Quit junk food and enjoy better health
I agree with the idea that junk food should not be provided in school tuck shops. If nobody takes note of the importance of a healthy diet, there will be even more overweight children in the future.
Because junk food is so tasty, there are always crowds lining up to buy it at tuck shops. But junk food contains lots of calories, additives and colourings. If we keep eating it, it will seriously affect our health. But if we have no way of buying it, we will be forced to enjoy healthier options like fruit and sandwiches. In the longer term, we'll find out how important a nutritious diet is.
Research shows that children are overweight usually because they do too little exercise and eat too much junk food. Banning junk food gets children one step closer to health. Schools should play their part. This will lower the children's chance of suffering from heart disease, cancer and strokes when they grow up.
Henni Yip Yan-yan, Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School
Families affected by Fa Yuen Street fire
It was heart-wrenching to hear about the recent fire in Mong Kok. Nine people were killed, so those families will be in mourning. Four buildings were severely damaged, so all the residents have had to leave their homes. The blaze also destroyed the stock of all the shops in the street. The proprietors can't bear such a huge loss, as I guess they only earn enough to get by.
Some of the deceased were the breadwinners of their families, so the bereaved will face financial problems besides the emotional issues. The government should support them.
Secondly, the government should more strongly enforce the law against illicit subdivided flats. Owners of these flats are unethical. They should do more to ensure the presence of safety equipment and evacuation routes in case of fire.
Penniless tenants live in this kind of flat because of their limited income. But even poor tenants should not regard rent as the most important factor when considering where to live. They should also take their safety into account.
Cherry Leung Cheuk-ling, United Christian College (Kowloon East)
School buses must be made safe for all
Last month, after 19 children were killed in a school bus crash in Gansu, the Chinese government posted a draft of new safety regulations. I suggest that the government should set the guidelines more clearly. Then people won't have any excuse to break the rules.
Schools should also spend more money on repairs and make sure their students travel in safe vehicles.
Cheryl Chu Cheuk-yan, Pooi To Middle School
The true meaning of Christmas gifts
I love Christmas. There are beautiful decorations, and my mother will cook a Christmas meal. It will include a big turkey, chocolate cakes and special fried rice and noodles.
In my family, we usually exchange gifts after our Christmas dinner. I remember one time, I spent all my pocket money on a gift, but I received a gift in return that was cheaper than mine. I felt very sad. But my mum told me that it was handmade: people had spent their time to make it and it was full of love. After I heard this, I loved that gift a lot.
Now I know that if you are given something, you should not think about its price, only its meaning.
I hope all of you will have a happy and meaningful Christmas.
Hui Tsz-fung, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
HKDSE means we need more teachers
I am writing in reply to the article 'Schools complain of teacher shortage' (SCMP, December 8), which said that the workloads of teachers who teach the new HKDSE curriculum are unbearable.
The new curriculum has led to the need for extra lessons, as it is difficult for everyone to catch up with the new exams. The increase in lessons means teachers must spend more time on preparation.
What's more, the curriculum requires teachers to provide more individual guidance. They must not only create interesting activities but also teach students individually after class, as the curriculum is more difficult than the HKCEE.
Add to this the high pressure, and we can expect lower teaching quality. Teachers are not machines. We should lessen their burden.
Patrick Wong, TIACC Woo Hon Fai Secondary School