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Free spectacles boost student mathematics scores

The academic performance of children who received free glasses in 31 rural Chinese primary schools improved

A child wearing spectacles

Student maths scores were boosted through a study that provided 1200 students from 31 primary schools in rural China with free spectacles.

The study, which was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, observed the results of providing glasses to students in the low income county of Yongshou.

A vision centre was set up at the Yonshou government hospital and vision screening at schools by teachers identified 1200 students with poor vision.

Those students received referral to an eye examination and free spectacles either in the middle of the school year or at the end of the year.

All students completed a mathematics test at the start of the school year and researchers compared this to the pupils’ performance on an end-of-year maths test.

They found that the children who received spectacles earlier in the year did better on the final test than children who received glasses later.