Criticism over our school

Many current systems in The Chinese University are unfair.

The first one is the 99-credit system. It is really intensive for an undergraduate student to get 99 credits within three years. Since students have to put much effort in studying, they become less interested in extra-curricular activities. Then, campus life becomes less enjoyable. Although students can extend their academic years to five, most of them are unwilling to do so unless it is inevitable.

Another one is the system of course selection. Most of the students cannot take general education or elective courses which really interests them. They seem to be just playing a meaningless game on acquiring enough credits. What they consider is not their interest but the time available and the probability of getting good grades.

The add-drop system also needs improvement. Students are often rejected to take a course even there are still vacancies in the first phrase of the add-drop period. Moreover, as the three-phrase add-drop period lasts for two weeks, many students do not know what courses they can finally take until the end of the add-drop period. Therefore, they may miss the first four to five lessons of a course which they were unable to take at first.

The school bus service is also unsatisfactory. The buses are always full of students. Students who wait at the bus stops are often unable to get on the school buses during "peak time". Then, they are late for lessons or they have to run to far away lecture rooms. However, not all lecturers understand students' difficulties. Besides, one has to wait 15 to 30 minutes for the buses.

I hope these unfair systems will be improved.

Wong Siu Man

Ap Lei Chau

Journalists' ethics

Every profession has its principles of ethics. However, none is more difficult, or controversial, to exercise than that of journalists.

To be a good journalist, one has to make difficult decisions frequently. Journalists always find themselves in the dilemma of journalistic principles, the legal system, individual moral standard and professional values.

For instance, getting a “scoop” is a prominent professional value. However, this always conflicts with the principle of publishing attributed facts rather than unattributed speculation.

Indeed, no set of universal rules can satisfy all moral quandaries. Nevertheless, journalistic codes of ethics are supposed to govern the actions and decisions of journalists. However, these codes are only an ossified collection of “do’s and don’ts”.

In the scientific world, there is a clear boundary between right and wrong. There are scientific methods and reliable systems which are simple and practical enough for judgement. However, things become complicated when human factors are involved. There is no absolutism in human science. Each judgement only carries a relative meaning. Viewing an issue from different angles will get entirely different pictures.

It seems to be impossible for a journalist to make decisions which satisfy everyone. However, what I strongly believe is: a good journalist is capable of making good decisions. To make it simple, a good journalist should have three “C's”: competence, commitment and compassion.

Commitment not only refers to one’s role of being a professional journalist. It also refers to his role as a truth-teller, uncovering social truth to the public. Compassion to the others is also important. When striking for stories which have journalistic values, one should also consider those people affected. Invasion of privacy and damage to others should be avoided. Finally, competence is the most ambiguous. It is a summation of knowledge, wisdom, experience and moral imagination.

It is not useful to elicit a philosophical meaning for what is “good”. It cannot be formulated into words. However, everyone has the concept of “good” in mind. It is very absolute.

With good intention, a good journalist can come up with a good decision. It is the simplest belief of mine.

Chan Ka Sing

Kennedy Town

A long way to go

During the summer vacation, I left my first footprints in Beijing, the capital of our mother country, where I had a memorable and enlightening trip.

Entering the Imperial Palace, I was deeply attracted by the shining and splendid courts alongside. All the carvings on the walls were so delicate and well-designed that I could hardly imagine they were the masterpieces of our ancestors a thousand years ago. Such feelings were renewed when I stepped on the Great Wall. At that time, I was really proud of being Chinese. The Great Wall not only represents the tears and sweat of Chinese people, but also their wisdom.

However, this sense of pride did not last long as I realized that China was still poor. She is not yet in pace with the world economically or politically. Some regions are even undeveloped, and there is no national education. It is still a long way for China to achieve a better international bargaining power.

I think the core of the problem can simply be explained by two words: selfishness and conservativeness. Chinese people are not open-minded enough to learn and teach, resulting in a slow and limited spread of knowledge.

Nevertheless, Chinese people are clever. It is a pity that they do not make good use of their wisdom to strengthen their country.

Crystal Lee

Tsing Yi