PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 December, 2009, 12:00am

Scramble for school places not necessary

I am writing in response to a newspaper article about parents failing to send their children to famous schools in Hong Kong. Some of them blame the system of connections and church affiliations for their failure to get their child a school place.

I sympathise with these parents because the system is unfair. It means intelligent children may not be able to get a high-quality education. This means they are not making the most of their talents.

On the other hand, parents should not push their children too hard. After all, studying in a famous school could put more pressure on them. A friend of mine who attends a leading school studies really hard but he is ranked last in class. Now he has lost confidence in his abilities. This may be a rare case but it highlights the pressure faced by those students.

Parents should put the needs and health of their children ahead of the scramble for school places. I hope there will be no need for such competition one day.

Eddie Yeung, St Paul's Co-educational College

Spread your love this festive season

'A word is just a word until you mean what you say. And love isn't love until you give it away.' This is a lyric from a Disney song called Send it On. It is one of my favourite songs because it has a wonderful melody and meaningful lyrics.

There are many kinds of love; for example, love between boys and girls, parents and children, and between friends. Love can be very simple. You don't need to make any big sacrifices; just smile and show that you care about those around you. This can bring happiness to others.

The power of love is greater than any weapon in the world. Just a little smile and a small act to show your love are enough to make a difference.

Love is the best food for our soul. Spread your love this festive season.

Lucia Tsang Ling-san, True Light Girls' College

Cheat's heartfelt apology to teachers

I am writing to apologise for cheating during a biology test. I am sorry that I disappointed my teachers who are very nice and responsible. I will try my best to make up for my terrible behaviour.

I now understand that I can't achieve anything by cheating in a test. Even if I get higher marks using dishonest methods, it won't help me during a public exam. Also, it is not fair to my classmates who work very hard to get good grades.

I am ashamed of my stupid and irresponsible behaviour. I hope my teachers can forgive me and I promise that I will never cheat again.

A Student

Studying for long hours won't help

I read a recent newspaper report about a Form Seven student who attacked his neighbour with a dumbbell. Later, it was revealed the student was stressed out because he was forced to study long hours by his parents so he could get into university.

I think learning should be an enjoyable process. Some parents put too much pressure on their children. This will ruin their interest in learning and hinder their mental development.

I am happy as I have sensible parents. They give me advice, not pressure. I hope every parent realises that forcing their children to study for long hours is not a solution. Children need time to relax. Then they will enjoy their studies.

Chan Pak-hay

Language issue

There is a big debate over whether liberal studies should be taught in English or Chinese.

The subject helps develop students' critical thinking skills.

Some schools may want to teach liberal studies in English because it gives the school a better name.

But I think it would be much better to teach liberal studies in Chinese. Then we can interpret our ideas in our mother tongue. It may also make us more interested in the subject.

Lee Cheuk-nam