Monthly spending on private education hit a record high last year despite the spread of COVID-19. There is a growing concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is widening the education gap, with the gap in private education spending between high-and low-income families increasing fivefold
According to the survey of the private education spending released by the Ministry of Education and the Statistics Korea on Tuesday, the average monthly spending on private education per student amounted to 434,000 won last year, up 1,000 won from 2019.
This is the highest figure since the survey began in 2007. In particular, the average monthly spending on private education per a middle and a high school student stood at 492,000 won (up 2.5% from the previous year) and 640,000 won (up 5.2%), respectively.
The country’s overall spending on private education in 2020 was 9.3 trillion won, down 11.8% from 2019 (10.5 trillion won). It means the number of students, who opted for private education, dropped but the average spending on private education increased. Households with income greater than 8 million won used 504,000 won per student for private education every month while households with income less than 2 million won spent only 99,000 won per student on private education.
The education sector raised a voice of concern. The Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union criticized the education authorities for failing to take action other than postponing the country’s college entrance exam last year, causing students to turn to private education.
Ye-Na Choi firstname.lastname@example.org