An elementary school in Wuhan, China has installed swinging metal bars on classroom desks that prevent students from looking too closely at reading and writing materials, therefore helping them avoid becoming nearsighted.
Only one class at the Zhanglin Elementary School on Xinzhou Zhucheng Street in Wuhan is participating in the pilot project though the program may be expanded in future.
The concept is the brainchild of school principal Zhang Jianming, who consulted with the Wuhan Youth Poor Eyesight Prevention Center on how best to prevent myopia in pre-teen students.
Roughly 35 desks at Zhanglin Elementary School's 42 Class 1 were modified to accept the orange-painted metal bars, which are mounted on the sides of each desk. When swung towards the student and locked in the forward position, a horizontal section of the bar prevents the student from leaning in to the desktop to read or write. When swung back to the rear of the desk, the same wide section of the bar acts as a book rest for students to prop textbooks and other study materials at a distance.
What do the students' parents think of this unorthodox method of avoiding nearsightedness? It seems they're unavailable for comment: 42 Class 1 is for so-called “left behind” students who board at the school because their parents work in other parts of China.
Whether this innovative attempt to prevent myopia among elementary school students is ultimately successful remains to be seen. In the meantime, school administrators can move on to another important issue: why are Chinese classrooms so cold? (via Phoenix Online)
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