Monday, 9 June 2014

Gaokao madness: hospital works overnight to do myopia surgery to help kids meet college entrance criteria

by Michael Woodhead
As if the phenomenal pressure of the gaokao ((高考) college exams was not enough, students in Liaoning are also putting themselves through last minute laser eye surgery to meet college eyesight entrance criteria.
A report from Dalien describes the plight of students wanting to get into the city's law schools, which are run by the PSB and lay down strict criteria on having good eyesight. After several days of exams, students than had 48 hours in which to undergo surgery before having an eye exam to assess their vision. Explaining the last minute rush, families said they were unaware of the college entrance criteria or were not willing to have their children undergo eye surgery while preparing for the all important gaokao exams. However, on learning that perfect eyesight was a requirement for entrance, many students went straight from their final exam to the eye clinic to have corrective eye surgery. One clinic in Dalian reported staying open all night and having eye surgeons on overtime into the early hours to perform a string of last minute operations on desperate students. A surgeon reassured parents that it usually took only 8-12 hours to recuperate from laser eye surgery, and their children should have perfect eyesight in time for taking their eye exam in nearby Jinzhou 48 hours later.

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