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Saving our students sight
When I spoke to my class they submitted a whole range of theories as to why this was the case.
[ 2008-09-27 14:35 ]

It was reported this week that the Ministry of Education would nowtake into account the incidence of nearsightedness among students when assessing a school's quality of education.

I found this incredibly interesting.

As a teacher I had often noticed that a lot of my students seemed to be wearing glasses.

When I spoke to my class they submitted a whole range of theories as to why this was the case.

Some believed it was genetic, that is was more common for Asian people to suffer what is medically referred to as myopia.

Others reasoned it was because they were doing too much schoolwork and that their eyes were always straining and had been damaged.

Some outside of the classroomtook the opposite route and felt that young people were watching too much TV or using the computer too much and this was affecting their sight.

Complicating it further, others even ventured that it was all to do with diet and having too much carbohydrates and KFC and not enough fruit and vegetables.

And last on the list was the idea that it was due to exercise or the lack of it, because the youth were not getting out and doing enough sport so their overall general health was in decline.

Appreciating the whole range of factors just listed above education departments now across the country will carry out physical education programs in primary and secondary schools to help prevent myopia.

"Schools must enhance physical education, guarantee students have enough rest time, reduce homework and improve classroom lighting," a notice on the ministry's website revealed.

This is all good news for present and future students. We need to pay more attention to our eye sight and provide suitable conditions for students.

Of course it will take time and maybe decades until positive results are available.

As education here is so competitive especially in the nation's classrooms leading up to the college entrance exam we cannot expect students to study less.

However providing well-lit classrooms, white boards or blackboards that are easy to see, enough time for outside classroom exercise and the provision of a balanced diet are bold and appropriate moves.

Elsewhere increased attention to the amount of time students spend on the computer, sms text phone and in front of the TV will also contribute to better health outcomes.

For several years now I have witnessed attention to student's posture being paid via the use of supportive back and shoulder braces and this is an area where China leads many other nations in terms of paying attention to students back care.

Furthermore I'm increasingly noticing young students wheeling heavy bags to school compared to earlier years when they wouldlug them over their shoulder like over burdened camels.

Let's hope years later when we look across the classroom we see students with bright smiles and the ever infrequent use of glasses to aid vision.


Take into account – to think about, to consider, to include in the matter of discussion, e.g. you need to take into account the situation for rural school kids.

Took the opposite route - adopted a different or contrary viewpoint, to give a different opinion, e.g. Governor Palin took the opposite route to Obama regarding the war in Iraq.

Others even ventured – others even mentioned, others even said, as in 'to venture an opinion = to offer an opinion

Lug = to carry, usually something that is very heavy and makes you walk awkwardly eg Brendan had to lug his shopping bags up to the 8th floor

Over burdened = to have too much to do, to be weighed down by responsibilities, to have too much to consider doing compared to normal e.g. Chinese students were over burdened by study



About the author:

Saving our students sight

About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.

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