Eye screening for kids from low decile schools is removing barriers to their learning.

Eleven schools from Manawatū, Horowhenua and Rangitikei responded to eye screening for their students.

Altogether 314 students came to Palmerston North's Takaro School in Highbury on Wednesday to have their eyes screened by Essilor Foundation NZ.

Of the 314 students screened, 86 (27 per cent) will require further investigation while 228 (73 per cent) were given the all-clear.


EFNZ trustee Kumuda Setty said the foundation's head office is in Paris and it had been operating in New Zealand for more than five years.

"We have screened 7000 children from low-decile schools across New Zealand," Setty said.

Essilor NZ patron, Manurewa MP and former Black Fern and Silver Fern Louisa Wall was at Takaro.

"Eyes are tool for learning. We want to find them (children) and partner with independent optometrists to remove the barriers to learning.

"Children don't know what they don't know," Wall said of those students who were screened and found to have impaired vision.

At Wednesday's screening were seven independent optometrists - Bruce Little and Divya Anthraper from Levin, Cherie Southall, Peter Giles and Maile Tarsau, Palmerston North, Ross Taylor, Marton and Adrian Paterson, Hamilton.

They were joined by five student optometry volunteers from Auckland University.

Each of the children was tested and if their vision was impaired, they would be sent to an independent optometrist with their results.


Wall said the children were then issued with two pair of glasses and received them at a graduation.

"They keep one pair at home and one pair at school."

Wall said there was a lot of collaboration and EFNZ was looking for host schools to carry out the first screening.

"Everyone will come to them and see the independent optometrists."

Palmerston North independent optometrist Maile Tarsau said they would like to screen all Year 5 and 6 students' eyes every year.