HKDSE is catching up with students
Exam timetables for the 2012 HKDSE and the A-levels were announced recently. I am more concerned about the HKDSE timetable because I am studying under the new 3+3+4 education system.
Since the timetables were announced, they've replaced the normal juicy gossip as the main topic of conversation on Facebook and at school. Obviously, the timetables have reminded everyone that it's time to study.
Students at many schools face tight schedules. Their school life is packed with tests and quizzes to help them improve in different subjects. It is not surprising that many students are feeling stressed as they prepare for the HKDSE.
A big worry for many students is the new subject of liberal studies. However, we still have 12 months to prepare for the exam. We should do our best. Otherwise, our teachers and parents will be disappointed.
Chan Kar-wing, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College
Print media can help resolve disputes
Newspapers play an important role in keeping people informed about all the troubles going on in the world. The print media also warns us about problems that might crop up later if nothing is done to prevent them from happening.
If a dispute arises between two countries, newspapers can tell people what caused the problem, and what can be done to resolve their differences peacefully. Many wars have been avoided because of the intervention of other countries in disputes that were highlighted by newspapers.
Aki Lai Li-kit, Leung Shek Chee College
Make-up is useful for boys as well
Make-up can give you a fresh look that can make a good impression on others.
First impressions are important, so we should always smile and be well-dressed.
It's also a good way to build self-confidence and improve our relationships with others. Therefore, boys, as well as girls, should be able to enjoy the benefits of using make-up. A good appearance is especially important for those who have frequent contact with their bosses or clients.
There should be no 'gender bias' in using make-up.
Belinda Wong, Sha Tin Government Secondary School
Unethical merchants poison customers
Want to eat beef but can't afford it? Want chillis that look redder than red? Don't worry, mainlanders have the answer.
In legends, people touch a stone which turns into gold. But our compatriots have learned how to turn common pork into beef, chicken, even mutton. All you need is an 'extract' of beef, chicken or mutton.
Such additives that change pork's appearance and taste into that of other animals have been found in markets in Hefei, Anhui province. They are used in little shops and snack bars across the mainland.
Food additives are commonly used and poorly regulated on the mainland. Many are industrial chemicals that shouldn't be used in food at all, like melamine (added to milk), malachite green (farmed eels) and sudan red (used to dye chillis, eggs and sauces). Food contaminated with these substances can cause poisoning, deformity and cancer in people and animals.
The problem is made worse as many of the merchants who sell these tainted products are protected by corrupt officials. This is a major issue that continues to worry mainlanders and damages the country's reputation.
Better policies can save scarce water
Water is precious as all life depends on it. As Guangdong province is still suffering from a long drought, it is very important for us to save water.
The Hong Kong government can do more to promote conservation. Our water rates are very cheap, which only encourages people to waste water at home.
Restaurants are major users of water, too. The government should give incentives to restaurants that use less water in hygienic ways.
People should be rewarded for installing water-saving devices at home. These devices should be made compulsory in new housing estates and restrooms.
Ellen Yiu Oi-lian