PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am

Q Should broadcasting rules be relaxed so the Oscars can be shown in full?

What kind of message do you want Hong Kong's young people to get? That movies are more important than education?

The Academy Awards is a self-congratulatory publicity event to promote Hollywood. So we find out who's 'best' actor a few hours later! Don't sweat the small stuff.

Eva Lo, Tin Hau

The telecast of the Oscars was scheduled for Monday, which gave broadcasting authorities ample time to reschedule the ETV programming. This would give schools ample time to make alternative arrangements on that day. Are these schools so dependent on this ETV programme that they cannot reschedule the time for one hour on one given day?

The problem, though, should be directed at TVB. It did not inform viewers in advance that the Oscars would not be shown in its entirety, so viewers could choose whether to watch it or not. It obviously did not matter to the station, because it quickly pre-empted the telecast and went directly to the ETV programme without even an apology.

I watched the evening news to see if TVB would acknowledge its mistake, but instead it announced some of the Oscar winners, ruining my second viewing of the awards programme. Why would you announce the winner when your station is telecasting the awards? TVB has some explaining to do.

Albert Lois, Kennedy Town

Pardon me for assuming, incorrectly, that the Education and Manpower Bureau and Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority are staffed by geniuses well attuned to the pulse of the populace, when they are, in fact, deadpan artists posing as bureaucrats.

Shame on you TVB Pearl for your expensive live telecast which couldn't even disrupt a mahjong game!

Knowing the annual live broadcast of the Oscars would undoubtedly impinge on holy ground, why did TVB not stand up to the Highest Order months beforehand to at least show it cares for non-mahjong players like us who have ample time to burn watching the silly going-ons in Hollywood?

Name and address supplied

There is no need to relax broadcasting rules to allow the Oscars to be shown in full.

I understand we all like a live broadcast of the Oscars. But it will interrupt the daily running of the ETV programme and create trouble to schools and students.

Is it reasonable to do so in pursuit of entertainment but at the expense of the public interest?

Also, viewers' interest is not being neglected as they can still watch the rebroadcast of the full Oscars later in the day.

Christine Lam Man, Tsuen Wan

Q Is it time to consign the ESF drama to the history books?

There is a lot more action to come before the drama is settled. In the early 1980s the problem with the ESF was the teachers. They were vastly overpaid and in all respects virtually ran the organisation.

This resulted in high school fees and actions that were not always in the best interests of the pupils. I was then informed many of the teachers were on lifelong contracts and it was virtually impossible to sack them.

Now, 23 years later there are still the same problems. From a recent report I saw, it stated that teachers salaries and benefits were over 100 per cent higher than teachers in the developed world.

Yet despite their high earnings and benefits, these teachers are taking industrial action to the detriment of their pupils. This does not set a good example and I believe the only way to resolve the problem is cancel all existing teachers' contracts at the end of the summer term, irrespective of what action this may cause.

The ESF can then start afresh with two-year contracts at a rate of 60 per cent of current pay and benefit levels. ESF management should be in the hands of the managers and not the teachers.

I am sure there would be many applicants for the posts and from teachers with a far better attitude to the needs of the pupils. The savings in costs should result in lower charges to parents.

Leslie G. Hendry, Mid-Levels

On other matters ...

So Hong Kong is burying more plastic bags in landfills than ever. Most of them, no doubt, used only once. I must be one of the few people who tries to remember to take my own bag everywhere I go. If I forget, I re-use the plastic bags I come home with over and over.

Every single shop, supermarket and stall that gives out plastic bags should be made to charge for them (the paltry discount supermarkets offer for using your own bag is no incentive), every newspaper should carry a 'No plastic bag' slogan in every issue, and schoolchildren should be educated on environmental issues from their earliest years.

But I'm wasting my breath. In my 14 years in Hong Kong, I have come to realise that, regarding the environment, most Hong Kong people just don't give a damn.

Yvonne Carr, Mongkok

For the second time in over 30 years, I find myself agreeing with Kevin Sinclair concerning panic spending by government departments just before the end of each financial year.

How else can one explain the sudden development of Hong Kong as 'City of Railings'? These days, railings are springing up all over Hong Kong. On a recent walk through the Tai Tam country park I discovered our government had thoughtfully installed railings to protect me from a dizzying fall from the footpath to the grass verges, all of 14 inches below.

But it is the Botanical Gardens that provide the best example of railing gone mad. There we have a situation where railings have been built to fence in existing railings.

Name and address supplied