PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:00am


Liberal studies is letting us down

The new HKDSE subject, liberal studies, aims to enhance our critical thinking skills. But there's a question: is it effective enough to achieve that?

According to a recent news item, liberal studies is a failure. A Secondary Six student told a reporter he prepared for the subject by reciting definitions of key terms. He also just memorised his answers for the exam.

Why did he do that? Because that's what he was expected to do.

'It is impossible for students to get good results on this subject if they do not recite suggested answers,' he said. He went on to point out that the subject served to enhance students' rote learning skills, not their analytical abilities.

As I also have to learn liberal studies, I agree with the student.

The subject makes for unique marking systems, with different teachers endorsing different views. That may be quite unfair to us.

So we just memorise the answers that we are expected to give.

It's worth considering whether this subject is useful at all and if so in what ways.

Donald Lui, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Travelling on MTR can be unpleasant

It is very convenient to travel around by MTR. However, during rush hour, I prefer not to do so. I have had some unpleasant experiences.

Some people like to lean against the handrails, preventing others from being able to hold on. These people are selfish. They should consider the needs of others.

Many passengers also just stand near doors without moving inside carriages. They make it hard for others to get on and off.

Then there are some young couples who like to hug and kiss on the train, as if there were nobody else around. It is embarrassing.

Foreign visitors to Hong Kong might be put off by such behaviour, which harms our image.

Eunice Ma Wai-wa, Pooi To Middle School

Voting processes need supervising

During the recent district council elections, some irregularities were discovered.

It was found that a large number of unrelated people registered as voters using a single address or even fake addresses.

This threw into question the validity of many votes.

I think there is a need to review district council election procedures.

Fairness is an essential part of elections. We need to ensure that elections take place in an environment where fairness to all candidates is guaranteed.

For that to happen, the importance of proper voter registration cannot be overlooked.

The government should also put more effort into ensuring election laws are followed closely.

We have a sound legal system, which encompasses such matters as transparency and fairness.

We need to educate people about the importance of behaving in an ethical manner while casting their votes in elections.

In short, it is essential that we maintain fairness and transparency during the election of our official representatives.

Yu Hoi-yin, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

New URA scheme is a good idea

The Urban Renewal Authority has adopted a new strategy for redeveloping some old properties.

Owners who apply can ask the URA to redevelop their properties. The agency will then pick some properties for redevelopment.

I welcome this scheme. The URA has been criticised before for choosing to demolish buildings that were still in reasonably good condition.

The new scheme will allow several such buildings to be saved by redevelopment. It is important, however, that the status of old properties be evaluated properly. Only those that are truly worth redeveloping should be selected.

If unworthy sites are chosen, it may cause friction in the community. Run-down buildings may also pose a risk to residents if they are left in their current state or not redeveloped properly.

We should welcome this latest attempt to prevent old buildings from decaying further. But applications should be carefully checked and reconstruction work carefully planned - for the sake of both the owners and people living in the area.

Boyle Kay, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School