Pulcheria Chung, 18 St Mary's Canossian College Looking at my school calendar, it seems there are already too many holidays in Hong Kong. We get time off for western festivals like Christmas and Easter, as well as Chinese festivals like Mid-Autumn, Dragon Boat and the Lunar New Year. Instead of asking for more holidays, I think we should be grateful that our summer break lasts two months. If you want a longer summer vacation, the other holiday seasons should be reduced. Do you prefer one long break or shorter, intermittent holidays throughout the year? Shorter holidays in between classes can give us a break from the pressures of school life and it will also be a great time to catch up on things that we missed out during the academic year. I think a longer summer holiday will make us lazy. After that, it will be difficult for us to switch our mind back to our studies. Besides, teachers have to cover their syllabus and prepare their students for term tests and public exams. A shorter school year will put more pressure on teachers. Moreover, we wouldn't be able to properly absorb the knowledge if things are done hastily. Therefore, a longer summer holiday is definitely not a good idea. Oliver Kwan, 17 Delia School of Canada I think the school year should be made more compact and the summer holidays lengthened. Most people would not agree with this suggestion because we already have problems covering the present syllabus. But with modern teaching methods focusing more on personal development than actual facts, I think it would work well. It is true that it would mean a more hectic schedule if the school year was shortened, but it isn't impossible. Every year large numbers of students sign up for accredited summer courses; I myself took a Grade 12 (Form Six) biology course last summer. The courses offer everything that you'd expect to learn during the regular year, the only difference being that they last for just two months. I'm not suggesting that every course should be reduced to two months, but this shows that the curriculum is flexible. Also, shortening the course length would ease the pressure on students. Many schools organise overseas trips during the holidays to enhance their students' all-round development. Such visits help them improve their communication skills and widen their horizons. A longer summer holiday would give schools enough time to arrange such trips. Besides, don't pretend you like a longer holiday!