PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 December, 2009, 12:00am

Let's do more for the community

At an Agency for Volunteer Service ceremony to reward some 700 people for their volunteer work, I was impressed by one award recipient who put in about 3,000 hours last year. The 57-year-old former policeman visited the elderly and disabled regularly after his retirement and said it had brought him a lot of happiness. He should be an inspiration to everyone in this money-driven city.

Honkongers are so busy working they often neglect neighbours who need care. After the first time I visited senior citizens, I realised they do not need much. They just need the care and concern of others.

Doing volunteer work not only helps others, but also broadens our horizons. It gives us a chance to be part of the community and learn. On one visit, an old couple shared with me their unforgettable experience of how they survived the war. It helped me to understand how lucky my generation is.

It is a pity that so many people think only about earning money.

Winnie So, Leung Shek Chee College

Pseudo-models go too far for success

I think the pseudo-model craze in Hong Kong is a negative phenomenon. It is particularly bad when you hear of young women being ready to 'do everything at all costs' to achieve success. 'Everything' is clearly going too far - after all, it implies going as far as robbery or maybe worse, even if it does include positive things such as supporting charities.

If we think about 'all costs', it suggests you can sacrifice anything to achieve your target - even your studies.

I think the real issue here is whether it's really worth it. Perhaps die-hard fans will say pseudo-models have to work hard to achieve their success. But really all they produce is photo books of themselves dressed in lingerie and in sexy poses. The fact is they are just using their physical appearance to make money.

They also send a bad message to young people - that racy photos are acceptable. What they are doing may not be unlawful, but it can mislead young people.

I hope we will not see pseudo-models promoting their books at book fairs in future.

Echo Kar, Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

E-learning should be promoted more

I support the government's launch of a three-year 'e-learning' pilot scheme to reduce reliance on textbooks. Textbooks have become more and more expensive in recent years and e-learning is a good alternative.

Teachers should not see textbooks as the only teaching materials. Also, publishers should only be allowed to update textbooks every five years, rather than every three years which is what has been happening lately.

There are numerous advantages to e-books. For a start they are easy to update - that can be done with a download. They are also extremely portable, which means no more backaches. Obviously, less paper will be used as well. And let's not forget e-books are more fun than traditional textbooks, as they come with interactive multimedia software. When learning is fun, after all, students gain more than when it's boring.

Karillus Chow, Carmel Bunnan Tong Memorial Secondary School

Protect Central

I agree with the government proposal to create a 'special protection area' for historic buildings in Central. It would help ensure Central is not just a commercial district, and less development would be good for the district in terms of air quality and other environmental impacts.

Hong Kong has enough development. Let's preserve more of our history so that we are not just a city of malls and skyscrapers.

Nicole Lam, Holy Family Canossian College