Wednesday, 22 April 2015

[Straits Times] Youth Forum

Fund raising must not be a burden
IF A school is holding a carnival for the purpose of raising funds, there should be no pressure on the students
at all ("Carnival tickets: Students feel sales 'pressure' "; April 11).
Holding a carnival is a way of making fund raising more enjoyable. Pressurising students to raise a certain amount of money takes the fun out of it.
Students should not feel forced to raise as much money as their peers, to the extent that they have to use their own savings or allowances.
We should not assume that students who do not raise as much money do not care as much about the fund raising.
Some students may not be as wealthy as others, or they may have smaller families, making it challenging for them to raise large amounts of money.
Teachers should also ensure that fund raising is not a burden on students. For example, instead of singling out students who raise large sums of money, and making others feel bad, they should praise the whole class for its efforts.
Nicole Chan Shi Qi, 14, Secondary 2 student

Electric vehicles need more support
THE Government recently hiked petrol duties as part of a push to reduce our carbon footprint and better our environment ("Petrol duty up but there's a one-year road tax rebate"; Feb 24).
Besides taxes, the Government should also provide more subsidies and support for electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are still in their infancy. But the scale and complexity of providing sufficient charging points for such vehicles often hinders their adoption in many countries. Singapore's small size would make this a simpler task, and make the adoption of electric vehicles much more realistic.
Despite taxes and levies, it is hard for many to give up the comfort of private transport.
The best way to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on our roads would be to provide greater support and subsidies for electric vehicles.
Terence Tan, 17, JC 2 student

Responsibility required online
I AM concerned about how students use social media.
Some parents say that there is nothing private once you hit the "Enter" button.
This is true. Responsible and appropriate use of social media is of the utmost importance.
A number of students post information online without much consideration, and are undaunted by how quickly it can spread.
Personal information, such as home address and phone number, should not be posted online, even if the account is set as "private".
Appropriate use of social media is also extremely important. Users have to be mindful of messages that may upset others or become an act of cyber-bullying. Criticism online can be as harmful as saying it face to face.
Parents play a part in guiding their children.
I have seen children as young as nine with their own social media accounts. Some parents help run their accounts and hand these accounts to the children when they are older.
Although parents should not be too strict, such that their children feel they do not have privacy, they should have occasional chats with their children to teach them how to make use of social media. It can be a useful tool for communication, but only when students are able to act responsibly.
Wong Ying Yee, 14, Secondary 2 student

Don't let traditions become history
IN THIS technological age, it is sad that teenagers no longer appreciate the rich culture and traditions we have in Singapore.
They prefer to tap away at their smartphones and other electronic devices than take a look at the traditions of the past or play traditional games, like "capteh" and "five stones".
If this continues, who will take over the businesses of the traditional game makers? Will such traditions disappear from our lives forever?
Culture and traditions are worth keeping, as they give us our own unique identity. Leaving our identity behind in a rapidly changing world would be a great loss.
Schools play major roles in encouraging teens to keep these cultures and traditions going. More activities can be held to promote our rich traditions, such as giving teenagers hands-on experience of the various traditional games, and holding talks on the various cultures in Singapore.
I hope more of the younger generation will be made aware of the importance of keeping our culture and traditions, so that they will not be lost to history.
Jennessa New Yuxin, 14, Secondary 2 student

If you are 21 or below and want to air your opinion, e-mail your letter to with the header "Youth Forum". Do include your age, school level and contact details.