PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 January, 2011, 12:00am

Let's clamp down on plagiarism

Creativity plays an important role in an information-based society. We need creative minds to improve our living conditions.

Unfortunately, some companies that offer writing-for-hire services undermine students' creative thinking abilities.

These companies encourage students to view plagiarism as a legitimate way to success.

I believe the government must clamp down on such dishonest activities. We need to ensure that students learn to think for themselves and be willing to do the hard work themselves.

The government should help universities upgrade their plagiarism-detection systems. For example, retired professors could be employed to find cases of plagiarism.

Yes, there is a lot of competition in schools and at universities, which places great stress on students. Yet they must be made to understand that plagiarism in any shape or form is unacceptable.

Chris Ho Ka-kui

Remove the stigma of mental illness

Many people in Hong Kong, especially older generations, are prejudiced against people with mental illnesses. I think the main reason is that they do not understand mental illness well enough.

In previous decades, mental patients were often portrayed on film as exaggerated caricatures. In society most people considered the subject of mental illness taboo.

Thanks to the internet, information is far more widely available today. Yet many people are still uninformed about the nature of mental illnesses.

You can often see people hurrying past mental patients on the street. They tell their children to 'walk faster'. Children learn to adopt their parents' prejudices, too. Many films also show murderers and criminals to be 'mentally ill' to explain away their actions.

The government should put more effort into educating the public about mental illness.

In fact, mental illnesses are very common. One in five people suffer from some form of mental illness. It means that some of your family members and friends may be among them. We need to have a deeper understanding of their situation. I recommend the Education Bureau add some programmes about mental illnesses into the curriculum. Education is the most effective way to tackle prejudice.

Angus Li, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

In praise of eating well

I love eating. Every time I enjoy a meal, I appreciate not only the taste of the dish but also the creativity of the recipe. I find it magical that cooking can combine different ingredients into a single dish and serve us a delicious meal.

An enjoyable meal is more than just something to fill our stomachs. It can make us happy. It's too bad that in our hectic lives we have little time to enjoy a meal, even if it's only fast food. We just gobble down our lunches. Studies have revealed that eating too fast can be hard on our digestive system. That can lead to chronic pains and long-term illnesses.

Let's take time to enjoy our meals.

Tse Lai-him, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Cartoons should be toned down

Have you heard of Candy Candy? How about Daddy-Long-Legs?

Both are Japanese comic characters. There are more cartoons both for children and for teens. There are countless comics to choose from. But they don't always convey the right message.

While comics tended to focus on positive messages in the old days, the latest ones often cater only to fads. Their makers seem to care only about ratings and profits.

In many Japanese cartoons these days, you can see characters kissing. Often they wear only skimpy clothes. Such portrayals will give young viewers wrong ideas. Children often like to copy what they see on television and in films. Many cartoons contain violence. They have no meaningful themes and everything in them revolves around fight scenes.

Cartoons can be a useful tool to educate children. Parents should make sure to choose cartoons that have educational value for their children.

Choi Ho-yin, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School