A national student health survey was released at a press conference held by the Ministry of Education (the MOE) on September 3.
This survey covers 374,257 students from regular whole-day primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions. Results shows that general progress has been made since the implementation of a national standard for student health in 2014.
In 2019, 23.8% of students between the ages of 6 to 22 passed standard physical examinations, and the rate is higher in the more developed eastern China and coastal areas. Specifically, the rate for students from 13 to 22 increased by 2.9 percentage points from 14.8% in 2014 to 17.7% in 2019. The rate for students from 13 to 15, from 16 to 18 and from 19 to 22 increased by 5.1, 1.8 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively. The most remarkable increase is seen in the group of middle school students.
The height, weight and bust measurements of Chinese students have been increasing steadily and an extensive progress has been made in their lung capacities. Improvements have also been made in terms of body flexibility, strength, speed and endurance of primary and secondary school students, but things are not getting better for HEI students. Nearsightedness and obesity also remain a problem. To change this situation continuous effort must be made, said a senior MOE official.
Recently the MOE and four other competent authorities jointly issued a circular, calling for the integration of health education into the existing education framework and the roll-out of more standardized and systematic courses on health education. HEIs are encouraged to open mandatory or elective courses on health education. Primary and junior secondary school students are required to complete a minimum of 4 credits each term in health education courses. They are also encouraged to do 20 minutes of exercise before morning class, and do at least 2 hours of exercise each day, 1 hour at school and 1 hour after school.