Poverty and Proximate Barriers to Learning: Vision Deficiencies, Vision Correction and Educational Outcomes in Rural Northwest China

  • The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of poor eyesight on educational achievement from a stratification perspective.

  • This study is based on the analysis of the Gansu survey of children and families, and also the Gansu vision intervention project.

  • Almost 1 in five children reported having problems reading the blackboard, and 12% reported having difficulty doing homework because of eye problems.

  • Almost a quarter of students (23%) complained that their eyes hurt while doing homework because of poor light conditions at home.

  • About 11% of all studied children had failed one or more subjects due to poor eyesight.

  • Eye problems including strain related to poor lighting and poor eyesight experienced by children are detrimental to school engagement and performance.

This article was identified as a reference for a VII-commissioned systematic review on the Impact of URE on Children.

Publication date

December 7, 2016


World Development


Hannum, E. and Zhang, Y.
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