The system is stressing us out
The first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination is around the corner. I am one of the guinea pigs.
In a corner of our classroom, there is a blackboard on which we have a countdown to the last days of the term. There are fewer than 80 days to go.
The approaching deadline fills us with fear. Every day we have lots of work to do from homework to tests.
There just doesn't seem to be enough time to prepare for the exams. My sleeping time is getting shorter and shorter. Sometimes I just want to have a whole day without any homework to do.
Our teachers are also facing a lot of stress. They are confused about the new syllabus. They need to teach subjects in a hurry. They have a lot to do, too.
We are all feeling the pressure. Is the new system going to work? I would rather not try to guess. Let's hope we'll manage to weather the tough times ahead.
Jason Tsui Ho-hei, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College
Somalia needs our urgent attention
Somalia is experiencing famine. I feel so sorry about the people who are suffering because of food shortages. According to the United Nations, thousands have died from starvation so far.
I think the UN should do more to help the needy. That should include punishing armed militants who steal food brought to Somalia by foreign aid agencies. We should also send more help.
These starving people are victims of the political situation in their country over which they have no say.
They have to face disease, death, loss and pain on a daily basis. We live a comfortable life so it is hard for us to imagine their suffering.
Imagine what it would be like if you had to spend all your energy on just getting enough food to eat.
We should show our concern for the starving people in Somalia and help them in any way we can.
Doo Yan-ching, Po Leung Kuk 1984 College
Information days are great
Every September and October, universities hold orientation and information days for prospective students. We can visit universities and familiarise ourselves with life on campus.
I find such open days very useful. For instance, we can learn more details about courses offered by local tertiary institutes. We can also get a better understanding about various admission requirements.
That would allow me to decide which subjects would suit my needs the best and what I have to do to gain admission.
In addition, orientation days are a great way to make new friends and meet like-minded students.
I always enjoy going to information events organised by various universities.
I will definitely take part in such events over the next few weeks.
Tutorials can be very useful
It is common for students to attend tutorial classes outside school so that they can do better in their exams.
Some students, however, insist on studying on their own and never attend such tutorials.
I believe tutorial classes serve an important function. They can help us understand subjects we study better.
I am not going to deny the benefits of day schools. Yet I think most people misunderstand the function of after-school tuition. They criticise some students for relying too much on tutorials.
Tutors cannot replace teachers, but they can provide us with some extra knowledge about subjects.
The trick is to find the perfect balance between tutorial lessons and day schools.
Kathy Chan Ching-lam
We should all read newspapers
Reading newspapers is a good habit. It allows us to have a better idea about what is happening around the world. I like reading both Chinese and English newspapers. They help me to understand the world and improve my writing skills.
When I read English newspapers, I can learn new words and informal expressions I can't learn in class.
I think reading newspapers is better than watching news on TV because newspapers give us more in-depth information.
Warren Szeto, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School