How would you solve Hong Kong's rising teen drug problem?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 June, 2009, 12:00am

Kendra Cui, 12, Sha Tin College

If you haven't already noticed, most of the drug problems are related to students from locals schools, which usually have stricter 'regimes' and more exams compared to international schools.

Teenagers may be taking drugs, such as ketamine, in order to reduce their study pressures.

Also, they may be struggling to cope with what they learn in school. In most local schools, the ratio of teachers to students is 1:40, so teachers cannot pay attention to each individual student.

In addition, many parents are busy with their jobs and don't spend a lot of time with their children.

Apart from getting together during the weekends, many parents don't monitor their children's activities and how they spend their pocket money.

To solve the teenage drug problem, local schools can spread their exams throughout the academic year.

Moreover, teachers can have more discussions with their students to ensure that they understand what is being taught in class. This can enhance teachers' awareness of student behaviour and strengthen their relationship.

Also, parents can take some days off to spend time with their children. It is a good idea for parents to phone their children, especially after school, to check on what they are doing.

This way, the children will feel that their parents care about them and are less likely to go astray.

Emily Tsang Long-yu, 15, Creative Secondary School

Hong Kong is not the only place with a teenage drug problem. It is happening all over the world.

The problem is becoming more serious in Hong Kong as more and more youngsters are being admitted to hospital due to drug overdoses.

Another concern is that drug addicts are becoming younger, with some of them under 10 years old. Drugs are also cheaper these days, especially for those who share these dangerous substances with their friends.

Teenagers deal with a lot of pressure from their peers, parents and teachers. Hence, they use drugs to 'escape from reality'.

Parents should spend more time with their children, especially if they have joined new schools or faced problems in their social lives.

Teachers should maintain a good relationship with their students and pay attention to their behaviour.

Teachers and parents should not punish or scold children who get poor grades.

Instead, they should offer their support and help put the children on the right track. When teenagers feel they are appreciated, they will be happier and strive to do their best.

The winner of round 1 of the final debate was Kendra!