08/09/2018, 13.02
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Chinese children are too fat, sleep little and have poor eyesight

The first study of schoolchildren by the Chinese Ministry of Education draws an awful picture of fourth- and eighth- graders. Good at math and science, they have little analytical and creative skills.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Young Chinese schoolchildren are overweight, have poor eyesight, do not sleep enough, and lack creativity and analytical skills, this according to the first official study on the subject, published by the Ministry of Education.

The merciless picture emerges from a survey of about 570,000 fourth- and eighth- graders conducted from 2015 to 2017,

The study found that most students performed satisfactorily or better in language, mathematics, and science.

However, many show weaknesses in areas that require more critical thinking and creativity, like data analysis and scientific inquiry.

For researchers, to address this, schools should incorporate more activities that allow students hands-on experience with nature and society, and use more discussion- and exploration-based teaching methods in the classroom.

China’s schools should also address the lack of well-rounded physical education.

Just over 17 per cent of boys and 13 per cent of girls in the fourth grade are overweight or obese, researchers said, citing statistics from the Ministry of Education. In the eighth grade, the male percentage is about the same, but the female percentage jumps to an alarming 17 per cent.

For this reason, the Ministry must improve physical education in schools, to also tackle poor eyesight and sleep deprivation among schoolchildren.

Over 53 per cent of boys and 63 per cent of girls have moderately to severely impaired eyesight by eighth grade, and a whopping 83.4 per cent of children get fewer than the nine hours of sleep a day recommended for middle schoolers by China’s Education Ministry.

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