PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 February, 2010, 12:00am

Treasure every second you have

Things in life happen unexpectedly. Who in Hong Kong would expect their home to collapse?

The collapse of the To Kwa Wan tenement block last month even made the headlines overseas. The accident did not occur in some rural village, but in a modern city and an international financial centre.

One of the people who died was a hard-working teenager, who was studying for his A-levels. This is a particular tragedy. He had so much to look forward to.

The accident did remind us, however, of the importance of living life to the fullest. We should treasure every second and make the most of everything we have.

Ng Ka-yuet

The queue for nursing home places

The government wants to set up a means test for elderly people who want to apply for a nursing home place, in order to reduce the waiting time. Generally, the wait is so long that many people die before they are given a place.

I do not believe a means test would be the right way to cut down the waiting time. Elderly people may be unable to live alone even if they have a lot of money.

Instead, the government should check their health or ability to look after themselves. In this way, people who need help can get a place to live and support more quickly.

Alma Lai

Cut down on parental pressure

Nowadays, parents seem to treat art, music, sports and foreign languages as a way to get their children into a good secondary school.

Primary school students already have a lot of children. Spending any spare time music, art and so on leaves them no time to relax. Extra-curricular activities should be for relaxation, but if children do not enjoy them, they may become stressful.

According to experts, frustration and exhaustion may harm three aspects of a child's health: physical, emotional and mental.

In terms of the physical aspect, if children do not have enough rest, they may feel too tired to get up and go to school, or even to do their homework. Extra-curricular activities will seem exhausting.

As to the emotional aspect, children may easily become frustrated. If their lives are totally controlled by their parents, they may think of themselves as puppets. They may lack confidence, and often feel negative, especially about themselves.

As to the mental aspect, they may lack critical thinking and the ability to fend for themselves. There have been many occasions when a child who is so dependent on his parents misses an exam, simply because he could not take care of his schedule himself.

All parents want the best for their children. This includes getting them into the best schools. But parents should carefully consider what extra work they make their children do just for the sake of a better school.

Li Ka-man, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School

Listen to the 20-somethings The Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail link is one of the most frequently discussed social issues of recent months.

I support the post-80s-generation, who protested against this frankly unnecessary development and are fighting for the rights of the people affected. In my opinion, building a high-speed rail link is a waste of money.

The Tsoi Yuen villagers are mostly elderly citizens who have lived there for many years. The rail project is taking away their homes and their culture. Although the government is paying compensation, I don't think this is enough.

The government should not only focus on the financial aspect, but should pay more attention to how citizens feel.

Wendy Chan Tat-lin, Po On Commercial Association Wong Siu Ching Secondary School