Why it's important to go to school
The Hong Kong government has been funding nine years of free education for every child, from Primary One to Secondary Three, since 1978. This will soon be extended to 12 years.
In Taiwan, more and more parents are choosing to teach their children at home, instead of sending them to school. These parents are upset with the education system. So why should we attend school?
Inter-personal skills cannot be learned from books. Everyone has to know how to communicate with others. It takes years of practice, starting at a young age, and school is the best place for it. Getting along with people of different personalities and backgrounds is one of the key skills for adult life.
Some say that the subjects taught at school, for example literature and history, are not likely to apply to our lives in the future. They may seem to be irrelevant, but an all-round education can develop our thinking and analytical skills.
Education and knowledge have always been given high status. Attending school is vital to improve ourselves in all aspects.
Rachel Wong Kiu-yan, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School
Wishing for more smiley faces
I am a Form Seven student and I have noticed that many of my classmates have faces which are wooden and sad. Because of a lot of tests, homework and exams, we all feel immense pressure. This stress shows in our faces.
I tried to find a solution to this situation. When I mentioned the problem to my mum, she simply said, 'Smiles can make more smiles', and smiled at me.
She was right! When we smile at each other, we feel more positive, and our smiles are passed on to others. The more we smile, the more others will smile, too.
I hope I will see everybody with a smiley face in future.
Isaac Nip, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School
Call to have four PE lessons a week
I think everyone should have enough exercise to be healthy. I love playing badminton with my friends. Whenever we have free time during physical education lessons, I will take the badminton equipment and rush to the playground to start our match.
Yet I think that our school should have more than two PE lessons per week. Every student is given a lot of homework. Besides this, they join many different after-school activities. They don't have any free time to exercise. If there were four PE lessons, students would become healthier.
Many students may feel bored during lessons such as history and geography. Unfortunately, there are at least two lessons of those subjects every week. Gradually, they will come to think that going to school is boring. If there were more PE lessons, it may refresh their spirits and make them pay more attention.
If students have time to try various sports, then they can join the school Sports Day and take part in the competitions.
Yoyo Mak, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School
East meets West
Recently, some hospitals said they would provide a combination treatment of Chinese and Western medicine. A Chinese medicine practitioner and a doctor would see patients together and discuss the cases.
Some patients used to take Chinese medicine secretly in the past. Therefore, if Chinese medicine is provided, patients will not need to seek help outside the hospital.
This will also benefit cancer patients as Western medicine uses radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Chinese medicine could help relieve the side-effects.
Fury over pollution
I recently read a story about a solar panel factory in Zhejiang province releasing toxic waste which killed a large number of fish in a nearby river. Hundreds of people took part in protests, with many being seriously hurt in clashes with the factory's staff and local police.
I think the company should pay compensation to people who have been affected by the pollution.
In addition, the authorities should shut down all plants that pose a serious threat to the people and the environment.
Vanessa Lee Suet-kiu, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School