PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 October, 2009, 12:00am

Stop young children watching television

I totally approve of the Australian government's plan to ban youngsters aged two or below from watching television. I think this will be beneficial to the development of young children.

Children watch too much television. They often skip their schoolwork to spend more time glued to the television.

It can also affect their communication skills, as they do not have to talk when watching television, and end up uncommunicative and, in some cases, isolated.

If we want children to moderate the hours they spend in front of the television, we have to start educating them when they are young.

I do not think young children should watch any television.

Teresa Heung, St Paul's Co-educational College

The 'meaning of life' might be simple

For centuries, intelligent people have been trying to figure out the meaning of life and still no one can say for sure.

Perhaps the answer is like an ancient ship full of treasure and lying deep on the ocean floor, waiting to be discovered. Perhaps there is no final answer.

Although I am neither great nor particularly intelligent, I have also been fascinated by this mysterious question for a long time. Unfortunately, I cannot say for sure what the answer is - but I do have a theory about the question itself.

Perhaps knowing the meaning of life isn't so important.

Maybe simply leading a meaningful, happy and satisfied life is all there is to the question so many have put their minds to for so long.

We become smarter through experience, and the best experience we can get is failure.

If everything goes smoothly in our lives and we do not have the chance to experience failure and learn from our mistakes, we are unlikely to make much progress.

This 'meaning of life' is something all of us can understand. It may not be the answer so many great thinkers have sought over the centuries, but it is a meaning that works day to day.

Jessica Summer Ocean, Kowloon True Light Middle School

Teach more leadership skills

Schools in Hong Kong mostly emphasise discipline and academic results. Fortunately, the system appears to be a little more flexible in recent years.

The reason, I think, is that parents and teachers are discovering that success is not only about getting good academic results. For this reason, more and more schools are organising activities aimed at preparing students to be future leaders.

It would be good if this trend continued to gather steam. Although there are some leadership training activities for Form Six students in most schools, I do not think that this is enough. Junior students also need to learn leadership skills. It will help them communicate better and hopefully boost their confidence.

Schools should also give students more hands-on leadership opportunities. This can be done by setting up clubs and societies and encouraging students to take up chairman positions. Student unions are another good place for students to exercise leadership skills. They are a particularly good experience because they are independent from teachers, forcing students to come up with their own solutions to problems.

It is important to strike a balance between encouraging strong academic performances and fostering leadership skills. Academic results alone are no guarantee of future success in a society as competitive as Hong Kong.

Yan Chan, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School