Second thoughts on Christianity
I have gone to church every Sunday since last year. I'm not a Christian, yet I have learned many things there.
At first, I thought Christians relied on Christ too much. They believe that everything can be attributed to Christ. I also thought that the stories in the Bible were all fake. Christians also prayed very often, but seldom achieved anything. I didn't trust what they did.
Although I didn't agree with them, my friends invited me to go to church every week. After attending church for a year, I have changed my mind. I think some of the stories in the Bible are exaggerated but they can teach us many lessons.
Also, Christianity may not help you in a direct way but it can help you cope with stress. It is just like telling you that unhappiness can be your best friend. The difference is that you talk to Christ instead.
Any religion helps establish values among humans and gives meaning to life.
Make textbooks more affordable
With the high cost of publishing, rising inflation, and constant renewal of the syllabus over the past few years, the prices of textbooks are soaring.
Parents can expect to pay up to 5 per cent more for textbooks in the next academic year.
The latest price rise will cost them hundreds of dollars extra every year, and they cannot buy second-hand books due to the recently changed syllabus.
Some people say the rising price of textbooks is to cover the cost of providing free teaching materials to teachers.
For years, the government has asked publishers to sell textbooks and teaching materials separately to help ease parents' financial burden. If teachers need those resources, they ought to pay for them themselves and not rely on the publishers to provide them for free.
I think the government should help schools pay for teaching materials or, even better, put all required teaching materials online. Then publishers wouldn't have to pay for printing them for teachers, so they could afford to lower textbook prices.
Christie Lam Man-ting, Pooi To Middle School
Wealthy companies should pay better
The minimum wage law has been in force for a few weeks, yet there is much debate over its details, notably whether lunch breaks should be considered paid time or not.
For me, paid lunch breaks and rest days are a sign of an employer's kindness, but are not essential. As employers pay wages to their workers, they can say the expenses of accommodation or meals are already included.
Frankly, some employers cannot afford these additional costs. Therefore, I suggest the government should take into consideration the amount of taxes paid by the employer.
The more companies earn, the more benefits they should provide. The government should also amend the minimum wage law so that if companies pay above a certain amount in taxes, they need to provide paid lunch breaks for their employees.
The intention of minimum wage legislation is to ensure employees' basic needs are covered by wages. I hope the government will mediate between the workers and employers on this matter.
Kristy Chan Shuk-ting
There's no excuse for plagiarism
Nowadays, more and more students copy other people's work. Most of them face huge pressure from homework and projects.
To get good results, they copy information from the internet. But this is just wrong.
First, it's illegal to use copyright material. It's also unethical to steal someone else's ideas to profit from them in some way, such as getting a good grade that you don't deserve.
The main objective of homework and assignments is to learn to solve problems ourselves - by doing our own research and reaching our own conclusions, not someone else's!
Teachers can help by letting students make first drafts, and showing them how to do their work. Students should also ask teachers when they face problems with homework or projects.
The problem of plagiarism can only be solved by students and teachers working together.
Kristy Chan, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School