Students' sight to be checked for problems

Yang Meiping
Screening for all those in kindergarten and school to determine if anything has changed due to increase in online learning and home schooling because of COVID-19.
Yang Meiping

The Shanghai Education Commission is asking district education bureaus to organize eyesight screening for students at schools and kindergartens to see if anything has changed due to the longer time spent on home schooling and online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the city's health commission revealed that 56.6 percent of local minors suffered from myopia, 3 percentage points higher than the national level, with the incidence rising by 1 to 2 percentage points a year.

The new eyesight census is part of a monthlong, citywide campaign to promote awareness of eye health and myopia prevention and control.

Education bureaus are being asked to file accurate results and detect problems related to eyes, issue warnings and take intervention measures at an early stage.

Parents of children found to be short sighted will be guided to take their children to medical institutions for further examination and treatment. Those with myopia developing quickly will need special intervention to prevent hypermyopia.

Schools are being asked to reduce students’ academic burden, increase outdoor activities and physical exercises, guide reasonable use of digital devices, and improve study environments, such as proper lighting, desks and chairs, to protect students’ vision.

There are also calls for eye-care institutes, hospitals, schools, families and other sectors of the society to promote the importance of myopia prevention and control.

The education commission has also decided that, from next year, March and September will be designated as months to promote awareness of myopia.

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