PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am


Time for changes in our public schools

I agree with lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing - the government must improve Hong Kong's flawed public-school system. Otherwise, this could pose a threat to the city's competitive edge.

As Lau points out, many more local parents would like to send their children to international schools. This is because the local system does not provide the quality of education they demand.

The public school system is a pressure cooker. It is too exam-oriented, and students have to cram to pass exams and gain university places. There's not much room for imagination and creative thinking.

In comparison, international schools teach their students to explore the world and expand their knowledge. They give priority to areas such as improving English proficiency and sports.

The local system could improve in many ways, such as providing more after-class activities and asking students to do less homework. Local public schools can also take part in exchange programmes with international schools. This will give public school students a chance to brush up their English skills.

It's time to create a better learning environment for the next generation.

Ian Lai

Ditch maths and learn to cook

We have maths lessons nearly every day. We learn differentiation and algebra. But do we ever use them in daily life?

I know maths is important, but what we learned in primary school - addition, subtraction and multiplication - is enough. Why do we need to learn the complicated stuff?

People say studying maths can help us learn to think and work out solutions in a quicker way.

However, this is not the only way to strengthen our skills. The Education Bureau emphasises the need for critical thinking, which is also part of the new liberal studies subject. Plus we study many other subjects which demand good analytical skills.

Why can't schools teach us what we can apply in daily life? For example, we only have one home economics lesson per week. This is not enough to teach us all we need to know about how to cook and how to run a household.

We may have excellent maths results, but if we can't take care of ourselves we won't be healthy, because we will be living on cup noodles.

Fung Sau-wai, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Boycott would teach scalpers a lesson

The competition for tickets to Lady Gaga's Hong Kong concerts started early and even all the exclusive 6,000 tickets for American Express card holders sold out in just three hours. Gaga's fans have been let down - not because of the limited tickets, but because of scalpers.

It seems scalpers are around for every concert. They buy up loads of tickets and fans are forced to pay way over the original price, if they can afford to. Poorer fans lose out.

I think the scalpers are immoral and wicked. They deprive fans of the chance to see their favourite singers, simply to make a profit. The only way to tackle this evil is to refuse to buy tickets from scalpers. Once they realise they are unable to earn money, this problem will eventually vanish.

Tracy Chiu, SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School

Tragedy should not put us off big events

The death of a young marathon runner was a tragedy and warns us to be careful when doing sports. We should be aware that even though participants are well-prepared, accidents may still happen.

But it is good to see that the Standard Chartered Marathon has not recorded many serious injuries or deaths over the years.

I think Hong Kong should hold more big events so people can get together and enjoy sports.

Also, organising large-scale events provides corporate giants like the Standard Chartered Bank an opportunity to exercise their social responsibility. This can enhance the bonding between enterprises and citizens, which will lead to a stable and peaceful society.

With the co-operation of participants and continued support of sponsors, I think these 'mega events' will definitely become a feature of Hong Kong's vibrant lifestyle.

Jaspa Tang, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School