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S. Korea's private education spending drops in 2011

All Headlines 10:00 February 17, 2012

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's spending on private education dropped for a second straight year in 2011 as the number of students declined, affected by a chronically low birth rate, a report showed Friday.

South Korean parents spent a total of 20.1 trillion won (US$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 private education spending drop since the agency started to compile related data in 2007.

The fall is attributed to a reduction in the number of students. Last year, the number of elementary, middle school 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, driven by the low birth rate. 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, an amount similar to the level tallied a year earlier, the report showed.

English and math are the two major subjects on which parents spent the bulk of their money. Spending on the two came to monthly averages of 81,000 won and 70,000 won, respectively, last year.

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

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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