PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2008, 12:00am

No more violence over Olympics

I think the Tibetan and foreign demonstrators who obstructed the Olympic torch relay are unreasonable.

On the other hand, some Chinese people have hindered the normal operation of the Carrefour supermarkets.

Aren't both parties being irrational?

Although they are standing up for their own country, the protesters outside Carrefour's shops generated more animosity and violence around the Olympics.

Carrefour has already declared its support for the Beijing Games and has posted a message on its website, saying that the company 'has never done and will never do anything to hurt the Chinese people's feelings'.

There is no reason to accuse Carrefour of stirring up Tibetan independence activities, and it is unfair to the company's Chinese employees.

It is impossible to quell international disputes in one day and it is selfish and nonsensical to turn the Olympics into a stage for politics.

The Olympic Games should be free of politics.

Karen Chung, Leung Shek Chee College

Treasure your teeth

I had a bad tooth recently. It was sore whenever I ate so I missed some meals. It was a miserable experience.

When I went to yum cha with my family I couldn't eat properly. I was very disappointed.

We take our teeth for granted but we should make a greater effort to ensure they are healthy.

Teeth are essential. They are not just there to give us a pleasant appearance.

They are part of the digestive system and used for chewing food and for pronunciation and articulation.

It's time we took better care of our teeth.

Mandy Yeung, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Inner beauty is more important

Cosmetic surgery is very popular in Hong Kong nowadays. Advertisements boast about the advantages it can give to individuals. According to these commercials, the process can help people make a fundamental change in their appearance.

I do not accept this trend.

Cosmetic surgery does have some good points. People are judged on their appearance in this society. Plastic surgery may benefit those who want to improve their looks and have better job opportunities.

Then there are people who actually require cosmetic surgery because they were born with physical abnormalities or because they were seriously injured in an accident. The process can make their appearance more normal, so that they don't suffer discrimination.

There are some bad aspects, however. Girls, and some men, pay for the surgery so that they look attractive. The girls want to have extremely big eyes, double eyelids and flawless skin. In the long run, society's concept about beauty will change.

In addition, cosmetic surgery is very expensive.

I think inner beauty is more valuable. Who would you prefer to be friends with? A girl with an ugly face but a kind heart, or a pretty girl with a bad temper?

I think most people will choose the former. And inner beauty doesn't fade with age; it lasts a lifetime.

We should cherish the personalities we are born with and always remember that inner beauty is more important than an attractive but superficial appearance.

Nicole Li, STFA Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School

Close at heart

My grandmother died of heart disease six years ago.

The day before she died, I remember hesitating about going to visit her because I had so many other things on my mind.

I regret it enormously but there's nothing I can do now to compensate.

My situation reminds me of a book called For One More Day - written by Mitch Albom - which tells the story about a man who gets the chance to go back in time to fix the mistakes he made in his past.

If I had such a chance, I would take it immediately, but we all know that these things never happen in reality.

The saying, 'Far apart but close at heart', is my only comfort.

All I have left are my memories, and they will stay close to my heart forever.

David Tai, STFA Lee Shau Kee College

Sub-degrees play a crucial role

Local associate degrees have become a hot topic in Hong Kong recently. The controversy arose after the Nursing Council refused to give professional accreditation to the sub-degree nursing course run by the Institute of Technology.

The council claims that the quality of the course's graduates is not good enough. The situation has left the students concerned in a difficult situation - are their courses worthwhile or not?

I suggest that the government devote more time and effort towards supervising these associate degree courses.

Requests for greater transparency and more information about teachers' qualifications and students' abilities should be met.

The government should also ensure that associate degree courses are properly funded and it could spend more money on providing facilities and libraries. Most importantly, the standards of these qualifications should be firmly established and maintained so that students, teachers and employers are aware of their value.

Associate degree courses allow students who fail to enter university to gain qualifications in higher education. They are a valuable part of Hong Kong's education sector.

Cheung Yin-yeung, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School