Let's hail the joyous spirit of Xmas
Christmas is just four days away and people's mood is already improving.
Shopping malls have been decorated with beautiful Christmas trees. And people are planning their Christmas celebrations.
Since Christmas celebrates Jesus' birthday, churches around the territory are getting ready for the Christmas Eve mass. For those of us who believe that Jesus died for our sins, the day of his birth is very meaningful.
So even as we exchange gifts and have fun with friends and family, we should not forget the original meaning of Christmas. We should give thanks to Jesus for his sacrifice.
Have a joyous and meaningful Christmas!
Vivian Lam, STFA Tam Pak Yu College
Rote learning is a real problem
I am writing in response to the letter 'Liberal studies is letting us down' by Donald Lui (Young Post, December 13). Donald has a point in arguing that many students simply resort to rote learning to tackle liberal studies.
In fact, many Hong Kong students are used to just reciting stock answers so as to get good scores on tests and exams. Yet the objective of liberal studies is to encourage critical and analytical thinking. Merely reciting ready-made answers defeats that purpose.
And such a slavish attitude is not limited to liberal studies.
Take science as an example. In many countries, students do laboratory work to prove theories behind certain phenomena. In Hong Kong, many students just try to look in laboratory logs and reference books for answers. They memorise the information for their exams and reports. Many of them don't really understand the experiments.
Many local students don't have the ability to think independently because Hong Kong's education system has long deprived them of the need to come up with their own answers.
Let's hope liberal studies will help resist that trend.
Dixon Yau, Carmel Bunnan Tong Memorial Secondary School
Phone adverts are a breach of privacy
Many of us have received phone calls from companies promoting their products. They have a simple way of getting our number - from other companies.
Here's an exchange I had recently with a caller from an ad agency.
Advertiser: Hello there, I'm Ms Kwan. How may I call you?
Me: Errr ... who is this?
Advertiser: What's your name?
Me: Let me get this straight: You know my number, called me, but you don't know who I am?
Advertiser: Yes, I'm representing [a certain] company and want to offer you ...
Me: I'm sorry, I don't need anything from you.
You can see how ridiculous this is. Nowadays, people call others they don't even know.
Cynthia To Kwan-yi, Maryknoll Fathers' School
Railway safety needs improvement
There have been two train crashes recently on the mainland. The incidents renewed debate about whether trains are safe enough.
The Railway Department has compensated the relatives of the injured and dead. Yet that hardly addresses the issue of responsibility.
Rather than make token gestures of compensation, the authorities should improve railway safety.
The series of incidents has shaken people's trust in the mainland's railway system. Often, human error is involved.
Yet the Railway Department refuses to take responsibility for the condition of its trains and their safety features.
The authorities need to give a full account to allay public fears and ensure that similar incidents don't happen again.
Clayton Chong & Leo Luk, Pui Kiu College
Let's keep our food traditions
Hong Kong's food culture has been influenced by both Eastern and Western cuisines.
Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of dishes at the many different kinds of restaurants. No wonder Hong Kong is known as a 'food paradise' among travellers.
It is good that foreign food culture has enriched local cuisines.
But we should maintain the quality and diversity of authentic local food as well.
Brenda Tam, Leung Shek Chee College