PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 March, 2004, 12:00am

Q Should students be retested if their exam papers are lost?

In an unfair situation that is not of the students making, retesting them seems to be the least problematic option. Adjusting the marks of the students is unfair because they have done much preparation during the months before the exam. The affected students should be informed and have the right to choose whether to take the test again.

Whose responsibility is it for losing the exam papers? Not the students, but the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.

Although it would cost money to prepare the new papers, it can be offset by publishing the papers for other students to practise for their exams. This can be a win-win situation.

Retesting is the fairest solution for the affected students.

Dick Chau Kwok-wai, Wong Tai Sin

Q What should be done to combat school violence?

Bullying is undoubtedly a problem in some schools, and may be a serious problem in a few schools, but no evidence has been presented that warrants the current moral panic.

Bullying in schools is certainly objectionable, but what is more objectionable is the degree of hostility that is being directed at children and young people. People may blame bullying on parents, culture, the media, and the school ethos, as evidenced in a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, but the solution appears to be more discipline and punishment to enforce conformity in children. Conformity to what?

When society is itself a bully what can we expect from its children and young people? Our students are exposed to teachers who believe that aggressive and demeaning methods of control are acceptable. We have recently had an example of this in the case of a poorly controlled teacher who was fined after tearing a boy's ear and allowed to resume teaching on the grounds that she is 'respectable and hardworking'.

There is clear evidence of an association between corporal punishment by adults and aggressive behaviour in children. Some of the bullies are learning to be bullies from aggressive models at home, others are learning it in our schools.

School bullies are a reflection of a society which itself behaves aggressively towards its youth by labelling and demeaning children in order to solve problems. Sending problem students to disciplinary institutions where they will be stigmatised, and no doubt subjected to humiliating methods of moral education, will teach them only one thing, how to be better bullies.

Harold Traver, Pokfulam

On other matters ...

As a former resident of Hong Kong, I must congratulate the government for considering hotel complexes for Cheung Sha Beach on Lantau.

It is a dramatic location that calls out to be exploited, so Hong Kong can grow and prosper, as it must in these competitive times. Right now it is too difficult to take advantage of the south side of Lantau. A building boom would transform it, bringing more transport, more restaurants, and more shopping - everything that brings money-spending tourists to Hong Kong.

While I am opposed in principle to gambling, I would urge the government to consider a casino for south Lantau as well - why should Macau take all of Hong Kong's money?

I'm sure there will be an outcry from the handful of environmentalists who are not patriotic Hongkongers, but for once they should put selfish interests aside to make Hong Kong one of Asia's best 'world' cities.

Fred Crottie, Beijing

The police are concerned about the recent robbery of a couple in Tai Tam country park and share the sentiments of your correspondent Marian Schneps that burglars may hide in the hills and subsequently descend to commit crime (Talkback, March 4).

We have been stepping up actions by increasing patrols in the crime black spots, in addition to regular sweeps by the Regional Rural Patrol Unit in country park areas.

Our record shows that the number of burglary reports in the Aberdeen division, covering the Repulse Bay area and Stanley, dropped from 13 in January this year to seven last month. Your correspondent can rest assured that the police will continue to make our best efforts to curb criminal activities.

Ma Wai-luk for the commissioner of police

I was amazed to read Robin Lynam's quote that the real fun at the Hong Kong Sevens happens in the corporate boxes with the 'salmon sandwich brigade' (Post, March 5).

Every year I get an invite to different corporate boxes and every year I head straight back down to the south stand to kill the monotony.

In most boxes the champagne quaffers are generally there impressing work colleagues. They usually haven't paid for their tickets and they bring their spouses. Enthusiasm for the event is not high. I have been told to quieten down and sit still.

The boxes which are fun (like Deutsche Bank) are located right next to the south stand and rely on interaction with those in the stand for their main entertainment.

Equate this to the corporate ticket recipients at the recent Pretenders concert who refused to dance while the paying public got right into it around them and you get a pattern of behaviour.

The Post should not delude people by leading them to believe a corporate box will supersede their expectations.

Rachel Sproston, North Point