PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 September, 2010, 12:00am

There's nothing like school for children

Some parents like to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. I don't think this is a good idea.

School provides children an early glimpse of society. It gives students a chance to interact with others and gain knowledge from textbooks.

It's an ideal environment in which young people can learn to be confident and independent. They also learn about the importance of team spirit, leadership and communication skills. All these are important for their growth.

On the other hand, learning at home is not beneficial for children. Their skills will be limited, and they won't be able to make many friends.

Moreover, studying at home is a distraction because there's the computer, television, toys - and the comfortable sofa.

I think learning at school is much better than home schooling.

Jessica Mak, Pooi To Middle School

Pro-Cantonese rally has positive impact

I am writing in response to the article 'Backlash as Cantonese protests spur gag' (South China Morning Post, August 3). More than 1,000 young people gathered in Guangzhou in a show of support for Cantonese.

I believe the mainland authorities overreacted to the demonstrations. They harassed local and Hong Kong reporters covering the protest, and tightened restrictions on internet searches. Many of the protesters said they supported using Cantonese instead of Putonghua as the official broadcast language of the Asian Games, to be held in Guangzhou in November. I think using Cantonese is sensible because many residents of Guangzhou do not understand Putonghua.

The demonstrations also showed people have a right to express their feelings. They were simply rallying in defence of the use of Cantonese.

Every dialect plays a significant role in a country with diverse cultures. The central government should think twice before changing the official broadcast language of the region's biggest sporting showpiece.

Guangzhou authorities may be angry because there were several protests within a month. Too many rallies can have a negative effect; the protesters should allow things to calm down.

It is understandable that Beijing wants to show a more united front to other countries through a single official language. But there are better ways to achieve this than a crackdown on pro-Cantonese protests in Guangzhou.

I support the campaign because I believe it will bring more positive changes to the mainland.

Billy Cheuk Ka-lok, CCC Heep Woh College

Hong Kong lacks eco-awareness

Most Hongkongers do not care about the environment.

They use a large piece of paper to write a few words and then throw it away. They turn on the air conditioner and then wear a jacket. They wear a dress a few times, and chuck it out.

Locals do not pay attention to the consequences of materialism. They should recycle paper, use less air conditioning, and buy fewer clothes.

Besides, all schools should have lessons on environmental protection.

Students can play a leading role in promoting eco-awareness in Hong Kong. I hope the city will have a green future.

Jancie Lo Tsz-wing, The Chinese Foundation Second School

Lights block out starry night

If you look at Hong Kong's night sky, you may see only a few stars twinkling high above us. Why is this? The reason is light pollution.

Hong Kong has too much artificial outdoor lighting, such as street lamps, neon signs and advertising boards.

They affect the natural environment, while hundreds of residents have complained about glare from excessive advertising lighting at local shopping malls.

The poorly designed artificial lights brighten up the entire surroundings, so a fewer number of stars are visible in the sky.

When we look at the city below from an aircraft, the view is fantastic, with thousands of lights shining like stars on the ground. But I think a real starry night is more impressive than the fake stars on the ground.

Yeung Wing-kei