PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am


Rattan handicrafts need preserving

My schoolmates and I have joined the Youth Leadership Development Programme organised by the YMCA.

We decided to study making handicrafts from rattan. This traditional art form is disappearing and we want to raise awareness of it among teenagers. We hope to preserve this fine local tradition.

In the early 20th century, bamboo, wicker and rattan were commonly used to make household objects like baskets, chairs and mats. Rattan was especially popular because it was tough but smooth.

But modernity and industrialisation soon made such artefacts less popular. The craftsmanship of such items is not as good as it was in the old days.

This is a pity. We need to revive this old and environmentally friendly art. We could set up workshops in schools.

That way, teenagers could rediscover this traditional art form.

Lam Hiu-yan

The uniformity of most products is sad

Hong Kong is an international business hub. Unfortunately, that means a very business-oriented mindset dominates.

Many local manufacturers place profitability before creativity in their products. The result is that we are flooded with very similar designs and products. But is it what customers really want?

It is easy to get sick and tired of the many similar goods on offer.

What we need is more creativity from local companies. They should allow their designers to let their imaginations run wild and free.

Wilson Wong, SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School

Let's move classes out of the classroom

Most teachers prefer to impart knowledge the traditional way: they lecture while their students listen.

Students may easily get bored and fall asleep during classes.

To make classes more fun and interesting, I suggest that we move them out of the classroom.

For instance, we can learn more about history by visiting museums and historical buildings than by just reading about them in textbooks.

Such trips can stimulate students to learn more about a topic.

They can also improve the relationship between teachers and students as they can socialise in a less formal atmosphere.

Karena Chow, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Standardised tests are not beneficial

Do standardised tests measure our abilities? That was a question in a recent Face/Off column in Young Post. One student, Melody, said she believed standardised tests reflected students' abilities if they took the tests seriously. The harder they studied, the better their results.

Another student, Charmain, disagreed. She thought such tests could put too much pressure on students and so adversely affect their results.

I agree with the latter view.

Standardised tests are not good measures of our true understanding of a subject.

For example, we can memorise answers, which will boost our scores. Yet that doesn't mean we understand the subject.

Samjo Tam, King Ling College

You can handle any problem, trust me

Some people have to struggle, while others have it easy. Some people face so many problems they have to ask themselves the question: 'How can I go on?'

But you can. I am a secondary student and have faced many difficulties. I have overcome them by being determined and knowing I had to pull through.

Some may say I am too young to know real hardship. But even young people may face terrible problems.

My cousin died of cancer three years ago. He was just 18.

Despite his illness, he treasured life and lived it to the fullest. He accomplished many things in his short life. He even helped other sick youngsters cope with their illness.

I once told a friend who was having a hard time that a 'problem is just like a wall, so jump over it!'

He said: 'But I'm like an elephant, a baby elephant.'

I replied: 'If you're an elephant, then break down the wall. If you can't break it down, then walk around it.'

The point is that we have our own ways of coping with problems. But no matter what, we have to carry on.

Angelika Cheung, Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo)