Letters to the Editor, December 31, 2016
Curb repetitive homework assignments
I agree with those people who argue that local schools should be limiting the amount of homework that they give to students.
This has become a subject of heated debate, because many students have to spend too long doing homework, far more than in most countries in the West. This leaves them with less time to revise for exams.
A lot of the time the homework assignments they are given are simply copying and they do these without thinking. These assignments take them a lot of time to finish and do not help them do well in exams and get good academic results.
Also, with so many assignments to complete every evening, they are put under a great deal of pressure with such a heavy workload. This is not good for their mental and physical health. Schools should recognise these problems and reduce the amount of homework they give out.
Also, the content of homework has to change. With so much to cover in class teachers cannot answer all the questions that are asked.
They should therefore put questions to students and ask them to think about them that evening and come up with answers for the next day. This helps them to think about solutions using their own initiative which helps them develop problem-solving skills.
Having less, but better-quality homework would seem to be the best way for schools to go and youngsters will benefit from this change of policy.
Yuen Ka-ki, Yau Yat Chuen
Glad to finally see end of the Obama era
The truth is that US President Barack Obama will try to do whatever he can before he leaves office to save face and push through whatever he can.
He is trying to the through his misguided platform and ultra-liberal perspectives and programmes, but he will not succeed.
As soon as Donald Trump is sworn in as president he will begin to obliterate most of what Obama did in office. What he can’t eliminate, Trump will modify as best as he and his administration can.
It is very clear that Obama never had the best interests of American citizens in his sights. Americans should be very glad to see the end of the Obama era; I know I am.
Peter Stern, Driftwood, Texas, US
Rules needed for beauty treatment
I refer to the report (“Beauty regulation needs facelift, watchdog urges”, December 13).
Hong Kong has no specific legislation governing beauty treatment requiring medical procedures, nor a clear definition of the relevant services.
With many Hong Kong women undergoing this form of beauty treatment, I agree with the Consumer Council that regulations are needed.
These procedures should be performed by a doctor instead of beauticians, who do not have the necessary training. This is safer and will increase customers’ confidence in the sector. There are concerns about possible complications from beauty treatment involving medical procedures being performed by unqualified people.
I also think people need to think twice before submitting to this form of treatment. I believe that inner beauty is more important than external beauty. We all grow older and external beauty fades, while inner beauty endures.
People should think carefully before wasting a lot of money on one of these expensive procedures. But if they are going to go ahead with such treatment they need to know that regulations are in place that will protect them.
Mandy Chan Sze-ki, Yau Yat Chuen
Disneyland not as popular as it used to be
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung has asked the Legislative Council to support the government’s proposal to partially subsidise the planned expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
I do not support the expansion as I do not see how it can really benefit the Hong Kong economy. Of course, Disney’s theme parks are well known all over the world, but I do not think that the Hong Kong theme park is as popular as it was with visitors say 10 years ago and I do not believe a planned expansion would make much of a difference.
Also the project would be expensive and involve HK$5.8 billion of public money. This is money that could be better spent, for example, on building more public housing estates or giving additional subsidies to citizens living in poverty.
Tsang Cho-him, Ngau Tau Kok
Shortage of flats long-term problem
Last month, in its long-term planning report, the government announced that Hong Kong would need one million flats in the next three decades.
I agree that the government has to build more homes to deal with the projected growth in population and households.
Hong Kong has suffered from a housing shortage for decades, starting with the influx of refugees fleeing the communist takeover of the mainland in 1949. That demand for housing and a better standard of living must be met by this and future administrations.
The standard of living of many residents, including middle-income families, has dropped, because the housing shortage has led to escalating property prices.
The rich have become better off and the poor worse off. So it is clear that many more affordable homes must be built in Hong Kong and additional subsidies should be given to low- and middle-income families.
Janice Lee Mei-han, Yau Yat Chuen
Next leader must try to bring unity
As an ordinary citizen I will not be able to vote on the candidates who are put forward in the chief executive election in March. All I can do is express my opinions on the Election Committee which will choose our next leader.
Efforts must be made to increase Hong Kong’s cohesiveness and prevent it becoming a more divided society. In the last few years there has been more social conflict involving different parties. I hope the next chief executive will seek to increase social cohesion.
However, it is difficult for Hongkongers to accept someone selected by an Election Committee with only 1,200 members who wore chosen by a narrow electorate. We should all have a vote so the chief executive can be chosen through universal suffrage.
Kate Leung Ting -ting, Kwai Chung
Cut back on food waste next Christmas
While Christmas is a joyful day, too often we do not think about the environment and next year I hope more of us will try to be more eco-friendly.
At Christmas parties there is a wide selection of food and much of it is wasted. We drink out of paper cups which cannot be recycled.
When organising these parties we should calculate how many people will be coming and how much food we will actually need and try not to order too much.
Food that is left over, if it is still edible, should be taken home by people so it is not wasted. People should bring plastic containers for that purpose.
Next Christmas I hope will all try to be environmentally aware at our festive parties and make sure we keep food waste to a minimum.
Kelly Fung, Tseung Kwan O