Repaying student loans on time is vital
I support the government's proposal to hand over the credit histories of students who fail to repay loans to a credit reference agency.
That would serve as a warning to students - they should be more responsible in repaying debts.
The move would help students to manage their finances better. It would also ease the government's financial burden. Repaid loans could be used to help other poor students.
Some people worry this action could prompt other government departments and private businesses to press for similar rights to check people's credit histories.
We should not make 'privacy' issues an excuse for everything. In any event, Esther Leung Yuet-yin, deputy secretary for education, said the data would be removed one year after debts were cleared.
That is fair. I think it is high time we taught students to be more responsible in repaying their debts.
Jessica Wu, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School
Maid's act highlights need for education
It was with horror that I read a news story about a search for a baby at a landfill after her mother had dumped the infant there.
What the Indonesian maid allegedly did is shocking. It was extremely immoral and cruel.
Mothers don't have the right to do what they want with their children. This mother acted in an inhumane way. What she did was practically the same as murder.
Yet it would be wrong to single this woman out. Our society is full of cases of cruelty to others.
The case highlights the need for education in society. The government should pay more attention to emphasising the value and importance of life.
We should punish people severely if they mistreat or abandon their children in such cruel ways.
Karen Ma, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School
We should use secondhand books
Every day we have to study from many textbooks, notebooks and exercise books.
All these are made from paper.
Often, once we finish using such materials, we simply discard them. Such a practice is not very environmentally friendly. Yet textbook publishers encourage students to buy new books at the beginning of each academic year.
If students sold or gave their used textbooks to other students, fewer textbooks would be thrown into rubbish bins. The fewer new textbooks and exercise books we buy, the greener we can become.
Even though new textbooks appear on the market regularly, generally there is little difference in the content of different editions.
Therefore, using older textbooks will do no harm to your studies. It will also be a bonus that you won't have to spend lots of money on buying new textbooks all the time.
We can all do our bit to save the Earth - and save some money in the process as well.
Sin Lai-chu, King Ling College
Fire safety needs to be improved
Nine people died and more than 30 were hurt during the fire on Fa Yuen Street recently.
Most of the people who died lived in a tenement block. They were trapped because piles of objects blocked their way to the stairs and exits. Also, there wasn't enough usable firefighting equipment on hand.
The incident showed up serious safety problems in run-down tenements. There are many sub-divided units in such buildings and safety regulations aren't followed.
The government should take action to remedy the situation quickly. We need to prevent this kind of accident happening again.
Yoyo Cheung, Pooi To Middle School
Let's pay more attention to poor
The world has reached the 7 billion population mark and our numbers are still increasing fast. Yet most people live in poverty and the rich often don't care about the poor.
All we care about is whether we should buy a new iPhone or a Blackberry, or wear Gucci or Prada.
Yet many people would be happy with just three meals a day and clean drinking water.
We say humans are the cleverest of all, but we have created an unjust, dog-eat-dog world.
We should use our limited resources far more wisely.
Sumair Hussain, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College