GUANGZHOU, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Schools in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, will conduct a random experiment to see if wearing glasses that correct far-sightedness can reduce or prevent near-sightedness among students.
In Liwan, one of the districts where the experiment will be conducted, about 80 percent of the 15-year-old students were shortsighted, according to a 2004 survey by the Sun Yat-Sen University Eye Institute. That body will conduct the experiment in conjunction with the Guangzhou Municipal Education Bureau.
In the experiment, to start after the new semester begins in February, 2,000 first-grade pupils will be chosen at random at 30 primary schools. They will be broken up into three groups: some will wear a pair of glasses that correct far-sightedness, while others will not, and a third group will do outdoor exercises for an hour a day to give them a break from reading.
The experiment will last for three years, said Mai Jincheng, director of the Guangzhou Municipal Middle and Primary School Health Care Institute, which will also participate in the test. The test will definitely be safe and will be carried out with the help of teachers, he said.
Wearing far-sighted, or presbyopic, glasses for 45 minutes can offset the effects of reading for eight hours, said Zang Yangfa ofthe Sun Yat-Sen Institute.
Many parents doubt the value of the test. "Everything would be blurry if they wear those glasses," said a mother surnamed Xiao.