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Chinese parents spend more than £34k a year on extra lessons

Chinese parents spend an average of ¥120,000 (£13,700) a year on extracurricular tutoring for their children – and some shell out as much as ¥300,000 (£34,300), according to a national education association.

Gu Mingyuan, head of the Chinese Society of Education, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Education, told news site “Tutoring classes have risen [in popularity] against conventional schooling. Parents send their kids to six hours of extra tutoring per week at an average cost of ¥120,000 per year, and that can rise to ¥300,000 per year. Parents are also feeling very helpless.”

Academic pressure in China’s education system is generally understood to reach its peak when students prepare for the university entrance exam in their last year of high school. However, according to an annual report by the China Education 30 Forum – which Gu is a member of – cramming is becoming more common among younger children.
More than 60% of primary school pupils in China are tutored outside the classroom in subjects such as English, literature and maths, according to the report.

In Beijing and Shanghai, 70% of primary school pupils receive tutoring, the report added. In general, the older they are, the higher the proportion of students taking extra classes – and by the sixth grade, more than 40% of pupils are being tutored in two subjects.

Chinese schoolchildren spend on average 50 minutes every weekday and two hours at the weekend in after-school classes, according to a 2015 survey by the China Youth and Children Research Centre.

After-school tutoring is a fast-growing industry in China and is expected to double in size from ¥497 million in 2016 to just over ¥1 billion in 2021, according to a report by UBS last year.

By 2020, the Chinese government estimates 191 million students will be tutored as increasing urbanisation and competition for the top universities drives parents to spend more disposable income on their children’s education.

Posted on: 05/12/2018

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