Fewer births leads to cut in education spending

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Fewer births leads to cut in education spending

Korea’s spending on private education, affected by a chronically low birth rate, dropped for a second straight year in 2011 as the number of students declined, a report showed yesterday.

Korean parents spent a total of 20.1 trillion won ($17.76 billion) last year on private education for their children, down 3.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the report by Statistics Korea.

The decline followed a 3.5 percent fall in 2010, which was the first drop in private education spending since the agency started compiling data in 2007.

Last year, the number of elementary, middle and high school students totaled 6.99 million, down 3.4 percent from a year earlier.

The number of elementary school students dropped 5.1 percent over the cited period. Numbers of middle and high school students also shrank 3.3 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Private education spending per student averaged 240,000 won per month, similar to the level tallied a year earlier, the report showed.

English and math are the two subjects on which parents spent the bulk of their money. Spending on the two amounted to 81,000 won and 70,000 won a month on average last year.

Parents mostly favored sending their children to private education institutes and spent an average of 122,000 won on schools every month last year. One-on-one and group tutoring followed, with corresponding outlays of 33,000 won and 22,000 won, according to the report.


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