Girls-only schools have benefits
I am writing in response to a letter 'School without boys is a sadder place' (Young Post, March 27).
There is no doubt that studying in a co-educational school helps improve students' social skills. But it doesn't mean a girls' school is a sadder place. Students at co-ed schools are also easily distracted by gossip.
At girls-only schools, students and teachers feel more comfortable talking about anything, even sensitive topics. Wider discussions lead to more open minds.
Research has found that boys and girls are good at different subjects. For instance, as teens boys are usually better at maths. Girls lose interest easily in subjects they don't care about. But at a girls' school, teachers can focus on helping girls excel in these subjects.
Moreover, many 'superwomen' come from girls' schools, such as Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang. This proves these schools help enhance girls' confidence.
Veronica Leung Sze-kan, Pooi To Middle School
Stricter laws needed to protect elderly
Cases of mistreatment involving the elderly increased 15 per cent last year. And this was described as just the 'tip of the iceberg'.
Why is the number of such cases increasing? Why can't our senior citizens get some respect? I think it is high time a law is introduced against elderly abuse.
First, everybody deserves respect, no matter what age they are. These people have contributed a lot to society and deserve something in return. We should treat them the way we want to be treated when we are old.
Second, the quality of services for the elderly is dwindling. When we send senior citizens to nursing homes, we want them to get the best care. But there is little regulation over the homes. Some caretakers are not patient or respectful.
Abuse is also more likely to happen because our values are declining. Hong Kong children - who are badly spoiled - appear to have little respect for the elderly. Some even shout at their grandparents to get what they want.
Only legislation will eliminate the problem of elderly abuse. I think such a law can help promote a harmonious society and cultivate strong bonds between senior citizens and others.
Bobo Tam Wing-laam, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
Earth Hour a wake-up call
Earth Hour was held on March 31 this year, when cities around the world turned off their lights for 60 minutes. In Hong Kong, even landmarks such as the Tsing Ma Bridge and IFC participated.
This event helped raise eco-awareness and revealed how many people are determined to live low-carbon lifestyles. It was successful in educating people to save energy.
In the past, we didn't think about what happens when we used a lot of electricity. We enjoyed being in air conditioning everywhere we went. We didn't switch off electronic appliances because it was inconvenient to wait for them to start up again. These were not environmentally friendly actions.
As the world's resources become scarce, we face an energy shortage. We should maintain sustainable lifestyles for the sake of future generations. I hope green living becomes more common.
Kelly Lam Wing-sum, Leung Shek Chee College
Media needs to respect privacy
Recently, we heard about two magazines publishing pictures taken secretly of three TVB artists.
The stars were in their own homes and had not given permission for these shots.
The Privacy Commissioner rightly ruled that the two magazines had violated the privacy law and asked them not to publish any more pictures that infringed the privacy of the celebrities.
It was the first time the watchdog had judged a media organisation to have infringed a celebrity's privacy by taking their pictures secretly.
But the publications were not fined. I think this is too lenient and will not act as a deterrent to others.
The city advocates freedom of the press, but celebrities have a right to freedom in their lives, too. Publications do not have the right to infringe on their private lives.
The government needs to find a balance between press freedom and personal privacy.