Letters to the Editor, September 06, 2016
Students can learn to deal with stress
Students at local schools began the school year last Thursday. It was a fresh start with new goals and new hopes for these youngsters.
Last year, there were a number of suicides with these young people losing hope and this was often connected to their studies. I hope we will not see a repeat of these tragedies.
I attend a secondary school, so I understand the pressure students face as they aim to do their best in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam.
They will experience stress for a variety of reasons, including peer pressure and heavy workload, which leaves them feeling tired a lot. However, they must tell themselves that it is worth the effort – no pain, no gain.
I would also advise young people, despite their studies, not to lose sight of the importance of family. They need to talk with their parents, keep the lines of communication open.
Some teens might find their mum and dad quite annoying, but they should remember that their parents care about them.
It would be a shame as an adult to look back and regret that you did not spend enough time with your family.
Angela Siu Wing-yan, Tai Wai
Why corporal punishment does not work
There are still some people who support the use of corporal punishment in schools, but I do not think it can be justified in this day and age.
Supporters of the use (and reintroduction, where it is banned) of corporal punishment in schools would say that it can act as a deterrent. However, that is no justification for having this form of punishment, given the physical and psychological harm it can do to young people. This has been proved by a number of studies.
I think it would lead to greater antisocial behaviour within a school and it would also create a hostile environment that is definitely not conducive to learning.
It is therefore counterproductive and simply is not necessary, and there are other effective options to create an atmosphere that encourages learning.
A school that allows corporal punishment will inevitably experience a worsening of student-teacher relationships.
Students who are punished in this way will feel shame and low self-esteem.
I would not like to see it practised in any schools in Hong Kong.
Anna Hui, Tseung Kwan O
Measures at home will curb mosquitoes
Zika virus outbreaks in some countries in the region have highlighted the need for us all to be vigilant.
It is worth citizens reminding themselves of the simple precautions they can take to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.
We can take simple measures at home like getting rid of any standing water, for example, at the bottom of flower pots. Regular cleaning can keep mosquitoes away.
In areas where mosquitoes are a problem, insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing can help.
The government should also broadcast more adverts explaining the preventive measures that we can all take and urging people to be vigilant.
Tiffany Wong, Sham Shui Po
Government should extend travel alert
The Zika virus has been in the news again because of the sharp increase of cases in the region, most recently in Singapore.
I back the Hong Kong government’s decision to issue an amber travel alert for Singapore. It should apply to all Zika-affected areas.
While the effects for most people who are infected are mild, there is of course the risk to pregnant women and their unborn children.
While Hong Kong has not been badly affected, people still need to be cautious.
The government regularly sprays those areas where mosquitoes can breed near residential areas and places of work, and it must where necessary do more of this.
Hongkongers should use insect repellent when necessary and wear long-sleeve shirts and also trousers so they are not bitten.
Jojo Wong Hoi-ching, Tseung Kwan O
Minorities are not getting the help they need
Many people from ethnic minorities are struggle to fit into society and are often victims of discrimination.
Often, they have only limited job opportunities and may not get the chance in school to get to the necessary level of proficiency in Chinese and English.
They see Hong Kong as their home and feel the government should be doing more to help them integrate, such as offering them additional training so they can have better career opportunities, earn more and enjoy a higher standard of living.
The government must introduce more policies aimed at helping ethnic minorities.
It must make sure that the language courses in schools are geared to meet the needs of these minorities so that they can enjoy a level playing field when they are trying to succeed in their chosen careers, especially with regard to Chinese.
Communication problems do make it more difficult for many of these citizens to feel an integral part of society in Hong Kong.
I hope that with more government support, this can change and that as they become more proficient in the Chinese language, they will fit into society more easily and therefore feel less isolated.
Coco So, Tseung Kwan O
We can all do our bit to aid the homeless
I refer to the report, “Meet the Vietnamese expats making a difference to Hong Kong’s homeless” (September 3).。
The city has a lot of homeless people. This is hardly surprising, given the high rents here. In such a densely-populated city, these people find it difficult to sleep during the hot nights.
I admire the people who are helping them, for example with low-technology cooling systems.
I hope more citizens can lend a hand, even in a small way, such as a donation, to help street sleepers.
Chole Chan, Yau Tong
Regular regime of exercise is so important
One of the highlights of the Mid-Autumn Festival is to gather with the family and enjoy some delicious mooncakes.
However, we seldom think about the ingredients and the fact that many brands contain a lot of sugar (“8 sugar cubes’ worth of sweetener in mooncake”, September 2).
Other traditional festivals have food which can also be fattening. As they are annual events, this should not be a problem as long as people try to get more exercise. They can work off the extra calories and lower the risk of obesity and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Getting into the habit of exercising is also good for your mental health as it can help to relieve stress. I wish that more Hongkongers would make exercise a regular part of their lives.
Mary Ko Ching-nga, Tseung Kwan O