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PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 2012, 12:00am
 

Use your head, not electronic devices

I think students are relying too much on calculators. When I went to primary school we had to work out the answers to maths problems using our brains. But now, at secondary school, we can use calculators. I admit it is sometimes necessary for very difficult calculations, but some students use them even for simple additions.

They are just being lazy. If they keep up this reliance on calculators, they will lose their ability to perform simple calculations quickly. This will have an effect on their performance in exams and in their daily life. So put down your calculator and get your head working again.

Alvin Cheung Ho-hin, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Plastic bags have a role in hygiene

I am in favour of the exemptions under the recent plastic bag levy scheme regarding fresh bread.

It would not be very hygienic to buy bread that was not packed in a plastic bag. It is important to think of our health. Our hands get much dirtier than packaging. Also Hongkongers are busy people and sometimes do not have the time to pick up a bag before going shopping.

If there are no exemptions for these items, it might pose a threat to retailers as consumers might not shop in places that did not provide bags for fresh produce.

Prudence Cheng, The Church of Christ in China Kei Chi Secondary School

Recycling helps students and society

The 'Here WEEE Go' programme promoted in November last year by CLP Power and St James' Settlement saw volunteers recycling electrical and electronic waste and equipment. They revitalised the items collected and distributed them to needy families. As a part of the programme, some students created robots using the abandoned electrical appliances.

As Hong Kong gets richer, more electronic waste is produced each year. It makes environmental sense to recycle these products and, at the same time, help those who cannot afford to buy such appliances and devices. The programme's 'WEEE Ambassadors' can help promote the concepts through their robot 'messengers'. I think teenagers should take part in this programme, help spread the message and reduce the burden on our environment.

Edward Chiu Chun-ming, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Fewer cars in city will cut air pollution

Hong Kong is not as big as Shanghai or Shenzhen, but is more polluted. Part of the problem is created by winds blowing pollution here from coal-fired power plants in Guangzhou. But the growing number of cars in Hong Kong is another cause. The government is not doing enough to control this.

Air pollution is particularly bad in areas like Central and Mong Kok. The World Health Organisation says Central has one of the world's highest levels of air pollution. The government has an obligation to cut Hong Kong's air pollution. It should start by reducing the number of cars. To do this, it could increase registration fees, introduce environmentally-friendly vehicles, or use non-polluting fuels. It must do something before it is too late.

Janet Ching Hoi-man, Pooi To Middle School

Government should monitor charities

We have recently learned of a lot of loopholes in the regulations regarding charitable organisations, and it is time to change this.

According to the law, charitable organisations can enjoy tax exemption on donations, but some lawless people may abuse this exemption and use donated money for other, non-charitable projects. This is not only illegal; it damages the image of charity in Hong Kong. Also the government loses money.

There are several areas where the government could tighten rules. Firstly, registration of charities is too simple and casual. Second, some charities do not have concrete targets or specified target groups. Finally, there are no laws or government departments to regulate the use of donations, and charities are not asked to say how they will use the money they collect.

The government should legislate to regulate the financial transparency of charitable organisations to protect the image of charity in Hong Kong.

Caylus Cheng, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

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