PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 November, 2008, 12:00am

There's more to life than just exams

Because they want to get good jobs, Hong Kong students are focused on exam results.

In fact, many students only care about what will be in the exams, and have no interest in anything else.

It is as if the only thing that matters in this society is a student's qualifications.

But exam results do not tell us everything about a student's qualifications.

The only thing that is tested in exams under the current education system is academic subjects.

These results tell us nothing about a student's leadership skills, organisational abilities and how they cope with difficulties.

I think it's time we embraced more in our lives than just exams.

Ip Lam-Ha, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Greet the world with a smile on your face

We all know when you smile at somebody, you are basically urging them to smile back. But not many of us actually do it.

Greeting the world with a smile goes a long way to making your life and the lives of those around you happier. It's the first step to being nice.

The next step is to go beyond just a smile and start saying kind words to people.

When you develop good behaviour like this, you start making it hard for people to be anything but nice to you, and everybody will be a little happier.


The downside of a balanced diet

Everybody is always talking about healthy diets, and I know it makes sense to eat well. But healthy food does not always taste good.

I don't like carrots, green beans, mushrooms and many other vegetables. I think they're tasteless.

I like junk food - chocolate, chips, candy bars and so on, and I think most young people are like me.

People call junk food 'rubbish'. But as far as taste is concerned, I don't think junk food is rubbish.

Eating chocolate makes us feel happy, and coffee helps us stay awake and helps prevent heart disease.

Vegetables are healthy, but most of them lack taste. It's hard for children to like them.

I wish everyone could think a little more clearly about who are the angels and the devils in the healthy food debate.

Candy Chan, St Rose of Lima's College

Let's put an end to domestic abuse

Domestic abuse takes many forms. It includes verbal, emotional, psychological and, unfortunately, physical abuse. It can be directed at anyone - children, elders or partners.

Sometimes, under the pressure of work or perhaps finances, parents get angry with their children.

The impact can last a long time because it can shape the child's development and have consequences that affect the rest of their lives. It can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders and so on.

Money problems and communication breakdowns are fatal to family harmony.

The best way to deal with these things is to talk about them before they actually become problems.

Regular family meetings are a good start.

They provide a safe environment for family members to share their views. If anyone has trouble opening up, they should be encouraged to write their thoughts down and share what they've written with the family.

Honest communication builds mutual trust. Mutual trust is the basis of a healthy family.

Ho Wing-sze, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)

Don't push children too hard on sport

With the Beijing Olympics being such a huge success, people are starting to take much more interest in gymnastics.

Parents are thinking about having their children train from an early age, and are willing to spend a lot of money on it.

Gymnastics is a lot of hard work for children. Gone are the toys, the computer games. They have to face harsh daily training. Some people will see this as denying children their childhood, especially when they are as young as four or five.

But, on a more positive note, it's not such a bad thing for children to learn gymnastics skills at a young age and develop flexibility in their bodies.

It gives them physical strength and teaches them to be independent. I think it also helps them to be more mature, both in their behaviour and their thinking.

Gymnastics only becomes a problem when parents want their children to reach the top too badly and push them. I think children should be encouraged, but not be pushed too hard.

Also, they need to get the message that working hard is not only gaining wealth and fame.

Pushing them too much might give them the wrong values and make them afraid of failure.

Let children try gymnastics, and hope their training sparks a passion for sport.

Wendy Sher

Stop complaining

As a student, I work hard not only at my studies, but on the other job I have to handle - being a member of the student union.

But I'm disappointed the students never have anything good to say about the union. Like most members, I probably spend more time on the union job than on my studies. But nobody seems grateful and all they do is complain.

The thing I enjoy most about working for the union is when somebody says, 'thank you.'

I just wish it happened more often.