2001 -2002


Younger Students in Jeopardy at school

Sze Lam-lam (7C)

Recently, there has been a startling trend that younger students are being beaten up and bullied by older peers in schools. It seems that bullies are trying to hold sway on school campuses, which has aroused awareness and concern of parents and school authorities.

Younger students or those who are weak or who do not act in accordance with the norm have become the targets of school bullies, who know that these students are easier to succumb to their force. The bullies attempt to justify their action by saying that they are doing something for the sake of group harmony. How ridiculous it is!

Obviously, the increasing incidence of bullying can be greatly attributed to the growth of the size of triad gangs in schools. The triads are the black sheep of our society, aiming at destroying law and order. They usually extort money from the younger students and they call it 'protection money'. They claim that the younger students will be protected from being bullied by others after paying them. Worse still, the students may be threatened by force to join the triad activities. If they refuse to do so, they may be beaten up or subjected to a good deal of harassment, public humiliation and ill-mannered abuse. For instance, some of them are tormented to sing and dance in the school grounds with coloured chalk spread on their faces. In most cases, the tormented students will then have low esteem and lose self-confidence. They will not be keen on any school activities. When they can no longer tolerate the oppression and torture, they may suffer from nervous breakdown. Those who are not brave enough to tell their teachers and parents their plight may resort to suicide.

As teenagers are vulnerable, the majority of them are not mature enough to cope with the problem of bullying. Not only is it an alarming phenomenon in schools, but it also puts our society in jeopardy. It is time for the police, school authorities, parents and social workers to join forces to do something to uproot the problem. To commence with, the school authorities should co-operate with the police in preventing bullying. Some schools are unwilling to report the cases to the police for fear that this will tarnish the reputation of school. However, their attitude towards bullying is absolutely wrong. The bullying activities, especially those involving triad members, should be placed under close police surveillance with a view to stamping them out. Also, the school authorities should impose severe punishment, which can serve as an effective deterrent to would-be bullies.

In addition, schools should educate the students the right attitude: respect for oneself and for others. Parents should devote more time to their children and dissuade them from joining the triads. After all, love is of the utmost importance to children. Both teachers and parents should try to develop friendly and harmonious relations with the younger generation.

Last but not least, there is a need for more social workers, particularly school social workers. Undeniably, the social workers can play a vital role in helping students to solve their problems. They can help students to build up their confidence and develop a positive outlook on life.

It is clear that the problem of bullying in schools cannot be solved overnight. However, with the concerted efforts and co-operation of different parties, I do believe that the problem can be eased within a short period of time.



Eliminating Discrimination against Minority Groups

Sze Lam-lam (7C)

In the past few decades, Hong Kong has been transformed into a cosmopolitan city in Asia. Owing to its economic prosperity, more and more people such as Filipinos, Indians and new immigrants come to Hong Kong, and most of them view Hong Kong as a place to make quick money. A good few local people have an aversion to them. Discrimination against these minority groups in our society is not uncommon.

Generally speaking, many people in Hong Kong look down upon minorities and they regard them as ill-educated and impoverished. In fact, quite a few minorities are employed to do the household chores or unpleasant jobs nobody else wants to take up. Discrimination is blatant in terms of salaries, workloads and promotion opportunities. However, it is unfair to treat them as second-class citizens. All persons should be equal regardless of their sex, race, wealth and health. Besides, it is incontrovertible that these people have contributed much to Hong Kong's economy. To rectify the situation, the government should take the lead in fighting against racial discrimination in our community.

First of all, the government needs to put stronger emphasis on school education. The Education Department can produce more educational programmes and teaching kits to help students develop the right attitude towards minority groups. Teachers should also take the initiative in organizing various activities to educate the students to eliminate race discrimination. These activities should be related to minorities' cultures and the importance of equality, which can increase multicultural understanding among students --- our future citizens.

On top of school education, the government should promote racial harmony among the public. The message can be conveyed in a number of ways. The government has to co-operate with the mass media to produce and broadcast more programmes about the cultural diversity of Hong Kong. As a result, the public can get more exposure to different minority groups in the territory. They may in turn gain an insight into their cultures, including customs, religions, languages and ways of life. What's more, in order to arouse the public's awareness about the importance of racial harmony and equal opportunities, exhibitions, carnivals and seminars should be regularly held.

Apart from public education, legislation is certainly another effective way to protect these minority groups from being discriminated. The government should enact a race discrimination law and impose severe penalties on those who practise discrimination. Tough punishment can act as a deterrent, helping to alleviate the situation.

It is high time we took steps to fight against racial discrimination. In a civilized society, no one should be discriminated. Measures must be taken in no time to promote racial harmony and multicultural understanding. It is manifest that the problem cannot be solved overnight, but I do hope that the situation of discrimination can be greatly improved in the not-too-distant future.


Living Together before Marriage

Poon Wai-sheung (7C)

In the old days, any sexual relationship between two people before marriage was considered to be immoral. However, nowadays, cohabitation is very common in many countries. This global phenomenon has sparked off controversy for years and it is worth our concern. To understand this issue better, we should look into its positive and negative aspects.

Cohabitation no doubt has many advantages in view of its popularity. To begin with, it helps couples understand each other more before marriage. In fact, many people believe that it is a stage of love development and a part of a life-long commitment. It provides more chances for the couples to communicate. Instead of going out on dates occasionally, they can spend longer time being together. Rather than dining out or go to the movies, they can observe each other's daily routines and habits at home. All these help them discover the inner side of each other, which is deemed indispensable when they decide whether they are suitable to get married. In this way, many broken marriages and divorces can be averted.

In addition to gaining a better understanding, cohabitation also benefits the couples if they want to save money. Some lovers live together in an attempt to share their living expenses while some do so in order to save money from registration fees, wedding celebrations, income taxes and so on. They will not get married until they have got sufficient finances. Living together, couples can upgrade their standard of living and this can ensure a smoother marriage in the future.

Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks to cohabitation. First of all, it is a mode of life in which no one is protected under the law. Even if one side is unfaithful to the other, no one will have to bear the legal responsibility. Some may argue that cohabitation is a matter between two, and anyone does so at their own risk. However, sad to say, premarital sex may result in pregnancy that gets a 'third party' involved. There is no denying that it is unfair to the innocent child. What if the couple break up subsequently? Therefore, cohabitation can put the couples as well as their children into an undesirable situation.

Secondly, couples who live together may face grave pressure from their families, friends and even society. Despite the prevalence of cohabitation, it is still unacceptable in the eyes of many people, especially the older generation as it is contrary to the traditional beliefs. Furthermore, it is even regarded as a sin by many religions ranging from Buddhism, Christianity to Catholicism. In this respect, the couples may live under the shadow of isolation. They will get much pressure on them in consequence. If they are unable to cope with it, they will have a lot to suffer.

Frankly speaking, I do not believe that cohabitation is by nature good or bad. It all depends on the couples' attitude. If they treat the relationship seriously with tolerance, respect and concern, cohabitation can pave the way for a happy marriage. If not, what is the difference between cohabitation and promiscuity? Please think twice before you act.



Dreams of Tertiary Education

Chan Ka Chun (7B)

Whenever we speak of tertiary education, what immediately springs to our mind will probably a promising future and a gateway to wealth. This, however, is not the ultimate goal of studying at university. I hope, by receiving tertiary education, I can polish my interpersonal skills and develop a global perspective on things.

It has always been my aspiration to become a teacher or an environmentist of a non-profit-making organization. I have tremendous interest in and desire for making contribution to the environmental and educational sector of Hong Kong. The study of Biology can stimulate my analytical thinking and foster me with effective, intricate skills in solving problems. So I can be a man of high caliber in the fast-pacing world.

I believe I am an optimistic, industrious and diligent person with initiative, self-reliance and self-possession, which is perfectly compatible with my interest. Nevertheless, I have to confess that sometimes I am rather impulsive, especially when being unfairly treated. But I am now trying to improve it.

Being a hardworking and responsible person, I can strike a balance between my studies and extra-curricular activities. My two years' experience as the member of the drama club has made me realize that teamwork is a crucial factor for success. Besides, good temper and patience are indispensable for a good performance. Acting on the stage brings me confidence that I become assertive in many tasks. Having been the committee member of the student union, my well-balanced personality and leadership quality have been developed to the fullest extent. I have been trained to be a responsible, cooperative and mature person. The trust gained from my fellow schoolmates encourages me to speak for the truth and stand firm even in the face of unexpected challenges.

It is my sincere hope that I will be given an opportunity to study Biology at university and I have full confidence in fulfilling the requirements in any of the curriculums on which I intent to enroll.



Wreaking havoc in schools

Tinson Lau (7B)

I want to air my grievance about younger students who are beaten up and bullied by older students in recent years. These abnormal phenomena have aroused public concern while the soaring number of juvenile offenders has brought menace to our society.

Bullying, needless to say, is an unscrupulous and barbaric way to take advantage of feeble people. However, the tendency of bullying is rampant and deteriorating in the territory. Not only in secondary schools but also in primary schools, more and more younger students may have fallen victim to be bullied. Nevertheless, the school authorities haven't taken any concrete and decisive action to crackdown on the bullies.

As a matter of the fact, the number of cases involving violence in and triad infiltration into schools has been increasing. Things are particular bad in new-town schools, for the parents mostly have to work long hours. Gangs controlled by the triad are being used to extort money from other students, burgle houses and sell heroin and other hard drugs. However, the reason of students involved in triad activities is that they think the triad is a powerful group and no one is going to push them around as they have respect from everyone.

Secondly, being lack of proper guidance, students have questionable ideas about right and wrong. They regard violence as an effective solution to deal with any problems. Besides, violent comic books and films imbue them with incorrect value and attitude so that they will be influenced by bad allurements. For instance, some students who brought gas-gun or cutters as weapons fought each other after school. Worst still, an 11-year-old boy was kidnapped and killed. Such a cold-blooded crime is hair-raising. However, what is even more horrifying is that three of the six suspects in the case are minors.

Furthermore, parental affection is also a major factor. Parents love their children. That is true at all times and in all places and parental affection is expressed in a myriad way. What has aroused concern is that, recently, a few parents took their sons or daughters to court and even used violence over their children's squabbles. They overacted and made a mountain out of a molehill. They set a bad example to their children by treating others harshly and being unforgiving and fiery-tempered. Hence, some loving parents do their children harm and set negative examples. Children would inevitably quarrel and even come to blows with others. They will grow up to be narrow-minded people and are unable to get along with others. As a result, their children may be emotionally disturbed.

In my view, to tackle such crucial factors, there are basically three kinds of measures that can be taken: Prevention, Remedy and Education.

To begin with, the government and the school authorities should stop triad infiltration into schools. Such method " one school, one inspector scheme." has been launched before and the idea was well received by schools. Unfortunately, the scheme was just held up for three years for lack of resources. Judging by that, government should put much money on this aspect. By visiting schools regularly and keeping in touch with students, police officers can obtain more information on schoolyard crime. Their frequent presence in school helps deter bad elements and support students whom they bully.

Apart from this, parents ought to be discreet in word and deed. When their children are at odds with their peers, they should tell them how they should treat their friends. Only if they do so can their children learn how to get along with others. Now social problems involve younger people. Everybody knows how important family education is. It is all the more necessary for parents to set good examples. In some cases, many parents lament they have no idea how they should give their children proper guidance. Therefore, the government should not only provide parents with knowledge of looking after their children and support but also consider providing them with counselling services.

Moreover, through the education system reform, the school authorities not only stress on academic aspect, but also organise more extra curricular activities to give their students opportunities to bring their abilities into full play. That may help students with skills and patience.

To conclude, whether the juvenile problems can be eradicated, it hinges on how effective and feasible of the solution is. I hope parents, schools and government will work together to take preventive measures so that students can pursue their studies in " crime-free" environments.



Should Christmas be celebrated in China?

Maynbo Chan (7B)

As China is an international country nowadays, its main cities are places where the East meets the West. As a result, the existence of Christmas celebrations in China becomes a controversial subject that continuously provokes discussion.

As a citizen in a prosperous city, I would heartily hope that Christmas can be celebrated in China. In busy cities, people are under great pressure. Their lives are dull. As Christmas is a festival filled with joy and fun, it brings happiness to both adults and children and lessens their stress. Besides, since people will buy presents to give friends and family members, and go out for a big dinner on the eve of Christmas, economy can be stimulated.

Moreover, many Chinese people have become Christians these days. We should consider the freedom of this group and let them celebrate Christmas. In this big important international country, people should not have bias against other cultures. They should generously accept those foreign cultures existing in China. I believe that the Eastern culture can coexist in harmony with the Western one.

Some people are scared that China will lose its special character of culture gradually with the influence from the foreign countries. However, I am full of confidence that our Chinese culture is firm enough under those cultural impacts. Hong Kong is a good example. Though it is influenced by Western culture, the Chinese festivals are still celebrated grandly.

Maybe some traditional people think that China is the strongest. Why should foreign customs be present in this strong country? I regard that the more different customs a country accepts, the more attractive it will become. Also, other countries will think that Chinese are so kind that they treat everything equally.

Some people state that Christmas is destroying our beautiful environment. If everyone sends a card to his friend, it will lose a thousand trees in the world. Nevertheless, many people would prefer to send an ecard rather than a paper one. Also, many people reuse those Christmas decorations. Therefore, it does not actually affect the environment much.

I believe that Christmas celebration is just a good event for China. We should not give up the wonderful festival because of prejudice against foreign.



Celebrating Christmas in China

Cathy Chan (7B)

Nowadays, Christmas is celebrated with religious services and various forms of merry-making in China. You can see many Christmas trees in many large cities. The department stores display different kinds of charming goods in their show windows and owners employ men dressed as Santa Claus in order to distribute gifts to customers and kids. In these days, everyone is enjoying the festival.

After buying all the necessary things, people begin to arrange their homes beautifully with colorful lamps, Christmas trees and paper stripes. Some people organize a Christmas party at home and some will attend their friends' parties. Perhaps, the children are the happiest, for they receive Christmas gifts and emerge sweet smiles on their faces. For Chinese people, Christmas is a funny festival as they can relax in this festival.

To Christians, Christmas is a holy festival. There is a growing number of Chinese who believe in Christianity. On Christmas Eve, they go to church. Afterwards, some of them form a team, singing hymns in the streets, telling people the good news that the Redeemer was born on that day almost two thousand years ago. Therefore, the religions become their parts of spirit and life. They will be tormented and feel their rights being deprived if the Chinese government forbids them to celebrate the religions.

In order to maintain international status of China, Chinese government has to implement the International Law of Human Right. So, Chinese people have their rights to choose their religion. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, Christmas is an important day for them as Christmas is the day for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

In recent years the economy of China has been growing rapidly. The most important reason is that Chinese people are willing to spend their money buying goods. Christmas celebration is now very popular in many large cities in China. When Christmas is approaching, people begin to select Christmas cards, Christmas trees, colorful lamps, toys and candles to decorate their homes and to send to their friends as gifts. As a result, the economy of China is motivated by the consumption of Chinese people. Therefore, Christmas celebration is not only a happy event for Chinese people, but also can boost the economic development of China.

On the other hand, the Chinese government wants to get a higher international status. They do the utmost to show Chinese citizens have their own human rights, and have a better economy. If you want China to become a prosperous country, Chinese government should do the utmost to learn more foreign customs and knowledge. So, the Chinese government should not adopt the policy of seclusion. China citizens should widen their visions and learn more foreign knowledge.

In my opinion, Christmas should be celebrated in China because it becomes a trend around the world. Not only should we preserve our own traditional culture, but also learn more others. So, Christmas celebration benefits Chinese citizens, boosts economy of China and raise China's international status.


Stop Bullying Now!

Leung Ching Yee (7A)

I have learned that, in some schools, younger students are being beaten up and bullied by older students. That has aroused worry that the number of bullying cases in schools may be on the rise. It does seem a matter of utmost urgency to do something before serious incidents happen.

School bullying is a serious issue that the school, educators and the public cannot ignore. Younger students who are very thin or small are always older student's easy targets of bullying. It is because older students think that they are physically stronger than they are. They are bored of their studies so they usually regard bullying younger students as a kind of entertainment.

Furthermore, some senior students are in connection with the triad gangs. Perhaps they are members of Wo Sing Wo As a matter of fact, the majority members of Wo Sing Wo are students. It is probably that such a triad gang has infiltrated into schools. Senior students become the black sheep since they are under their influence. They are controlled by the triad gangs. In this respect, the older student extorts protection money from the younger students. If the younger students do not obey them, they will beat them up. The problem is serious.

Improper ways of handling the student bullying problem will not be effective. Teachers, parents and polices should join hands to attack the problem at its root. First, some years ago, the police launched a pilot scheme of" one school, one inspector" .It is useful. Police officers can visit schools regularly. That helps deter bad elements from the upper form and support the younger students whom they bully. However, this scheme failed to carry on because of the lack of resources. I suggest that the government should implement the scheme again so as to meet the need of schools.

Secondly, teachers should pay more attention to the student bullying problem. If younger students fall victim to the older students' bullying, teachers should give the victims proper guidance and punish the older students, and they should not solve the problem by themselves. In other words, teachers play a crucial role to settle the student bullying problem.

Finally, parental care is the most important element to reduce the number of bullying cases. However, the proportion of single families is increasing. They lack sufficient parental care. They are exposed to more and more allurement in our society, As a result, they get involved in triad activities. They beat up and bully younger students as they force younger students to give them protection money. Therefore, single mothers and fathers have to spend much time to talk with their children and give them proper guidance.

To sum up, the school bullying problem is serious. It is unhealthy for students to grow up in such an environment. I hope teachers, police and parents will work together to tackle the problem.


Living together before Marriage

Tang Tsui Man (7A)

Nowadays, it is very common for couples to live together before they decide to get married. Some say that there are advantages for the young couplesto live together before they decide to get married. Others say that living together is unacceptable and it destructs the Chinese traditional custom. So there are different opinions about this issue and we can divide these opinions into two groups.

Firstly, some people believe that it is normal for young couples to live together before they decide to get married. They think that the young couples can get to know each other better and see if they are really suitable for each other. For example, different people have their own bad habits. The young couples do not know each other's bad habits if they only meet in romantic places. They may not accept the bad habitsof each other.

If they do not live together before getting married, this problem will cause conflicts between the couples easily. People also think that living together can teach the young couples what patience is. It is because if they really love each other, they should endure the bad habits of each other. So living together is just like a test for the young couples.

Besides, most of the young couples have higher educational level. Most of them are aggressive to set up their own business. They usually spend much more time on working. Then, the young couples do not have time to go out for dating. If they live together, it can increase the chances for them to stay with each other.

And some people think that living together is very convenient. It is because they do not need to spend time and money to prepare the wedding ceremony. Moreover, if they do not love each other anymore, they just need to move out from their house and do not need to divorce. So people believe that living together is very useful to save time and money, and very convenient.

Another group has a different view. They believe that living together cannot improve the relationship between the young couples. It may increase the conflicts between the young couples. Some people are still conservative. They think that the traditional moral practice is not observed by the couples who live together. And some people still believe that getting married is sacrosanct. It cannot be replaced by living together . If the young couples decide to get married, it means that they make a serious promise to take care of each other for a lifetime. So they think that living together is unacceptable.

These two groups all have points but it will be necessary for them to examine the statistical evidence available before drawing any meaningful conclusions. But in my opinion, living together is better than getting married. It is because getting married is a great promise and responsibility. I think that most of the young couples cannot afford this. And living together can give them a chance to learn what marriage is.


Christmas Celebrations in China

Yeung Kin Sun (7A)

In my opinion, Christmas should be celebrated in China because we can learn more about a foreign custom. Besides, China should be given more freedom to her people as what the other western powers do. Although some conservatives thought that Chinese could not forget the humiliating defeat in the Qing dynasty, but that had been all over and had passed. Therefore, Christmas should be celebrated in China.

First of all, Chinese can learn more about the foreign culture through the celebration of foreign festivals. As Christmas is one of the foreign festivals, we can learn more about the foreign culture when we celebrate Christmas. Moreover, we can make use of the superior aspect of the western culture to supplement the deficit of the Chinese one. Thus, the celebration of Christmas is necessary.

Then, China should be given more freedom to her people as what the other western powers do. Meanwhile, China's adoption of the Open Door Policy should not be just in the trade aspect, but also in other aspects such as culture and religion. If China wants to become a strong state as the other western powers do, she should learn more from them. For example, people in the foreign countries enjoy a lot of freedom such as the freedom of religion. Christmas can't be exempted. As China is open to the other countries for trade, western culture will also be carried into China together with the capital. The celebration of foreign festivals becomes inevitable. Therefore, the celebration of Christmas should not be banned.

Some conservatives may think that Chinese should not bear the responsibility of the humiliating defeat by the western powers during the Qing regime. China needed to pay a large sum of indemnity to the powers. Therefore, they think that Christmas should not be celebrated in China as it is a western festival. But I think that it is wrong. Because it is only a history of our ancestors, we should not keep it in our mind in order to make the young Chinese lose a way to communicate with the foreigners. The new generation of Chinese should learn what is racial harmony. If we still don't put this idea aside, it will affect international cooperation.

Because of these reasons, Christmas should be celebrated in China because we can learn the foreign culture from it. And China should give more freedom to her people in order to achieve civilization. Therefore, it is necessary for the Chinese to celebrate Christmas.

2000 -2001

A devil---credit card

Li Yin Sheung, Heidi (7A)

In the past, shells were used for transactions. Today, paper money and coins are used instead of shells. With the rapid development of technology, a substitute called credit card has emerged into our daily lives. People can use future money through a credit card. The present consumption can be increased instantly. It can be called a magical invention. Yet, people are not aware of its drawbacks. I think it is necessary to discuss it.

The credit card is the most annoying, useless and materialistic device ever invented.

To start with, it is annoying. Nowadays, a gift such as an umbrella is given to applicants. Many people are attracted and then they apply for it. However, people may not need to get the credit card. The only reason is that they want to get the gift. A gift is also given in another situation. Some coints can be got in using the credit card. Then, people can exchange for a gift by the coints accumulated. In fact, people do not want to use future money” but for the sake of a small piece of gift. This makes people feel annoyed.

Moreover, it is useless. It seems that people can make a purchase everywhere only with a credit card. They can buy goods if they desire to. In reality, it is not true.

The areas where a credit card can be used are confined. It is only allowed to use in some big shops, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. If we want to buy something in other places, such as a small boutique and a convenient store, a credit card is not allowed to use. Therefore, some “paper money” or coins have to be brought along with us. The credit card is not absolutely useful in every aspect of our daily lives.

The last but the most important drawback is that a credit card turns you to be materialistic.

Since future money can be used for present consumption, you may buy many goods without thinking carefully. Usually, people buy goods with brand names. The price of them is high. It is easy for consumers to have a debt.

In recent years, university students have a chance to apply for a credit card. Most of them do not plan carefully on how to spend their “future money”. Without a well-planned money management, it is easy for them to be in debt. It is difficult for them to return the money back to banks. In some cases, some university students even committed suicide to escape the problem. A credit card can end your life.

From the above, we can see that a credit card is not a magical invention. It is the most annoying, useless and materialistic device. Do you think so?


It's hard not to misuse credit cards

Yim Wai Lam (7C)

With the development of information technology, electronic-commercial is a must for any country on the road to success. The United States is a good example. Hong Kong too is moving towards a cashless society where almost all sorts of transactions will be done by credit cards.

It may appear that you are getting an expensive gift for a nominal annual fee, which the banks may not charge during the first year as an incentive.

But do we really benefit from these credit cards? Of course NOT!

It is not an easy task to persuade anyone to buy something even the price is low enough, but credit card can do so. It is an evil to steal your money and to make you forget about financial problems, for one can buy anything without paying cash. This attitude always makes us buy more and more things without necessity.

So, we needlessly spend on things ignoring the fact that at the end of the month a huge amount of money has to be paid back. If you fail to pay, banks will charge interest.

Other than that, I can't see any points that credit card is useful. So, why don't we pay cash instead of using this small card? Just give the sales the amount of money that it should be, then all these complex processes and dangers can be omitted, why not? Then all these problems can be avoided. No doubt, credit cards provide banks another way to earn more. But for customers, it means losing more money.



Should students have romantic relationships?

Hung Kok Fai (7B)

Whether students should have romantic relationships is a controversial issue. Someone says that schoolwork is so important that romantic relationships between boys and girls should wait until after secondary school. However, others argue that a healthy romantic relationship between two youngsters can be of great benefit to both of them. Generally speaking, students having romantic relationships do have both advantages and disadvantages to them.

 To begin with, some people believe that romantic relationship between students should not be allowed because the students have to concentrate on their academic studies. Undoubtedly, schoolwork is very significant to youngsters. The youngsters should do schoolwork well in order to obtain a good qualification and thus they can make a good fortune. If teenagers have romantic relationships, they have to waste most of their time and money on pursuing romance. As a result, they may spend less time on studies or even lag behind their schoolwork eventually.

Nonetheless, another group of people have a different view. They believe that if students are maintaining a healthy romantic relationship, it may generate benefits to both of them. As a matter of fact, the pressure of studies and examinations indeed places a great load on young people as they grow up and develop. If a couple of students are having a healthy romantic relationship, it not only helps them relieve their study stress, but also makes them encourage each other to study.

In my view, students should not have romantic relationships until after form seven. In order to have good prospects, students have to struggle on their studies. It is a waste of time for dating instead of studying. For one thing, the majority of youngsters lack self-control. They may indulge in pursuing romance and leave behind their studies. Thus a healthy romantic relationship is difficult to develop among teenagers. To conclude, having romantic relationships among youngsters does more harm than good to them. I strongly oppose students to have romantic relationships until after Form seven.



ICQ abuse

Name: Wong Tak Kin, Ken (7A)

Nowadays, information technology plays a dominant role in our society. Mobile phone and the Internet become very popular and common in every class of people in Hong Kong, no matter they are businessmen or students. And the ICQ software is now a common way to make new friends through the Internet because there is a computer in almost every home. ICQ, however, is not so good to us as there is some potential harm to us.

ICQ stands for "I seek you" and it provides a chance for every Internet user to look for an unknown person to make friends with. Nevertheless, many Internet fans submit their personal information dishonestly. Some of them claim that they are teachers while the others boast that they are lawyers. Moreover, they give the wrong gender as well as age to the others. There is only one reason for them to do so- they want to establish an easily accepted image in order to lower their difficulty in making friends with others. This phenomenon becomes a new trend among ICQ users. It is a danger for youngsters who are not mature enough, as they trust the lying people easily. Some of the ICQ users aim to cheat the immature girls for their money or rape them and there have been some cases before. In these cases, the unlucky girls were hurt mentally, physically as well as financially.

Besides, there is an opportunity that ICQ users become computer addicts. In a recent survey, there are some surprising numbers. The report stated that over 40% of students spent more than four hours playing ICQ every day. A student goes to school for about seven hours a day, and then spends eight hours on sleeping, one hour for dining, etc. They have no time to study their schoolwork.

Moreover, when they are chatting with their so-called friends”, they talk about nothing but the news about movie stars, like the breaking up of Hung Chiu Fung and Po Wing Kum or Leon Lai and his new girlfriend, and some meaningless topics, like the teachers in school are not good, which, are all trivial.

Another point is that they spend most of the time on their own. Many ICQ users seem to live in the imaginary world. The friends they know come from the other corner of the Internet and even they have not seen the face of their friends! The ICQ fans are used to telling lies. When they come to the real world, they treat their real friends like the way they adopt on the Internet. This will discourage the social skills of young people.

 In addition, the language used in the ICQ is different from the traditional English. They make some short forms for words or phrases like 3 stand for "free", "oic" stand for "Oh! I see.", etc. These symbols may lower the language standard. Also, there are many grammatical mistakes.

Generally speaking, the invention of ICQ provides a new means of communication. With the help of it, we can have a discussion with others in a convenient way. We can also get some useful information from people we do not know. The aim of ICQ is great but actually, the fact is contrary to the aim. I hope all the students can use this software well and help them with their studies.


Is voluntary work a waste of time?

Tsang Kin Tat (7A)

Recently, there is a strong debate about whether Form 6 and 7 students should do some kind of voluntary work. It is not uncommon to hear that some students think that voluntary work is a waste of time and effort. However, there are also some opposite views about it. So, doing voluntary work is really a controversial issue which is worth discussing.

Is voluntary work really disgusting? Some students claim ‘Yes’ because voluntary work not only is time-consuming, but it also wastes our effort. First, when students participate in the voluntary work, they will have to spend much time and effort in preparing it since some kind of voluntary work like childcare requires their sincere attitude and long-time preparation. For example, some volunteers have to buy many daily necessities before they go to the nursery center. Therefore, they have to give up some study time to prepare for their work well.

Second, as the majority of Form 6 students have already joined many extra-curricular activities like Student Union and other study clubs, they do not have sufficient time to study hard if they devote to the voluntary work whole-heartedly.

So, what are the results if the Form 6 and 7 students do not have enough time to work hard? The results are serious and disastrous. They can neither be so absorbed during the lesson, nor can do their school work well. All these may adversely affect their examination results. Since the public examination (i.e. the A-level Examinations) is essential to their future work and study, the poor exam result will frustrate them as well as their families.

In other words, some students believe that academic work is more important than the voluntary work. They consider that the voluntary work is annoying, disgusting and useless, thus they refuse to do any kind of voluntary work. They take it for granted.

The other students, however, do not share the above views. They claim that voluntary work is meaningful on the grounds that it may not only be helping others, but also the volunteers themselves as well.

Is voluntary work really useful? They claim yes because they contribute much to our community through their sincere effort. First, they can help people who are in hot water. For example, many elderly people are socially isolated because they are often considered as a heavy socio-economic burden. They have no friends and really need the help of society. As the students can help them with enthusiasm, they can make the elderly live happily.

Secondly, the students can also learn some social skills. For example, they can learn how to communicate with the elderly, how to look after them properly, etc. These social skills are also essential to their future work. Thus, they can develop these skills well. In their eyes, it is more useful to them than only enjoying their honeymoon during Form 6.

Thirdly, it is their interest to do voluntary work. So, they do not think it is meaningless to take part in the work that they are interested in. In short, these students consider that the voluntary work is not a waste of time.

In my opinion, voluntary work is not a waste of time. Undeniably, the students have to spend much time preparing their voluntary work. It is, however, useful to them because they can learn some social skills, other than academic work only. They can learn how to handle problems and communicate with others. Maybe you may think that voluntary work is not related to the academic work, but some useful skills, other than academic skills, should be learned. Thus, I believe that voluntary work is meaningful rather than meaningless.


Name: Li Sau Ting

Class: 7B

Date: September 2000

Premature romance will do more harm than good to students

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about revolving around the plight of early dating among teenage boys and girls in Hong Kong. Whereas school teachers, social workers and parents have been very anxious about their children that they think teenagers should put more effort on their schoolwork, while teenagers seem to have been ignored. Teenagers claim that romantic relationship can be of great benefits of both of them. It seems that the stances of both are reasonable; therefore, it is not easy to make a decision.

To begin with, students grow up and develop with the additional pressure of studies and examinations, they want someone who really cares about them, loves them and encourages them. It seems that parents do not know the situation of their studies. Therefore, students think that they particularly need the support of different sex students.

Doubtless to say, healthy romantic relationship is good, because the couple can sustain each other. It gives the impression that it is worth doing. However, none of us can ensure each couple can maintain the healthy romantic relationship without disturbing the academic results. On the other hand, parents and teachers think that students will totally concentrate on their lovers and as a result, they will ignore their studies.

Personally, I believe students should spend more time on their studies first because early romance is nothing but a waste of time and money. Also, they can spend their spare time on some meaningful activities such as music and sports rather than immature, early romantic relationships. Actually, if the couple really loves each other, they should concentrate on their studies for their lovers' future. As this is the only way to show their care and can pave the way for their near future.

Furthermore, students may think having romantic relationship is a kind of sophistication. However, it is controversial to say that do students really know the actual meaning of love? Or love is just like what they have done, holding hands, tickling, hugging and even kissing openly in the public places? After a while, this somewhat so called love and excitement, premature romance often ends up with guilty feelings and finally sometimes the most serious problem is student suicides due to the end of their romantic relationship with their lovers. This kind of shocking news always appears on the newspaper. Therefore, in short, I think students’ romance is dangerous.

To conclude, although students’ romance is dangerous, I still agree that students can have romantic relationship if they can strike a balance between the two aspects of school results and love. However, if students do not have the will, I sincerely advise them not to have romantic relationships and they should first of all focus on their studies first. Since the Advanced Level Examination Result is the key to go to university, we cannot lose in this demanding examination because of the romantic relationship.


Name: Wong Ka Wai

Class: F.7C

Date : September 2000

Stressed? Try voluntary work

Hong Kong students are stressed out compared to their counterparts in other countries. And one of the best ways to take the pressure off is by joining a voluntary organization to help the needy.

Voluntary work not only helps others, but helps the volunteers, too.

But, for some, voluntary work is a waste of time. They say there are adequate welfare services provided for the needy.

But voluntary work is another way to help the destitute.

Through co-operation among other volunteers, students learn how to strive towards an achievable goal together.

Helpers can learn what the people really think and need just by talking and relating to them, helping to reinforce an individual’s personality and drive.

Volunteers can grow by learning how to deal with different kinds of people, something which is not taught during school hours.

But others say being a volunteer is a waste of time; besides they have tons of homework to do.

It is practically impossible to free time for the needy when schoolwork already exerts so much pressure on them.

They prefer going to the cinema or watching TV rather than getting involved.

Though helping others can be beneficial, they choose other forms of entertainment to relieve pressure.

This is silly. Having some experience in voluntary work, I can testify that being a volunteer is a most meaningful form of activity.

People involved in voluntary work can learn what real problems are and, in doing so, gain a perspective about their own surroundings. What problems do Hong Kong people face?

You will find out you need not watch the news if you participate in voluntary work.

People may justly claim that studying eats up a lot of time and they don't have the time to join voluntary organization. But how about dating and meeting their friends?

If they can take time from their work to be with friends, why can't they spend time helping others?

Taking part in voluntary work can benefit both parties and volunteers will understand more about how to deal with the problems faced with others.

So why not spend more time on a worthwhile lesson outside school?



Is it an opt remark to describe Hong Kong people as ugly, rude, inconsiderate and selfish?

Li Sau Ting (7B)

Hong Kong people are rude, inconsiderate and selfish. Have you ever discovered that people fight for a seat in a bus or in an MTR train? Also, people are self-centred. They dump rubbish, create noise and do anything else to get up people's nerves. It seems there are inexhaustible reasons to prove that Hong Kong people are ugly”. If a survey were done on this issue, many people would agree without hesitation.

It is rude that people talk loudly in the public areas in Hong Kong. It is a common phenomenon in Chinese society. Chinese think they should speak loudly to attract the other's concentration in order to express their feelings. However, it is totally wrong. Talking loudly in public areas is a rude behavior, also this will disturb others. That is why foreigners describe Hong Kong people as rude.

Furthermore, Hong Kong people are not only rude but also inconsiderate. Hong Kong people always want to take advantage of others. For example, when the doors of an MTR train are opened, a large number of people rush into the train and fight for a seat. Sometimes, people will turn a blind eye to the people who really need a seat. Also, they will jump the queue so as to reduce their time consumed by this boring thing. To name but a few, they will also litter and spit in public areas no matter how many times the government have educated them. There are still litterbugs! It is irresponsible for the people to ignore others’ needs.

Moreover, many people are self-centred and they become more and more selfish. As the crime rate in Hong Kong rises, people are more aware of this cunning world. They are cautious and they do not trust each other. Therefore, they become self-centred. People who are self-centred will ignore others’ feelings. For example, they will smoke in the non-smoking areas and speak foul languages. What's more? They will create noise at midnight without concerning others. Because of our selfishness, money becomes the most important thing. In addition, it is ridiculous that some literates think that having baby is a waste of money. In this world, none of the people can take all advantages! Then, why did Hong Kong people still want to get benefits from others?

To conclude, it is extravagant to say Hong Kong people are kind because they always donate money to the charity. The reality is that Hong Kong people are ugly’, they are rude, inconsiderate and selfish. It is not at all overstating to say that Hong Kong people's personality has degraded because of our ugliness.



Should Form 7 graduates work full time for one year before entering university?

Hung Kok Fai (7B)

In Europe and North America, it is quite common for students to work full time for one year before entering university. Should the Form 7 graduates in Hong Kong follow such practice? Generally speaking, forcing the Form 7 graduates in Hong Kong to work full time for one year before they enter university indeed have both advantages and disadvantages.

To begin with, if the Form 7 graduates in Hong Kong work full time for one year before entering university. They can earn some money to pay a part of the expensive university school fees. Therefore, they can relieve the financial burden of their parents.

Moreover, when these students graduate from the university, they can find jobs easier than the normal university graduates as they have one-year working experience. It is because the employers will always be pleasant to recruit employees who have working experience. Besides, when the Form 7 graduates go to work for a year, they may realize that working is tougher than studying. Thus, they may treasure their studying moment and work hard in the university.

However, forcing the Form 7 students to work for one year before entering university has some significant disadvantages. For one thing, the unemployment rate in Hong Kong is quite high, so it is difficult for the Form 7 graduates to get a job.

If they are forced to find a job after they have graduated from secondary school, it will increase the competition among Hong Kong people to get jobs. In other words, it will worsen the unemployment problem in Hong Kong. In addition, if the high school graduates go to work for a year before entering university, they will find it difficult to carry on learning in university. It is because they might forget part of the knowledge which they learned from high school.

In my opinion, the education system of the European and the North American is not suitable for Hong Kong. The main reason is the unemployment problem in Hong Kong will become more serious if Hong Kong chooses this system. To conclude, if the Hong Kong Government adopts this education system, it will only bring more harm than good to the Hong Kong high school graduates.