Hey, World Water Day is tomorrow
Let me introduce World Water Day to you all. Unlike Earth Hour in which we switch off our lights on March 31, World Water Day seems to be less well-known.
The event was started by the United Nations in 1993 and is held on March 22 every year.
It is meant to focus our attention on the sustainable management of water resources. The main event is the 'five-minute shower' - every shower on March 22 should not last more than five minutes.
However, we should do this every day to save water and do something good for our planet.
To encourage citizens to take up the challenge, Green Power - a Hong Kong environmental group - will give away souvenirs. Last week, a charity walk raised money to provide water to needy families on the mainland.
I think this event deserves more attention. World Water Day and Earth Hour are both important. I hope you agree and take action to protect the planet we live in.
Prisca Kwok, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
Judicial shortage needs to be solved
Legislator and lawyer Audrey Eu Yuet-mee says it is inexcusable that the government has not filled vacancies for magistrates.
I strongly agree with her.
The situation isn't good for our magistrates. They dealt with 300,000 cases last year, according to the Judiciary Annual Report. They have to work long hours to handle the heavy workload. This can be very stressful, and lead to health problems.
Employing more magistrates serves a dual purpose. It will ease their workload, and help the public by reducing the waiting time for cases. Last year the average wait, from plea to trial, was 54 days, said the report. That's longer than the expected average wait of 50 days.
The government plans to spend HK$2.7 billion to build a court in West Kowloon. However, it will not be completed until 2015. What's more, it doesn't solve the problem of a shortage of magistrates.
The government should also spend more on training programmes to encourage people to join the legal field.
Chloe Fung Tsz-ying, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
We should take bullying seriously
Bullying is a hot topic among teenagers. Most of us probably think of physical bullying, but teasing classmates is also hurtful.
Have you ever laughed at a classmate's appearance?
Have you and your friends ever ganged up against someone and ignored them? Have you ever spread bad rumours?
Most youngsters think it's OK to do these things, but don't understand the serious consequences. Bullying can make victims feel sad; they might refuse to go to school, or hurt themselves.
Bullying must be stopped. Teachers should not ignore the problem, and parents should talk to their children more. When students tell their parents about bullying, parents should try to find out more, not just say a few words to comfort them. Parents should teach them solutions and share experiences with them.
I would like to encourage victims to stand up and seek help from somebody they know and trust.
Japan's suffering is our pain, too
We recently marked the first anniversary of Japan's '311' earthquake and tsunami. People stood by the sea with their heads bowed, as the tears flowed.
Some superstitious people say Japan's disaster was punishment for invading China during the second world war. But it's not right; please show sympathy for the victims. They are our neighbours, after all.
Many good deeds came out of this tragedy. A young man rescued some elderly people but was killed. Volunteers wiped off mud from dead bodies to give them dignity.
The Japanese may seem tough, but they need our help. They suppress their feelings and think of disasters as a challenge. The best way for them to heal is to talk to others.
Many people who escaped the tsunami have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.
As secondary school students, we can show we care. I know it's hard for us to go to Japan to serve those in need, but I hope my well-wishes will reach them.
Angus Chow Tzs-shing, CNEC Christian College