PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 February, 2011, 12:00am

Local cabbies: the good and the bad

I had an unforgettable experience with two different taxi drivers recently. I went camping, and for the sake of convenience, my parents advised me to take a taxi rather than the bus. When I flagged down a cab, the driver was grumpy and didn't look happy to take me and my huge backpack. I was shocked by his attitude.

On the way back I also took a taxi, hoping for better service. That experience could not have been more different from the first ride. The driver and I chatted enthusiastically about camping. He told me to be careful when taking my backpack out of the car because it was really heavy.

What a big difference there was between those two drivers. Hong Kong's transport services need more people like the second taxi driver. This will allow visitors to see that Hong Kong is a civilised society.

Danny Wan Kai-hin, St Paul's Co-educational College

Lunar New Year brings surprises

This year I made many preparations for the Lunar New Year, and many surprises came my way.

Before the festival, my mother took me to the flower market and bought a lot of special things, including some lovely lilies.

Over the holiday many relatives visited our home and I got red packets from the married couples. And, when I went out, some neighbours who know my mother also gave me some red packets!

I was very excited and surprised as I don't know them very well.

At night, we had a hot-pot meal at home. Even though the weather was a little chilly, I was very warm and cosy inside.

I had a wonderful Lunar New Year holiday full of happy surprises. Cindy Fung

Cheating must be stopped

According to recent surveys in the United States, up to three quarters of university students cheat. But this problem is not restricted to that country, or to university students. It happens around the world, and among secondary students, too.

I think there are several reasons for this trend.

First, students may think they can get away with it. Teachers don't want a list of bad results for the students they taught. They may not want to confront students they suspect of cheating because they are afraid of being accused of harassment or discrimination. So some teachers may overlook their suspicions of cheating.

Often teachers also have very little spare time. They almost certainly don't have the time to discipline cheats. In one US study, more than half of the professors, upon catching a cheat, said they would at most give a failing grade only on that piece of work, or issue a warning. Some said they would do nothing.

The most common ways to cheat on assignments is plagiarism - a British survey said children as young as 11 need to be taught not to copy and paste information from the internet - and buying a ready-made essay from a 'paper mill'.

The problem with cheating is that, although you may get straight As, you don't learn anything. You don't benefit. On paper, it may say that you are a maths, English, history and science genius, but if you apply for a job, you will have to be able to do these things in real life. If you've always cheated, you won't be able to do your job.

The problem of cheating at schools and universities must be stopped. If someone can cheat and get away with it there, what's to stop them continuing to cheat in the real world, where the damage is worse?

Maggie Lam

There's no privacy on Facebook

Facebook is a popular social networking website which helps you to connect with your friends and share things with them. But people can use it to invade your privacy.

When I upload my photos, my friends and others can see them without my permission. Moreover, my friends have tagged me on their photos so their friends can see them. The more people who become your 'friends', the less privacy you have.

A few weeks ago, after I uploaded my photos, I found that a friend used them as her own and even left a comment giving my full name. I am angry about this.

People should be aware of privacy issues when uploading photos or posting information on Facebook.

Leung Siu-ying, Our Lady of the Rosary College