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How can we go beyond merely donating to those in need and maximise the benefits of giving?

Donations do not have to be monetary. It is more important to donate your time wholeheartedly... Lawyers do pro bono work to help those who cannot afford a lawyer. There should be more pro bono doctors at nursing homes and hospices.

One way is to offer points to doctors, lawyers and other professionals who sacrifice their time for a good cause, and these points can be used to renew their licences, or for some tax rebates.

Sangha Vandana


A writer says that educational inequality hinders talented students in neighbourhood schools from attaining success. Do you agree? Do different schools train students differently in terms of life skills?

In my experience, it is not so much the school but the teachers. An open-minded teacher can spot potential in a child and flag it to parents or the system, so that opportunities can be created.

A close-minded teacher won't have the awareness and often holds back the student for being disruptive or too "dumb".

Dare Chia

I am pretty sure there are many out there from heartland schools who are successful in their own way. Going to school takes up about 16 years of your life - if your talent is not spotted then, you can always make up for it later on. It is not the school that makes you a success, you are responsible for it.

Siti Nor'aini A S

When you are talented, you can excel anywhere. Decide what you want to do and work on it. Going to a branded school is a bonus, not an essential ingredient.

Loh Wai Poon


Will having different pricing for food in different portion sizes lead to less wastage? How else can people be encouraged to order only what is necessary?

Most people tend not to finish the rice or noodles, so it would be good to start with giving people the option of paying slightly less for carbohydrates so that they waste less. Use labels such as "Less Rice/Noodles -$x, More Rice/Noodles +$x".

Stella Pang

If you are paying the same price, many would rather waste the food than ask the hawkers to cut the portion.

Maruko Chan

I would think the hawkers would prefer to sell larger bowls, as it means higher prices and higher margins for them. Selling a smaller bowl will not be worth the effort.

Victoria Ho


What are the qualities of a good university? How important are things like academic reputation, faculty and publications to students when choosing a university?

Universities have important roles to play in education and advancing knowledge. When we prioritise rankings or whatever metrics over these, I am afraid we have lost the plot.

Kuan Tek Seang

Singapore universities succeeding on both research and teaching fronts will be critical for our economy and our society.

We need to attract scholars who will research cutting-edge technology. They need a balance in terms of teaching workload. They need time to focus on scholarly research.

A more sustainable approach is to have adjunct faculty whose focus is on quality teaching and imparting applicable industry knowledge to our students.

Glenn Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2016, with the headline 'On Facebook'. Print Edition | Subscribe