Gifted children face added pressures
Recently, I read an article about how the parents of gifted children feel their children's lives are harder because they are different to others.
I have to agree with them in some ways. Being gifted can set a child apart.
There is some support in Hong Kong, such as the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education, which every year invites many students to join them for talks or programmes. Also, there are degree courses which allow gifted children to get into university more easily.
However, I think being a gifted child is not a good thing, because of how other people view them. Some students may think that they are 'strange' and they may also be jealous when cleverer children outperform them.
Because of the pressure of being gifted, children may have a tough time, and this may cause them to become rebellious and hard to control.
Chiu Wai-ho, King Ling College
Give new exam time to succeed
I am writing in response to the article 'Numbers short of expectations for new exam' (SCMP, December 2).
According to the story, 5,000 fewer candidates than expected registered for the new Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination.
As a senior secondary student, I am worried about the marking for this important exam, especially for liberal studies. Most of the candidates are unfamiliar with this new subject. Students might have trouble mastering the skills needed to answer LS questions. Also, there are six topics on the syllabus and no-one knows which ones will be featured in the exam.
Despite the fact that the HKDSE will be easier than the A-levels, it is still not going to be easy to get admission to university.
Only 20 per cent of the 72,000 candidates will get in and this might prompt many students to study overseas instead of taking the exam next year.
Although a lot of students are worried about the revamp, I am sure most of them will adapt to the new system. Once the first HKDSE is over and candidates are satisfied with their results, current Form Five and Form Four students will become more confident about taking the exam, and thus fewer students will drop out of the HKDSE.
Kelvin Lam Kin-wang
Lifting the lid on domestic violence
Domestic violence usually happens in countries with deeply rooted traditional concepts. And China is one of those countries that still believes men have power to 'control' women.
The problem was brought to light recently when Kim Lee, the wife of celebrity English teacher Li Yang, complained on her microblog that her husband hit her frequently. She even posted photos of her injuries.
She decided to speak up because she did not want her children to see domestic violence as normal.
I really appreciate Lee's bravery. As many Chinese women lack status, are often not well educated and do not have the strength to speak up, the men bully them more frequently.
We should never turn a blind eye to domestic violence. We must speak up when we face these situations - not just for ourselves, but for the world's women.
Chilli Leung Tze-yin, Pooi To Middle School
Hospital blunders need investigation
I am writing in response to your report 'Review of hospitals after blunder' (SCMP, December 1). The incidents have shown that our medical system is facing serious problems and the government is failing to resolve them.
Some might say those doctors were not directly responsible for the blunders. But, undoubtedly, the 'careless' mistakes they made proved fatal to the patients. It was not the first time that these kinds of blunders have happened. However, they are very serious because a number of hospitals were involved. The health minister should have called for an investigation after the first incident. If nothing is done, patients will lose confidence in hospitals.
Doctors are only human, and if they are overworked, they can make mistakes. It is time for the government to recruit overseas professionals and increase employees' salaries if medical staff shortages are to be rectified. The government should also discuss problems with labour unions.
Elaine Chow yuen-ting