China’s top education authority has asked all schools to give students more sports-related assignments and less text-based work during summer and winter breaks this year, Sixth Tone reports.
The mandate is part of an effort to curb climbing myopia rates among children.
The Ministry of Education announced the new rule as part of its Bright Action project, a five-year plan to better protect students’ eyesight by increasing outdoor activities and reducing screen time, which has been blamed for deteriorating vision among children and adolescents.
China’s myopia rate is among the highest in the world — more than half of the country’s minors are nearsighted.
Nearsightedness affected 14.5% of children under 6, as well as 36% of primary school students, 71.6% of middle school students, and 81% of high school students, 2018 data shows.
According to Tuesday’s announcement, schools will also be barred from giving first and second graders more than one exam per semester, and each student will have an electronic file to track their eyesight over time.