PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 November, 2007, 12:00am

Take the shame out of contraceptives

We ought to be grateful for living in a society where women can walk free - even without the need to fully cover their bodies. Yet such freedom comes with the knowledge that with every action, there is a reaction.

On teenage pregnancy, we know that at 16, a boy and a girl are legally entitled to engage in sex, and it is not for us to say whether that's right or wrong. But why not use a contraceptive?

The most important factor is social pressure. Teenagers are scared of buying contraceptives because of 'shame'. This attitude needs to change.

We should promote the greater use of contraceptives so that there will be no unprotected sex. Some teenagers' knowledge of and access to post-sex contraceptive measures also need to be strengthened.

Joseph Lin, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

More help for troubled families

Recently, a woman pushed her son and daughter out of a window and then jumped from the family flat. She was afraid she could not care for the children because of a disability, while her husband was in hospital.

Even though Hong Kong's economy is better, it shows there are still problem families who need help.

The government should allocate more resources so social workers can have closer contact with troubled families and they can quickly remedy any potential problem.

A Student

Dig deeper into Japanese culture

We can divide Hong Kong teenagers into two groups in their attitude towards Japan - those who crazily follow the culture and those who blindly hate all Japanese because of the barbaric invasion decades ago. This shows most of them lack an in-depth understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Who was responsible for the decision to invade our country? For those addicted to Japanese pop songs and animation, do they realise that they are under a cultural invasion?

I believe that with knowledge and understanding we can get rid of misconceptions and blind admiration. Would you consider making a feature report about modern Japanese culture and history? It would be nice if we can know more about our powerful neighbour.

Dickson Au Yeung, Queen's College

Teenagers need parental care

Due to the long working hours of parents, they don't have much time to take care of their children. In time, youngsters lack parental care and resort to materialistic pleasures.

Parents often buy their children the latest gadgets, for example, iPods and Nintendo's DS Lite game players.

Some teens who are greedy for more commit crimes. Girls are also at risk of starting relationships too early and getting pregnant.

The government and schools should promote more youth activities to enrich their lives. Parents should also understand that the happiness of teenagers is not just based on money but parental care.

With the co-operation of the government, schools and parents, I hope the situation can be improved.

Stephanie Woo Ho-ting, St Paul's Convent School

New direction offers better quality of life

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was considerate to low-income parents during his policy address. The 12 years of free schooling he announced reduces their economic burden and helps them save money for university education. It also means children will not miss out on high school because of the fees.

Small-class teaching can ensure the quality of education because students can get more individual attention and gain more knowledge. I am glad that it can finally be implemented.

Medical vouchers for the elderly is also thoughtful. But HK$250 a year is insufficient. It would be better to give them HK$1,000 annually.

'I believe that we can achieve another golden decade under the new mindset,' Mr Tsang said. Yes, I believe that we can have better quality of life and I trust Mr Tsang will lead us to a prosperous 21st century.

Hilary Tang, Maryknoll Convent School

A family's love comes first

Which love is the most important? Is it that between a man and a woman, or between you and your family?

When I was 10, I had a terrible experience at Christmas. Mum and dad took me to their friend's house and after lunch, their daughter stayed in her bedroom. Suddenly, she started crying and we ran to her room to find that she was trying to cut her hands. She had had a row with her boyfriend on her cellphone.

A lot of people believe the love between a man and a woman is the most important thing in their life. But the love between you and your family is more important. If you choose to die as a solution to your problems, your family will be devastated.

Apple Leung Cho-ying, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Sacrifice is key to success

Do you want success like retired basketballer Michael Jordan?

We need to work very hard to be successful. Having a strong will and motivation is also crucial. If you want to be better than others, you have to make the best use of your time.

It's tough to have extra drills while others are enjoying TV games, but if we can gather momentum in our life, we will be able to achieve sky-high goals and success will surely follow.

Martin Wong, Tak Sun Secondary School