Beyond control WHENEVER a calamity like an air crash happens, the first thought to come to my mind is incompetence. Although human beings seem powerful and can do anything we want - including altering the natural environment - there are some things beyond our control.

For instance, natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and even diseases, and technical accidents, are out of our control. It seems to me human beings are very insecure and not powerful at all.

MARGOT Share the blame IT IS said academic standards have been declining, and some people think it is because the students are stupid. But I think that is not the main reason.

The proliferation of entertainment, such as television games and karaoke, does affect our concentration, but the low standard among teachers is also a main reason.

The Government should take action to raise the standard of teaching.

JACK CHAN SKH Holy Trinity Church Secondary School Designer dross STUDENTS seem to be increasing brand conscious these days, going for designer names in clothes.

That may not be a good move, since not all brand name clothes are of high quality. Some will tear after washing a few times.

LUCAS LEE SZE-CHUNG Raimondi College Seeking affection MANY young people are dating because they are seeking the love and care they may not be getting from their parents.

Dating is all right, but students should think twice before ''falling in love''. Loving someone involves more than emotions, and we must gain confidence and maturity before thinking of love.

MEI Three-way attack TRIAD activities have threatened Hongkong students for some time, and it is high time for the schools, the police and the mass media to take prompt action.

Schools should remind students the ''big brothers'' in triads are the villains of our community, and should not be imitated or hero-worshipped.

The police should patrol the areas in which triad activities take place frequently. Many triad members gather near the schools to recruit new people to expand their syndicate. The police should strengthen their presence so gangsters will find it difficult to seek new recruits or bully students.

The mass media must shoulder the responsibility of curbing triad activities. Many films and television programmes glamorise the lifestyle and ''heroic'' behaviour of triad bosses.

These programmes should be prohibited during prime time, and the films listed as category III.

Students should always bear in mind that triads are ruthless. Once you receive their inducement, you have to pay for it. The cost is your valuable life.

JESSICA CHUANG Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School Help less able I AM a secondary six student, and I do not know whether I am lucky or not: the introduction of the new Secondary Six Admission Procedure (SSAP) from 1991 onwards has meant I will certainly be promoted.

But the matriculation course is so intensive I have to work all the time - and yet, I still cannot cope.

The expansion of matriculation education has meant some ''previously-unable'' students now have the chance to further their studies - but the A-Level examination is still difficult. Either we change the students or we change the syllabus.