PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 May, 2011, 12:00am


There's nothing uniform about bags

School bags are closely connected to a time when uniformity was everything. Today, many schools elsewhere have abandoned the idea of standard school bags, and some have even let go of uniforms.

It's a shame that is not the case in Hong Kong, particularly at my school, where the rules on bags become more strict every term.

As far as I can see, there is no reason to have a standard school bag that is part of the uniform.

Rules that ban students from decorating their bags do little more than squash creativity and expression. After all, school is meant to be a place for learning and development.

Wallace Fernandes, Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo)

Every day should be Mother's Day

How did you celebrate Mother's Day? Did you give your mum a bunch of carnations or gift vouchers, or did you have a meal at a fancy restaurant?

It seems when such occasions are around the corner, we are bombarded with advertisements for such treats. But we are forgetting the true meaning of Mother's Day.

We should be thinking of what our mothers have given up to bring us into this world, to raise us and to love us unconditionally.

Mother's Day should not be the only day we remember this - and these material gifts are not what our mums crave most. Spend some quality time with your mum - talk to her, give her a hug, help around the house and just do your best. What are you waiting for? Tell your mum you love her now.

Christie Lin, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Corruption is holding China back

Mainlanders are getting richer, but there is a problem - corruption.

A lot of government officials are greedy. The former mayor of Shenzhen is one example. He used his power for financial gain - and he was lucky to avoid the death sentence when he was found out.

This situation will hurt China if it continues. Food safety scares are often the result of such corruption - officials are easily bribed to turn a blind eye when additives or chemicals are used in food.

I hope the central government can tackle corruption and make the country stronger.

Yan Sum-lee, Maryknoll Fathers' School

We need long-term solutions on poverty

The HK$10 billion Community Care Fund - with equal contributions from the government and business - has attracted more public attention than other policy address news.

It is clearly well intentioned - to help the needy who are not covered by the existing welfare system.

But this prescription treats the symptoms of the problem, not the cause.

The poor cannot depend on this fund forever. The government must help them to stand on their own two feet. And it can do that by providing more job opportunities and protecting their labour rights so they can earn a living.

The government should also put more emphasis on welfare for the elderly, and education. This will help ease the burden on families taking care of ageing parents and children.

It is all too easy to get trapped in the poverty cycle when there is no chance to learn. Providing opportunities for disadvantaged children to learn such skills as ballet or piano will help them to achieve their potential and reduce the gap with their wealthier peers.

This fund is just temporary relief - the government must put more emphasis on employment, elderly care and education.

Carmen Cheung, Leung Shek Chee College

Summer jobs can help you get ahead

The summer holidays are coming - and it's time for teenagers to start thinking about work experience.

We're all busy studying hard because we want to get good, well-paid jobs in the future. But our working lives will be unpredictable and we will have to learn to cope with pressure.

I think summer jobs can give us a good preview of what working life will be like before we enter the workforce. We can also learn new skills - such as communication skills and co-operating with others. These will all be necessary once we start work - and they're not something you can learn from a textbook.

Chan Yan-tsz, Sha Tin Government Secondary School