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Private education spending slips in 2020 amid pandemic

National 12:00 March 09, 2021

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- Spending on private education for children declined nearly 12 percent last year amid the fallout of the pandemic, data showed Tuesday.

Total expenditures on private education for primary, middle and high school students amounted to 9.3 trillion won (US$8.1 billion) last year, down 11.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The average monthly spending on private education per student reached 289,000 won last year, down 10.1 percent from a year earlier and the first decline ever.

Some 67 percent of students received private education last year, down 7.9 percentage points from a year earlier.

South Korean parents' enthusiasm about education for their children is known to be extremely high as education is widely seen as the key to success in Korean society.

But the new coronavirus outbreak put a dent on some households' incomes and delayed the opening of a new school year last year, reducing spending on private education, according to the statistics agency.

Households whose average monthly income topped 8 million won spent 504,000 won on private education last year, while households earning less than 2 million won per month spent 99,000 won.

Double-income families spent an average of 314,000 won per month on private education last year, larger than 279,000 won for households having fathers as breadwinners.

This photo, taken March 4, 2021, shows students at a district with many cram schools in southern Seoul. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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