Halloween is for ghosts, not for fun
Nowadays, many youngsters like to celebrate Halloween. Some theme parks put on Halloween parties. It has become almost as important as Christmas.
Yet, many people don't know that Halloween was an evil festival in the past. People in Europe believed that spirits would come out, and so it was very dangerous to walk around at night. Some religions would even sacrifice living people to ensure their safety. Catholics call the day after Halloween 'All Souls' Day'. Actually, Halloween is a ghosts' day and it's not for fun. It's not a good festival for us to celebrate.
Do you know why Halloween has become so popular recently? Many businesses promote it as a way to earn money. Many young people don't mind its background. They just like to dress up in costumes and shock others for entertainment.
Dorothy Pan Feng-qiong, Pooi To Middle School
New curriculum is badly planned
I have concerns about the new senior school (NSS) curriculum for students. Being the first year of this new education system, there is heated controversy over its enormous workload, new exam format and excess syllabus.
As a Form Five student, I understand the tense situation faced by students. Extra assignments must be completed, together with the daily challenges of six, seven or even eight subjects. How can we do all this within a limited time?
In fact, the curriculum is too much for both students and teachers, owing to the miscounting of teaching hours. According to the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the hour counter wrongly regarded school picnics, swimming galas, sports days, parents' days, Christmas parties and so on as normal school days and worked out the curriculum based on these misleading total teaching hours. The government's education bureau discovered this problem, but they did nothing about it.
The NSS is a burden for students as excess workload is put into insufficient study hours. I hope the government can take measures to solve this situation.
Twiggy Wong Tan-ni,
Leung Shek Chee College
Every drop of water must be treasured
The price of water from the East River in Guangdong has gone up. We should not argue over the price, but instead learn how to save every drop of water.
According to the International Water Association, Hong Kong ranks 10th in the world for water consumption. Therefore, our government should educate citizens to save water, or our precious water resources will decline. Desalination of sea water can be part of the solution, but that alone is not enough. There are many people in the world who do not have access to clean water, so the government should introduce a user-pays system and charge more where water consumption is too high.
Tracy Cheung Tiu-ying
English subtitles would help us learn
No matter what kind of show is on television, I will sit and watch it. The English programmes with English subtitles are my favourites, since they are entertaining but also educational. Through them, I can improve my vocabulary and reading skill at the same time.
Yet not all have English subtitles. In fact, the Broadcasting Authority says that only programmes aired in prime time are equipped with them, while the others provide Chinese subtitles only. However, sometimes only those which are popular, like CSI, have them. It's a shame, as many opportunities for people to learn English are being wasted. I urge the Broadcasting Authority to require all stations to add English subtitles. Schools could use the programmes as teaching materials.
Tsang Hoi-kee, POCA Wong Siu Ching Secondary School
Life of Jobs is a lesson to us all
I was really upset when Steve Jobs passed away. He was an icon of technology. He had a hard life, but he never gave up and staged a comeback in the end.
Our lives have happiness and sadness. When we gain something, we have to pay the consequences at the same time. It is the circle of life.
The most important message from the death of Jobs is that God treats us all equally. We should try to contribute what we can, not complain, and never give up.
Venus Kwok Wing-yan, SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School