A little girl has her eyes tested at a hospital. （Photo/China News Service）
(ECNS) - The Ministry of Education and National Health Commission have released a draft plan to include children's short-sightedness in the government performance evaluation system and also make a number of requirements for schools and parents covering eye care.
The draft plan, now soliciting public suggestions, said indicators to gauge governance will include measures to prevent myopia among teenagers, the percentage of teenagers with myopia and physical health.
Local governments at all levels are forbidden from evaluating education administrative departments and schools only based on student test scores and school enrollment rates, according to the plan.
It also states that the rate of myopia among teenagers in China has remained high in recent years amid the popular use of digital gadgets, and more academic assignments for primary and middle school students. Children with myopia are becoming younger, a big concern for the country’s future.
Prevention and control of myopia requires the joint effort of governments, schools, medical and health institutions, families and students, it was noted.
The plan calls for the overall myopia rate among teenagers nationwide to fall by more than 0.5 percentage points per year from 2018 until 2023, with provinces that have a high incidence of myopia required to cut at least 1 percentage point per year.
By 2030, the myopia rate for 6-year-old children should be below 3 percent, for primary school students, below 38 percent, for middle school students, below 60 percent, and for high school students, below 70 percent.
Parents are urged to understand the science of eye protection and help children develop good habits. Meanwhile, children’s use of electronic products should not exceed 15 minutes in a single session and not more than one hour per day.
Schools should lighten the student learning load, restricting the time for assignments to less than one hour for grade 3 to 6 students and less than 90 minutes for middle school students, with work preferably done on paper as a general principle.