PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2012, 12:00am


Treat lab animals with humanity

Animals are widely used for scientific research, but is this moral?

Creatures are cut open and injected with chemicals as scientists experiment on new medicine. Millions of non-human lives have been taken because of human selfishness.

Some may think sacrificing animals is cruel, but scientists say thousands of human lives can be saved. Animal-testing is used to find cures for serious diseases such as cancer.

Animals are also used to improve our quality of life. They are often found in the laboratory, testing new products to ensure their safety.

We have all used products that have been first tested on animals: for example, the pills we take when we are sick, lotion or even make-up. If these are not tested, someone may get skin irritations or develop allergies. We should feel grateful for the experiments.

Yet sacrificing animals doesn't mean abusing them. We should keep animals from unnecessary sacrifice, and not allow them to suffer violence and pain.

Just like humans, all animals have the right to live.

Charlotte Fung, Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Take care of the poor residents first

If the Hong Kong government wants to redevelop the city, it needs to tackle the poverty problem first. The poor usually have no choice but to live in tiny subdivided flats in old neighbourhoods - often in unsafe conditions. These are the buildings that the government wants to knock down for redevelopment.

Yet the government should understand the tenants' situation before kicking them out. Many of them live in 'cage homes' because of the cheap rent, and they do not earn enough money to move to public housing. Worse still, many do not qualify for social welfare either.

The government cannot kick the underprivileged out of their homes without a good policy to take care of them. It shouldn't focus on building an urban city without first thinking about those that are vulnerable.

Eleanor Wong, Pooi To Middle School

Cram time should come with free time

Cram schools can be a good thing, but I also believe that overloading a student on academics is not going to make a child smarter.

Sure, students that go to cram schools usually have better grades. They do better at school and can learn material faster than those that do not have a strict study routine or those that do not practise on a regular basis. Parents also think cram schools will help their children later when they look for jobs.

Yet I think we can all agree that cram schools put extra pressure on students to succeed.

I would like to remind parents and teachers that we need to balance school with other activities, such as free time to socialise and be creative. Interacting with others will build our social skills, and being creative stretches our imagination.

Cyrus Lau Ka-leung, King Ling College

'Clouds of pollution' spoil the blue skies

Beijing saw 274 'blue sky days' last year - which was good enough for the government.

Beijing says it reached its target for 'blue sky days', which means the air quality on those days was either Grade 1 or 2. There are five grades in the rating system, with Grade 5 being the worst.

Yet ask anybody living in Beijing, and they would say blue skies are rare in that city.

A government official admitted the capital also saw 'several days of poor air quality as a result of bad weather conditions', such as weaker winds and a rise in humidity.

Many internet users criticised the rating system. They questioned its reliability and doubted whether the government was using a tight standard for air quality. They say the Beijing environment bureau likes to boast about the number of 'blue sky days', but it does not try to get rid of the air pollution.

The biggest causes of pollution are factories and cars. And as the population grows in the capital, the problem will get worse.

The Beijing environment bureau has a serious problem. It needs to stop focusing on 'blue sky days' and start solving the pollution problem. The health of the next generation is in danger. One small decision today can greatly affect the future.

Janice Yee- yung Lo, Pooi To Middle School