Letters to the Editor, October 11, 2017
Top celebrity tutors may not be the answer
I am concerned about the trend of many secondary school students joining tutorial classes.
Senior form students join them because they are under pressure to do well in the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam, but they and their parents should think carefully and ask themselves if the classes will really help.
Some of these celebrity tutors are very expensive and there is no guarantee youngsters will achieve their intended goal of scoring high marks in exams. They spend a lot of time and money with no positive results.
They go to celebrity tutors because of their status, but what they are offering may not be what a particular student needs and is not getting at day school. It may be that a less fashionable tutorial school offers a better alternative.
Some students will attend a celebrity tutorial class and just play with their smartphones, but if they do this, they will not gain any advantages when they come to sit the DSE exam. At the end of the day, they will just have wasted thousands of dollars.
If more teens are joining tutorial classes, then we have to look at teachers in day schools and see if it is necessary to raise standards. Also, tutorial colleges should ban the practice of some teenagers queuing up late at night to sign on to the most popular classes.
Angela Chan, Tiu Keng Leng
Unsure about trains saving a lot of time
The tests of the trains which will run on the high-speed rail link to the mainland are going well (“Hong Kong’s high-speed cross-border trains unveiled to public amid checkpoint concerns”, October 8).
I think these trains will offer greater convenience, cutting travelling time between Hong Kong and Guangdong. This is particularly important for people who do a lot of business on the mainland, because saving time really matters to them and they can travel in greater comfort.
However, I do have some reservations. Passengers can only go to Guangdong and will then have to change trains to get to other mainland destinations. In these circumstances, I do not exactly know how much time they would save compared to trains running now.
Also, the new fast link is likely to attract more mainland visitors and this could cause problems if many of them are parallel traders. These parallel traders bring a lot of problems to Hong Kong citizens, especially at stations close to the border.
I think, overall, the new high-speed rail link will be beneficial for passengers.
However, if there are any potential problems, then the government must look at them and iron them out before the first trains start operating on the line.
Clarins Ng, Hang Hau
Far too many phone users ignore traffic
There have been calls for a ban to be introduced on people using their smartphones when they are crossing the road.
Such a rule would certainly make people think twice, because so many of them cross without looking at traffic, instead choosing to stare at their mobile devices.
People already face fines if they are caught using their mobile phones while they are driving vehicles in Hong Kong, so I can understand the argument that the ban should be extended to pedestrians.
Others argue that it would be better to have more civic education and raise people’s levels of awareness, but I am not sure how effective such education would be.
For example, efforts were made for years to encourage shoppers to bring their own plastic bags, but we did not see a marked reduction in use of these bags until a tax was imposed.
Kaylie Lai, Kwai Chung
Human touch will still matter to hotel guests
Many mainland hotels are introducing voice-activated technologies, with the aim of providing a better service to guests.
Tourists can gain from improved service standards, especially since there can be misunderstandings sometimes between guests and staff.
However, for so many people, having some interaction with, for example, front-desk staff is still important. I would not like to see these smart speakers eventually replacing members of the hotel workforce.
Winnie Hon Wing-lam, Tsuen Wan
Paying online can cause needless delays
I do not share Yoyo Li Tsz Kwan’s enthusiasm for the growth of electronic payments (“E-payments should become more popular”, October 3).
While using the latest technology to make purchases and pay bills can be convenient, I have concerns about security. The more transactions you make online, the more personal information you are providing. You may run a greater risk of your account being hacked. This can lead to people sustaining financial losses.
Also, if someone wants to make quite a few purchases in one day, they may find that a limit is put on the number of transactions they are allowed to make by a bank and this could be very inconvenient. It could lead to delays especially if, say, two e-payment services are failing to communicate with each other online.
These glitches with new technology do still happen and delays can prove costly for customers.
Don Wong, Hang Hau