PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 July, 2011, 12:00am


We must recognise nurses' hard work

Medical services are essential to every city. Nurses, as well as doctors, play a crucial role in ensuring that residents receive proper medical care. So, it is sad to hear that medical workers in Hong Kong work much more than eight hours on most days.

It is hard to imagine that one nurse must sometimes care for up to 20 patients a day. That's why their job satisfaction is very low and some of them turn to private hospitals for better working conditions.

Retaining experienced nurses and training new staff is vital to ensure that high standards are maintained. One of the ways to retain staff is to offer them better pay and conditions, such as increasing their holiday leave.

Lee Mei-ha, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)

Time to stamp out child marriage

The work of Yuki Yip Chun-yu, who won the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th Anniversary Poster Design Contest in 2009, highlighted the issue of child marriage.

A survey has shown that 25,000 girls under the age of 18 will be married off every day for the next 10 years if current trends continue.

Child marriage creates many problems for girls, such as separation from family and friends, a lack of freedom to interact with their peers and fewer opportunities for education.

It may also lead to enslavement, commercial exploitation and violence against victims. Child brides are often exposed to serious health risks, such as premature pregnancies, infections and diseases.

Child marriage is closely associated with poverty. Girls living in poor households are almost twice as likely to marry before 18 than those from higher-income families.

A strong commitment to poverty reduction is vital in the fight against child marriage. Authorities must ensure that legislation is in place to tackle this problem and help change attitudes about child marriage.

Nicole Li, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

We must tackle discrimination

Discrimination is a serious social issue in Hong Kong. We live in an international city which is home to people from many different countries.

It is high time we took steps to stamp out discrimination. For example, the government should devote greater attention to minority groups and help them integrate into the community. It could provide training programmes to help improve their skills.

We should help all people, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or cultural backgrounds.

Karen Wong, Leung Shek Chee College

Taking a weight off teenagers

I am writing to show my concern about heavy textbooks. Carrying bulky textbooks is not good for teenagers because heavy loads can cause damage to the spine. Students shouldn't suffer from crooked backbones. I think textbook publishers are to blame for this situation.

To increase their profits, the publishers add extra materials and pages, resulting in heavier textbooks which allow them to charge higher prices. I think the additional materials should instead be posted on the internet.

I hope publishers put themselves in students' shoes and design more user-friendly textbooks.

Stella Li Man, The YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

Curb development to enjoy clean air

In the old days, people could enjoy beautiful views from their homes and had clean air to breathe. Now, these things are in short supply.

Many new buildings have appeared as the city continues to develop rapidly. These structures often block the wind, in what is known as the 'wall effect'.

The 'wall effect' can obstruct the circulation of air throughout the city. Residents may catch diseases more easily, because air doesn't flow properly. This has become a serious problem, and it can have a major impact on the health and happiness of the city's residents.

The government should introduce laws to control the city's development and to prevent the 'wall effect' from becoming even worse.

Mickey Won, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College