PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 September, 2010, 12:00am

It's all a matter of trust

Parents often ask their children: 'Where did you go after school? Why didn't you come straight home?'

They often think their children must be hanging around with badly behaved students after school.

But the student may have been doing homework at school. All secondary students know the older they become, the heavier their school bag gets. If they finish their homework at school, they don't have to carry the heavy books back home.

Unfortunately, parents often don't believe their children, worrying they have been led astray by classmates and have been hanging out somewhere.

Students sometimes have difficulties with their studies. They have to turn to teachers for help, so they stay on after school.

It's normal for parents to worry about their children, but how can youngsters explain when their parents don't believe them?

Celia Au Choi-ying, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Parents splash out to keep pupils ahead

Although primary education in Hong Kong is free, on average, parents are still spending more than HK$30,000 a year on tutors and extra-curricular activities for their children, a survey has found.

Parents of primary students are keen for them to participate in, on average, three activities. They believe their children will otherwise fall behind their peers, in both academic and non-academic areas. The extra spending not only puts stress on parents, but also on their children.

Children have to go to school every day and take tutorial lessons or join extra-curricular activities after school. As they don't want to disappoint their parents, they force themselves to work hard. Their packed schedule leaves them exhausted and unable to concentrate in class.

Clara Hui

Keep our great culture alive

Chinese people used to be proud of their culture. They were very fond of writing and reciting poetry. Drawing and admiring traditional Chinese works of art with friends were common hobbies.

But nowadays, Hongkongers like reading gossip magazines or books about money-making. They are no longer interested in art or literature.

The younger generation is under so much pressure from their studies and extracurricular activities that they don't have time to appreciate culture.

Society's emphasis on academic results robs students of creativity. Students see arts as a waste of time and do not want to choose such fields as a career.

The government should promote arts performances. For example, it could allow buskers to perform in the streets. This would be one way to bring the arts to a wider audience.

The government should also allocate more resources to supporting the arts. Offering financial support to those working or considering working in the field would encourage people to enter it.

Our unique culture shows our people's virtues and characteristics. I hope the government will take action to preserve it for future generations.

Chang Wai-mei, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

Don't discriminate against immigrants

A large number of people from the mainland move to Hong Kong in search of a better life, and I see this in my school - more mainland students are joining us.

Some of your classmates may be from the mainland. But there are students who ignore or discriminate against them.

People move to Hong Kong for different reasons. Some want to make a better living while others come to join their family.

Hong Kong is a part of China. We should not discriminate against mainlanders.

Some Hong Kong people look down on them. But they are no different from us. We should treat them with respect because we are all Chinese.

Some students think mainlanders are inferior but that's not true. They work very hard and we should learn from them.

Ivan Wong Ho-sing