PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 12:00am

Graduates, adapt to difficult times

I am writing to express my concern over the impact of the financial crisis on graduates.

The economy of Hong Kong relies a lot on trade. Trade is highly susceptible to changes in the market environment.

Due to the financial crisis, many companies have been forced to lay off their workers.

Lay-offs have been particularly severe in the financial and banking sector. It is hard enough for experienced workers to find jobs, let alone fresh graduates.

Not only has the financial crisis made jobs scarce, it has also lowered the starting salaries of graduates.

In such a bleak economic environment, companies are doing everything they can to keep operating costs as low as possible to survive.

Even if they are willing to employ graduates, they offer very low salaries.

But, a lot still depends on attitude.

As the saying goes, 'a crisis can be converted into opportunity'. For example, innovative and creative graduates could try to start their own businesses. This is not as impossible as it sounds, since rental and labour costs have become lower.

Graduates could also choose to further their studies. This way, when the economy starts to recover, they will be more skilled.

In times like this, graduates have to adjust their mindsets. The only way to survive is to be realistic and flexible.

Pearl Leung, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Stop animal cruelty in safari parks

I feel very upset about animal cruelty on the mainland.

In safari parks, for example, animals like ducks, chickens, goats and even cows are used as 'live food' thrown to lions or tigers. The 'live food' is ripped to shreds in seconds.

Also, animal keepers in the safari parks file the teeth of lions and tigers to prevent them from hurting people. When the animals misbehave or disobey orders, the keepers give them less food to force them to do what they want them to. This is very cruel.

In Hong Kong this would never happen because we know we should care for animals, not torture them.

I hope this kind of behaviour towards animals will stop.

Lun Cheuk-yin, Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Let's make schools more eco-friendly

With global temperatures rising and the melting poles - a threat to polar bears - we need to pay more attention to the environment.

Schools consume a lot of energy, and more should be done to make them eco-friendly.

We could start by using solar panels for our electricity supply. Schools could also encourage staff and students to take public transport instead of driving or being driven to school by parents.

Meanwhile, tuck shops should provide reusable eating utensils.

Overall, schools could do a better job when it comes to recycling, and more schoolwork should be done electronically and not using paper. When we are not working electronically, we should use materials that can be recycled.

Let's start to be more eco-friendly and think about building eco-friendly schools in Hong Kong.

Wan Cheuk-ying, Our Lady of the Rosary College