PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2008, 12:00am

Beware of fraudulent charities

There are an increasing number of fake charities in Hong Kong that deceive generous donors by using names similar to existing charities, according to Ho Wai-chi, the former executive director of Greenpeace.

He has suggested methods for people to tell the difference between the real and the fake and has recommended that the government set up a commission to monitor the work of charities in Hong Kong.

It is hard to believe that people can be so cold-blooded. Donors sincerely want to help the poor but their money is used by bad people to make themselves rich. They don't care about poor people in developing countries.

This misbehaviour cannot be tolerated. Setting up a commission to monitor charity work and resource allocation is essential. The government should take action without delay.

Eriko Lau Kin-ling, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Storm in the family

Family life can be difficult. It is not uncommon for teenagers to argue and fight with their parents over trivial matters.

It is all too easy to get angry and lose your temper but it is much smarter to try and communicate. It is better in the long term to try and control temper and emotions

Some parents are very strict, however, and they never listen. Good communication requires the ability to listen but some mums and dads storm at their children for talking back and may even punish them. They have not considered that their children's feelings and only think about themselves.

It is better if arguments can be avoided. Both sides need to communicate in a peaceful and polite manner.

If that can be achieved, families will be happy and children will grow up with good memories.

Lau Lai-ming, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School

Restrictions on new drivers

I felt really sad when I read the article about the newly-qualified driver who was killed with his passenger in a car accident.

Afterwards I heard that the government wants to set up a maximum driving speed for all probationary drivers.

I think this is a good policy that can protect both drivers and passengers against accidents.

Passing the driving test should be an uplifting experience, a part of growing up. But driving dangerously can cause great sorrow.

All drivers should be careful because they are responsible for the lives of others. However, some new drivers seek excitement and ignore the speed limit.

I hope that all road users will learn from this tragedy, observe traffic regulations and put safety and respect as their top priorities.

Karen Wong

Planning for New Year

If we want to succeed in life, it's very important to plan properly for the future.

One of the best ways to start making plans is to look at the past and see when and where we made mistakes.

The year 2008 has only just begun so we should look back on 2007, see what we wanted to do and work out why we didn't succeed.

In that way we can make progress every year.

As a Form Five student, I have to sit for the public examination this year. So, my new year's plan is to use my time efficiently.

Then I can be sure that I allocate sufficient time to study all my subjects.

If I do that, I can have a better chance of getting good results in the HKCEE.

Kathy Ching Ka-sin, Leung Shek Chee College

Learning English is important and fun

What is your favourite subject at school? Biology, history, economics or English?

A lot of students think that if they do well in subjects like biology or economics, they will have good prospects in the future.

I think there is some truth in that - technical skills are very important in the modern world - but they are not much use if you cannot communicate.

If you cannot read or write a report in properly in English, you will have problems at work. It is a lot more difficult to learn when you grow up.

Some students don't do revision for Chinese and English because they concentrate on other subjects.

Only when they have to sit their exams do they realise how poor their ability is.

There are actually many better ways to improve our English.

Methods that are fun include reading stories or novels, watching movies, listening to music and learning the lyrics of songs.

You can also write your blog and chat with your friends in English.

Remember, practice makes perfect.

Wong Yu-kwan, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Year on? Year off?

I think students should take a year off between secondary school and university.

There are a lot of advantages to that.

First and foremost, young people can gain a lot of insight into life through working.

They can learn to be more confident and understand the importance of seeking help from others.

Working before university also helps students find out what sort of job they want to do, which in turn gives them a better idea of what subject they need get their qualifications in.

Gaining work experience in a gap year is definitely a good idea.

Chan Hiu-yu