PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 September, 2008, 12:00am

Should the schools targeted for closure be saved?

The proposal to close some schools represents a denial by officials of the dedication shown by teachers of band-three schools.

Although band-three schools may not nurture high-fliers, they can still make an important contribution to society by turning a number of rebellious kids into law-abiding and polite adults.

These teachers have developed methods specially designed for this type of student. Once band-three schools close down, the students will have to study in higher-band schools, where the teachers are not equipped to teach them. This is, therefore, an example of a bad allocation of precious education resources.

Instead of closing schools, the Education Bureau should reduce the teacher-student ratio in band-three schools so teachers have more time to deal with pupils' emotional and behavioural problems.

Michael Leung Chung-hong, Sham Shui Po

How can we tackle childhood obesity?

It is important to educate children at an early age about nutrition and exercise.

Families should plan outings that involve exercise and parents should make sure it is something that their child will enjoy. This will mean that they will continue participating in this activity.

Most children like to go to fast-food restaurants, but parents should only take them there for special treats. If they have a dim sum lunch, they should go for a walk afterwards. Also, children should not eat just before going to bed. That is one of the reasons people gain weight.

It is important for schools to have physical education programmes and teachers should discuss such programmes with parents. Children's minds are nourished with information and they can become physically healthy through exercise.

Mooncakes are a delicacy in Hong Kong and are popular at this time of the year. However, with all the eggs they contain, they are not good for people. People should try to come up with alternatives.

In Hong Kong, it is very easy to keep fit. The city is great for walking around and gives people plenty to choose from in terms of fresh fish and vegetables.

When diners are ordering food from a restaurant, they should ask for steamed fish and vegetables, with no sauce or oil. This is the healthy option.

Michele Kalish, The Peak

A survey has found that about 15 per cent of children in Hong Kong are overweight and more young people are becoming obese.

It is important that we deal with this problem, and schools, parents and lunch-box suppliers can all play a part.

Schools should provide students with more information about obesity, including the consequence for people who become and continue to be overweight, such as developing cardiovascular disease.

Pupils should be offered a better choice of diet and told that they should consider health issues when they decide what to eat. Parents can also help their children develop good dietary habits, such as eating more vegetables. In this respect, they can act as good role models for their children.

Children always have lunch in school. Lunch-box suppliers should provide healthy diets for pupils. Their priority should not just be to earn money. They cannot ignore the health needs of young people.

Eunice Chan Yu-sze, Shun Lee

Do you think our old streets need protection?

There has been heated debate on the subject of preservation of our heritage, including the city's old streets.

There are many advantages to be gained by preserving and protecting our old streets.

These old streets are a vital part of Hong Kong's culture. For example, Lee Tung Street was famous for its businesses that printed wedding invitations, hence the name 'Wedding Card Street'.

If these old streets are demolished, Hong Kong will be just another modern city, lacking its own unique culture.

Old streets can also help to strengthen the social network among Hongkongers. In some, the residents have been there for many years and have a strong connection with their neighbours. This network will be lost if such streets disappear.

Ken Yiu Shing-wan, Kwun Tong

How do you cut costs in tough times?

With the rapid economic growth on the mainland, inflation has risen.

Prices of all goods have increased sharply on the mainland. Since we import most of our necessities from there, this has led to skyrocketing price levels in Hong Kong, and this has really affected people on low incomes.

What Hongkongers need to do is cut their costs, so that they can get through this difficult period.

One way I deal with this is to choose family entertainment. We stay home, rather than go out, and do various things such as playing cards, watching films or having a party.

This time together can also help improve relationships within the family.

Endy Chan Pak-hang, Sau Mau Ping On other matters...

I took my son to the children's playground at Hong Kong Park on Monday morning.

While my son was blowing some bubbles, a staff member of the management company (apparently appointed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to manage the park) came to stop him.

I questioned if there is any rule prohibiting bubbles being blown in the park. She said no, but insisted that it was not appropriate.

It is hard to believe that the blowing of bubbles, a fun and safe all-time children's favourite pastime, is prohibited in a public playground designed for children and their families.

I would like the department to clarify whether there is such a prohibition in Hong Kong Park, and any other parks that it controls.

If the answer is yes, what are the reasons? If it is no, why was the staff member concerned allowed to go beyond the rules to interfere with the legitimate enjoyment of members of the public in a government-run facility?

Judith Ragless, Mid-Levels