PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am


Don't let the new term catch you out

How can we be motivated to go back to school without feeling dispirited and tired? Here are some suggestions.

Don't let the new term creep up on you and surprise you. Keep a countdown of the days left until the start of term so you are mentally prepared.

Then, think of your goals for the year ahead, or at least how well you would like to do in school.

Last but not least, very little in the world can motivate you so much as the learning atmosphere at school. Most of us spend the long summer holiday with nothing meaningful to do. School offers you a suitable place to concentrate on your studies.

It also provides a space to connect with teachers and friends.

Carmen Cheng Ka-man, Pooi To Middle School

Greed is poisoning China's economy

I am writing to express my concern over the increasing number of food poisoning cases on the mainland.

They include egg yolks coloured with the Sudan red dye, milk laced with melamine, cadmium-tainted rice and drug-infused meat.

They are caused by greedy businessmen who don't care about people's health.

They add dangerous chemicals into food items to lower their production costs and increase profits.

Also, some mainland farmers use huge amounts of pesticides to prevent vegetables from being damaged by insects. This can lead to poisoning, especially if the vegetables are not properly washed.

The contaminated milk scandal is one of many cases where harmful substances have been added in the production process.

The melamine-tainted milk powder caused the death of several babies and put thousands of others in hospital.

The food scandals have spoiled the image of 'Made in China' products and hurt the country's economy.

The central government should increase checks on food products to guarantee their safety and quality.

Certificates should be issued to food which has been checked and proved safe to eat.

Furthermore, the public should be educated about the proper way to handle food before eating - perhaps through advertising on television.

Chris Wong, Po Leung Kuk Ma Kam Ming College

New attitude to school work

I have some suggestions on how to adopt a new attitude to school in the year ahead. Most of us do not fully concentrate on lessons, or when we have tests and do homework.

Homework gives us the chance to see how much we did learn during lessons, and what areas we need to brush up on.

Set good results as your target and, when you achieve them, it will inspire you to put more effort into your studies.

Lai Kai-hung

Benefits of going with the flow

Many adults are realising the importance of youth opinions. Ever since youngsters in Hong Kong have become more interested in social affairs, the government has opened more channels for them to express their opinions. It has Twitter and Facebook accounts which a lot of us follow.

There's no need to do this. If it wanted to, our government could force us into doing whatever it liked. Yet, instead, it tries to interact with citizens and listen to their opinions.

A few months ago, I bumped into my principal when I was filling up my water bottle from the tap in the playground. He asked why I wasn't using the drinking-water supply on the fourth floor - which is closer to my fifth-floor classroom. I told him that no one dared use it because it was so dirty. The next week, the tap on the fourth floor and another on the second floor were changed to new ones.

I was so glad the principal had listened. Even though he could easily have ignored the complaint, or even given many excuses, he acted swiftly and positively.

Then, I saw an old woman texting on her phone recently. This surprised me because I am often disappointed by people who seem to be stuck in their ways and don't want to embrace new things.

Our government, my principal and the old lady all go to show how important it is to be ready to change and stay in tune with the younger generation.

Li Lok-yin, STFA Tam Pak Yu College