PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 August, 2007, 12:00am

Should there be more support for students with poor exam results?

Hong Kong is now a knowledge-based society.

Many students think the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination is an important key to success. Therefore, they are under a great deal of pressure and this may affect their performance in the exams.

Just because students get poor results, does not mean they are not talented. They may have been unlucky on the day, or they may be good at other things, but not necessarily at what they had to study in the curriculum.

Traditionally, it is thought that people who do not do well in exams cannot be successful in life. So, students who have poor HKCEE results need a lot of psychological support, so they can get over such prejudices. There should be people in schools who can talk to students with poor results so they can make the right choices.

There are many different kinds of courses on offer to Form Five students. However, most are too expensive for some students, so more financial support in the form of grants should be made available.

Jennifer Chu, Tseung Kwan O

Under our exam-oriented education system, where academic excellence is the barometer of success, students usually feel desperate and helpless if they get poor exam results.

Because of this they need the support of the government, parents and friends.

Nowadays, if students get poor HKCEE results, they have many options to choose from, for example, the Institute of Vocational Education, job training schools and associate degrees. However, the fees for these courses are comparatively high and many students cannot afford them. If the government provided more subsidies for this group of students, they could apply for courses that really interested them.

Encouragement from parents and friends is vital for students who get poor exam results. Students are under intense psychological pressure if they do badly in exams.

This can lead to them suffering from low self-esteem and feeling hopeless about the future. Some may stay at home and virtually give up. A few words of positive encouragement will help boost their confidence.

They need proper guidance, so they can set themselves targets for what they will do in the future.

Studying in Form Six is not the only gateway to success. It is crucial for students who have not done well in their exams, to regain their confidence, so they can plan for the future and work towards achieving their goals. To achieve this they need our support.

Steven Lau Yuk-fai, Kwun Tong

What is the best way to preserve Nga Tsin Wai village?

Nga Tsin Wai village is among the oldest cultural relics in Kowloon and is the only traditional Chinese walled village remaining in the Kowloon urban area.

This precious treasure must be preserved.

It would be good if the Urban Renewal Authority could build a heritage conservation park in the village without demolishing the traditional brick houses. But out of the 127 houses in the village, only 59 remain as the rest have been demolished. And out of the 102 original households, only 63 remain, with 39 having already moved out. How can the URA build a conservation park if all the traditional buildings are gone?

The URA has undertaken some successful conservation projects, such as Western Market. This is now a popular tourist destination and Nga Tsin Wai can also be developed, so that it attracts tourists. Visitors could go to Tin Hau Temple in the village and there could be some sort of exhibition, so people could learn about how people lived in the past.

It would be a win-win situation from the perspectives of urban development and collective memory. However, this project will need careful preparation. There will have to be public consultation, compensation for residents and social-work teams will have to be established to deal with any problems residents have.

Wong Kwai-ching, Lam Tin

There is no doubt that the 600-year-old Nga Tsin Wai village in Kowloon City is worth preserving.

The 13th century walled village is of high historical and architectural value. There is the 100-year-old Tin Hau Temple and a visit to Nga Tsin Wai shows what it was like to live in a walled village. I think it should be turned into a heritage conservation park or a museum such as the Sam Tung Uk Museum.

However, private developer Cheung Kong owns about 70 per cent of the properties and living conditions are poor in the old village. To ensure the village is preserved, the government should begin negotiations with Cheung Kong as soon as possible so it can purchase the properties. Then it should repair the old buildings. The government should give the villages reasonable compensation and ensure they find alternative accommodation. Also, it must make up its mind and start the preservation work before it is too late.

Cindy Leung Lai-ha, Ngau Tau Kok

How can Hong Kong promote healthy diets?

Fast food culture is popular with Hong Kong people but most fast food is very oily and unhealthy. The government has been promoting healthy diets. They have put up posters in schools and restaurants, urging people to have a balanced diet, but it is having difficulty persuading people. I think it has to try a different approach.

It should encourage them to have smaller portions of rice and meat and put less oil in their food. Also, I have not seen many government posters encouraging a healthy diet, in fast food restaurants. Because so many people go to fast food chains, if they do not see the posters, the campaign will be less effective.

Promoting healthy diets in kindergartens or primary schools might also be effective, so that children can start learning about healthy eating from an early age.

Andy Chan Ka-ho, Man On Shan