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Private tuitions boom

August 17, 2012

Private tutorials are expanding at an alarming rate in Asia with some households spending staggering perc-entages of their incomes on it, says an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study.  Private supplementary tutorials, also termed ‘shadow education’ because it mimics the mainstream system, has negative as well as positive dimensions, it says. South Asian countries — India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — have long traditions of private tutoring driven partly by social competition and partly by teachers who regard students as captive markets, the study adds.
A 2008 survey in India had estimated the size of the coaching industry at US $6.4 billion (Rs.35,840 crore) and predicted an annual growth rate of 15 percent per year. After tracking 30,000 children in rural government primaries  in five Indian states, it found 16 percent of class II children and 18 percent of class IV children receive private tuition.

Popular perceptions of the inadeq-uacies of mainstream schooling, smaller families and increased wealth are among other factors driving tutorials. “In most parts of Asia, family size is decreasing… children with fewer siblings receive more tutoring than children with more siblings,” observe the authors of the report.

However in most countries of the region, private tutoring has been ignored by policy makers. The study warns that private education can no longer be ignored because it has grown signifi-cantly throughout the region and shows signs of further growth.

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