cannot compete in Rio. The clean athletes have spent years preparing for the Games and it would be unfair if they were disqualified because of the behaviour of dishonest athletes.
A Russian athlete who has not been found guilty of doping should be allowed to compete.
Of course the authorities should continue to fight against drug cheats, but we also need to be fair to those individuals who have trained hard for years and who are not dishonest.
Those individuals who have made that effort must be ­allowed to chase their dream and I hope all the Russian ­athletes who have been honest and who have been preparing for the last four years will be ­allowed to take part in the Games.
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O

Alice Ma 4E

Canteens can offer low-sugar food and drink 
I am concerned about the ­increasing number of teenagers in Hong Kong who are ­becoming obese.
This problem is getting worse with more local people becoming overweight and some of them are classed as obese.
Some individuals, where their condition has become serious, will elect to have surgery to help them lose weight. ­However, teenagers who are overweight should not have to resort to surgery. They are young enough to be able to make lifestyle changes.
Too often teenagers buy ­unhealthy snacks and soft drinks containing a lot of sugar during their lunch break. School ­canteens and tuck shops can help by having items on sale which are low-sugar or sugar-free.
Schools must encourage students to do more sports. They should have a gym with air conditioning so youngsters can work out even during the hot summer months.
Alice Ma, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 2, 2016
Hillary Chan 5A

Making friends thanks to Pokemon Go 
The location-based augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, has proved to be controversial.
Critics say that it can be dangerous, with some players straying into rough areas of cities and towns and getting attacked and robbed. But, while there may be a downside, I also think that it has brought many advantages.
You see a lot of families ­playing it together and this is helping to improve parent-child relationships. As they play the game they get to talking about various topics and this can only be a good thing. 
It has also led to individuals becoming more sociable. They come into contact with other ­citizens on the street who are playing and start up conversations, often discussing with each other how many pokemons they caught on their smartphones. 
Pokemon Go has become a hobby that helps people to ­widen their social circle. Italso enables people to explore places they have not been to before.
People can really get a lot out of this game if they use it ­correctly. 
Hillary Chan, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP August 1, 2016
Jenny Sit 5A

Long hours, little leisure is no way to live 
I have been reading the views of Hongkongers online on the need to have the right work-life balance.
Most citizens work long hours, often more than 10 hours a day. When you have to put in that much time in the office, you have no time for rest.
While hard work can bring financial rewards for many ­people, is that so important if they are failing to achieve the right work-life balance? They should still aim for this and there are ways to achieve it.
One way is to have a golden rule of not checking work ­e-mails when you get back home. They can wait until the next day. You should only break this rule if the matter is really ­urgent.
If people are ­working hours that are so long they cannot get any leisure time and are always tired, they should switch jobs.
Also, I do not think it is good to do the same job for your whole working life. Sometimes, it makes sense to change your working environment .
Jenny Sit, Po Lam

Johathan Lam 5A

Ensure fair workplace for mothers-to-be 
Members of Parliament in ­Britain have been discussing the problems experienced by many pregnant women in the workplace and how they are often singled out for unfair treatment.
This is not something that happens only in the UK. In Hong Kong, pregnant women often find they get a raw deal from their bosses.
Some employers resent paid maternity leave and see it as a waste of money. Rather than have to pay it, they will sometimes come up with an ­excuse to fire an employee when the real reason is that she has ­become pregnant.
In fact, governments in all countries should be doing more to strengthen legislation that is designed to protect the rights of women, including those who become pregnant and wish to continue working and to return to work after the birth of their child.
The government should ­offer incentives to employers so that pregnant employees can get fair treatment. Women must always speak up if they feel they are ­victims of unfair treatment and they must fight for stronger rights.
We must all support the protection of women’s rights.
Jonathan Lam, Tseung Kwan O

Katrina Lo 4E

Blame players, not the game, for accidents 
I refer to the report, “Hong Kong goes predictably Pokemon Go crazy, and businesses try to cash in” (July 27).
There are obviously more phubbers [people who are glued to their smartphones] than usual in Hong Kong since the launch here of the popular game ­Pokemon Go.
There are now even some ­Pokemon Go trainers. And obviously some businesses are trying to exploit its popularity.
Some bars and shopping malls have come up with different ways to attract customers and make more money. So it is not only proving entertaining for a lot of people, but profitable for some companies.
It is certainly true that you see large groups of these ­Pokemon Go players who ­wander around parks and other ­public places like phone-wielding zombies.
Their numbers increase at night, when they are out in force trying to catch pokemons.
When there are a lot of them in a crowded place and they are devoting their full attention to the game, they can put other ­citizens at risk, even those who have no interest in the game. These players are so caught up in the game that they ignore what is going on around them and that is when people can get hurt.
However, I do not think it is fair to say that Pokemon Go is a dangerous game. The danger comes from the way in which some people play it.
All players must stay alert and be aware of other pedestrians what are walking around them.
If they keep looking around and make sure they are not a risk to other individuals, they can have an enjoyable and safe time and not pose a threat to other people.
Katrina Lo, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 30, 2016
Chloe Ng Sin Yee 2C

Keep an eye on overuse of the internet 
In the past 20 years, people have been using different kinds of appliances and gadgets to access the internet.
Most netizens use the internet for communication through social networks and for online shopping. And there’s entertainment through online books, video games and movies.
However, the internet is highly addictive.
Some teenagers are glued to their computer or phones all day long, even without sleeping or eating. Obviously this has health repercussions and an adverse effect on academic performance.
And there is the worry of anti-social fallout through lack of face-to-face communication.
Students and netizens need to limit their time online – ­striking a balance between work and play is important for family and friend relationships.
Chloe Ng Sin-yee, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 29, 2016
Prisclla Ko Ka Ying 5B

All parties can help troubled teenagers 
A number of reasons have been given for the spate of student suicides during the last school year, including mental health problems, interpersonal relationships and difficulty ­adapting.
I think relationship problems can sometimes get very serious. When youngsters are mixing with peers and teachers every day, they are coming into contact with people with differing personalities. There can be conflicts and in some cases even bullying, which can have a devastating effect on a young ­person. I have seen schoolmates who are so stressed out they have quit school because of relationship problems and as we know, in ­extreme cases, some teens have taken their own lives.
All stakeholders need to ­recognise this is an issue that must be dealt with and there is a need to understand and show sympathy for these troubled students.
Fellow students, teachers, parents and even the Education Bureau should make the effort to ensure youngsters suffering from emotional problems get the help they need.
With tolerance, patience and empathy, youngsters with problems can get better.
Priscilla Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 25, 2016
Ng Yik Huen Hebe 5E

Careless selfies can put other people at risk 
Taking a selfie with the camera on your smartphone is becoming increasingly popular.
While there is nothing wrong with doing that, some people take a lot of these selfies and sometimes do not think about their surroundings and put themselves at risk.
It is certainly more convenient to take a selfie. In the past, you had to ask a passer-by to take a picture on your behalf and now with a selfie and selfie stick, you can take it for yourself. But there have been cases of people getting hurt, or even killed, because they were so wrapped up in taking the picture.
For example, some people have got too close to wild animals or taken selfies while driving and got involved in an accident. They need to realise that by their careless actions, they can put other people at risk.
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 23, 2016
Chan Lap Kiu Sandy 5E

Beware the overuse of e-devices
With the fast development of advanced technology, more teenagers are becoming addicted to the use of those electronic ­devices, therefore, it is clear that we have to be aware of the ­negative impact of the excessive use of these devices.
Computers and smartphones help students when they are doing school assignments, but they can be disruptive and may affect family cohesion.
Parents may think their child are neglecting their assignments when in fact they are reading online or searching for further relevant information.
It’s very easy to imagine how parents and teenagers can lose their tempers and have arguments in such cases.
Another issue is health. Overuse of devices prevents youngsters from having enough time for exercise and is a ­common cause of obesity with teens spending long periods seated.
There are other negative ­effects. A recent study suggested brain scans of children who play ­violent video games showed they had an increase in emotional arousal and a decrease in activity in brain areas involved with self-control, inhibition and the ability to focus.
Some experts suggest it is better for parents to regulate their children’s use of these ­devices. An alternative would be to block undesirable sites so that children can concentrate on their academic tasks.
Sandy Chan Lap-kiu, Yau Tong

SCMP July 22, 2016
Priscilla Ko Ka Ying 5B

Exercise books are OK, but in moderation
Some parents buy a lot of exercise books for their children and also sign them up for tutorial classes to improve their academic performance.
While there is nothing wrong with this, they should not overdo it and must ensure their children have enough time to play and have fun.
Too many parents feel their children need all the help they can get to win from the “starting line”, but if the Hong Kong Book Fair is anything to go by some really go too far, buying up lots of exercise books for children as young as five. These books can be effective but only in moderation. ­Excessive use can do more harm than good.
I do not think it is right to expect children of kindergarten age to have to fill in lots of exercise books. They may lead to them developing a dislike of studying. This could be detrimental to their schooling; if they have this kind of attitude at an early age, they could put in a poor academic performance at a later stage.
Parents must consider the long-term psychological health of their children.
At kindergartens in Western countries like Germany, ­students do not even learn how to write, and are not drilled with exercise books and yet they still learn a lot.
It is now time for everyone in Hong Kong to think carefully about spoon-feeding young children with exercise books and to recognise that this is not the right course of action.
These young children must be given sufficient time to relax and play.
Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 21, 2016
Fok Pui Yi 5E

Lifeguards deserve a better deal 
I refer to the report (“Hong Kong lifeguards turn up the heat in pay dispute with 500 set to strike”, July 11).
The lifeguards launched their industrial action, because they want better pay and conditions from the Leisure and ­Cultural Services Department.
There are still more than 200 vacancies as the low pay and lengthy training time discourages young people from becoming lifeguards. I think they should get higher pay and the department must also find other ways to attract new recruits.
The department has said it wants the dispute resolved in a rational manner, but I do not agree with officials that the lifeguards have been acting irresponsibly.
The department needs to ­offer a better package to the lifeguards and to potential new ­recruits.
Youngsters keen on joining should be offered the chance to get involved in sports related to their jobs, such as extreme aquatics.
A lot of young people now like getting involved in what are known as extreme sports. The department needs to think carefully about the kind of package it can come up with to fill the ­vacancies and get the number of lifeguards needed.
Fok Pui-yi, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 20, 2016
Melody Ho 4E

Problems will get worse without action
I refer to the letter by Kathy Ho (“We can all help to curb global warming”, July 9).
Global warming is not just a local problem affecting Hong Kong, but a global phenomenon. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels and clearing vegetation and forests have increased the emission of greenhouse gases significantly.
These greenhouse gases are making global warming worse. Over the past century, Hong Kong’s annual mean temperature rose by 1.5 ­degrees Celsius and the global average temperature has risen by 0.74 degrees as a ­result of global warming.
This is causing greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions around the planet. Severe Typhoon ­Nepartak is an example of this.
Unless we all make efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, we will not be able to ­address the problem of global warming.
Melody Ho, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 19, 2016
Natalli Lo 5A

Workload does undermine happiness 
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Hong Kong schoolchildren’s level of happiness dropped to a new low last year.
The research, conducted by Lingnan University, showed this to be the lowest rating since 2012.
A total of 25 primary and secondary schools participated in this research. A major factor in this ­lowering of happiness was the increased workload caused by homework.
Primary Four pupils, aged eight or nine, on average spent almost three hours a day doing homework. For Form Three secondary pupils the daily average is two hours. The research also showed that primary school ­students here sleep around nine hours a night, secondary pupils around seven.
Children’s physical and mental growth is undermined if they do not get sufficient sleep.
The atmosphere in a school should be relaxed so that students can enjoy their time there and make new friends. But in our society there is too much focus on academic studies. Children have so much homework during the school year and sometimes also during holiday periods. Also some will be ­scolded if they do not meet their parents’ high expectations. Compared to Hong Kong I think children in some countries are much happier.
The Education Bureau should be looking at how things are done in these countries, where there is less homework and more activities aimed at ­relieving stress. If schools can make the necessary changes, Hong Kong children will be ­happier and we will see a rise in future happiness indexes.
Natalli Lo, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 18, 2016
Emily Leung 3D

Firms can save on bills by switching off 
Recent research has expanded on the adverse effect of excess light, showing that night-time light can lead to sleep disturbances.
This is certainly the case in Hong Kong where light pollution is very serious, especially in densely populated urban areas such as Mong Kok. University of Hong Kong scientists found it to be as much as 1,000 times ­brighter than international norms and even rural areas in Hong Kong were affected.
If because of this problem people are not able to get a ­proper night’s sleep then it can detract from their ability to function properly during the day. Citizens need to be aware of this and of the potential problems they face in terms of their health and quality of sleep if they are living close to buildings with a lot of external lighting.
This pollution also damages the ecosystems of animals who have difficulty distinguishing between night and day.
There must be cooperation between citizens and the government. External lighting should be switched off when it is not needed. It also makes financial sense. Firms which switch these lights off when they are not needed save on their energy bills.
The government should monitor the intensity and concentration of the street lights in the evening and monitor other brightly lit advertising billboards.
Emily Leung Choi-yan, Po Lam

Kitty Lui 4B

Teach young people to think creatively 
Hong Kong nowadays lags ­behind other developed economies in the fields of science and technology, because young ­people in Hong Kong are not encouraged to think in a creative or innovative way.
The blame for this rests with the education system. In local schools rote-learning is dominant with students being forced to memorise passages from books.
This does not encourage them to think for themselves. Things have improved a bit with the introduction of liberal ­studies, but that does not tackle the problem of lack of creativity.
I believe the government should follow the example set by Finland and Estonia and ­promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education.
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 will ­develop the necessary capability to solve problems, and be innovative and creative.
Learning how to use scientific methods can help them solve real-life problems. This is better than memorising all the facts in textbooks without really ­knowing what they mean.
With more students trained under STEM education, an increasing number of young ­people will join the workforce able to make a positive contribution to the innovation and technology sector and the personnel shortage problem will be solved.
Kitty Lui Sze-ki, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 16, 2016
Sammi Lo Wing Sum 5D

Roof gardens not only way to go green 
Many buildings have rooftop gardens. The aim is to have a greener future and lower urban temperatures.
This trend has slowed down with the collapse of a rooftop at a sports hall at City University.
Now people have expressed concern that they are not safe.
Another way to reduce urban temperatures is to make use of natural wind and reduce our reliance on polluting energy like electricity.
In this context we need to consider the whole issue of ­pollution and how to reduce it. Having homes with large ­windows allows in more natural light. This reduces the need to switch on lights during the day.
Also, if we want a greener society we have to tackle waste at source. Direct charges for users based on the polluter-pays principle can effectively help ­reduce waste.
Sammi Lo Wing-sum, Sai Kung

SCMP July 15, 2016
Ko Ching Nga Mary 5E

Writing a timetable can help cut stress 
I agree with correspondents who say that teenagers should aim for better time management in their lives.
People talk about the stress young people face from school and parents. I also think that far from relieving stress, ­playing computer games can ­actually exacerbate that threat, especially if they spend too long on computers and smartphones.
Being on computers for long periods can have negative side-effects, such as tight shoulders.
For anyone using these devices it comes down to time management.
You may have the intention of ensuring you are better organised, but you have to carry through that intention and so many of us do not.
When it comes using mobiles and computers, people need to have a timetable and stick to it.
They must write it down, be realistic about what they can do and stick to the schedule they have planned.
If they are able to do this then I ­believe if they do suffer from stress, they will find that this stress is reduced.
If using computers for entertainment is part of the timetable that can help reduce stress, because you are limiting the amount of time you are playing such things as computer games.
However, it is important to limit the time you spend on these ­devices and to recognise the importance of your own health and developing interpersonal relationships. 
Mary Ko , Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 8, 2016
Li Chun Yin 5E

Help abusive parents with counselling 
Earlier this year, it was revealed that shelters taking abused children are often full to capacity and some have pointed out that the government has no long-term strategy to help these children.
Providing foster care and a small-group home environment are two options when it come to helping these vulnerable children.
However, they are not absolute solutions. We have to look at the causes of abuse. Often, it comes down to parents finding they are unable to cope with the stress they feel in their daily lives.
Many of the reasons are economically based, with the pressure caused by these families living in poverty. The parents ­often have to work very hard in menial jobs for a poor wage. Sometimes they take out their frustrations on their children.
The government should offer more financial aid to low-income families to help them cope.
It should also be trying to ­offer these adults more chances to find work and get some ­training so they can learn new skills and get better jobs.
NGOs should be ensuring there is sufficient counselling available, so that these parents know there is somewhere they can go to seek help. Counsellors can help them learn how to deal with their stress and not hurt their children.
Our children are the future of society.
We must ensure they are protected.
Andrew Li, Tseung Kwan O

SCMP July 6, 2016
Kary Chan 6A

Real concerns over universal pension pleas
The annual Earth Day in April gives us all a chance to celebrate the beauty and wonder of this planet.
Hopefully, it can raise our awareness of the need to protect it. In recent decades, global warming has aroused wide ­concern among various circles. Many people now argue that the time is ripe for everyone to make changes, while others still do not understand the urgent need for action.
We live in a global village so we all have to take responsibility to protect the earth. Too many of us take the planet’s finite natural resources for granted. We must learn to love and protect it.
We should try to ensure that we preserve these resources and natural wonders for the next generation to enjoy. And we should not be too selfish and abuse what we have. The selfish attitude of some people causes immense damage to the environment. Youths of today should think of youths of the ­future.
The environment is inextricably linked to all walks of life. Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
This will lead to rising sea levels, and an increase in the occurrence of severe weather events.
We have to grasp the nettle and deal with the problem now. 
Kary Chan, Tseung Kwan O