China has officially launched a multilayered action plan to help battle short-sightedness in children.
The plan, released by the Ministry of Education, the National Health Commission and six other government departments, aims to reduce the overall myopia rate among teenagers by more than 0.5 percentage points per year from 2018 until 2023. Provinces with a high incidence of myopia are required to cut at least one percentage point per year.
By 2030, the myopia rate for six-year-old children should be below three 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 ensure their children have at least one hour a day of exposure to natural light outdoors, develop two sports skills, and form healthy physical exercise habits.
The plan outlines various measures to help prevent myopia in young people.
It recommends that childrenâ€™s use of electronic products not exceed 15 minutes in a single session and not more than one hour per day.
Parents are also urged to not push extracurricular tutoring on their children.
In addition, primary school students should aim to sleep 10 hours a day, junior middle school students, nine hours, and high school students, eight hours, according to the plan.
The plan also makes specific requirements regarding the homework load of students. For example, middle school students should aim to complete homework each day in less than 90 minutes, and there should be just one set of exams a semester for first and second graders in primary school.
Schools are also forbidden to publish student test scores and rankings, while awards and certificates cannot be used as a reference in the student enrollment process.
In addition, authorities will increase regulations on the total number of online games available and take measures to limit the playing time of minors.
To increase the enforcement of the plan, children's short-sightedness will be included in the government performance evaluation system.