New Delhi: Private tutorial system is expanding at an alarming rate in Asia with households in certain countries spending staggering portions of their incomes on it, a study by Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday.
The private supplementary tutorial also termed 'shadow education' because it mimics the mainstream system, may have negative as well as positive dimensions, it said.
South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have long traditions of private tutoring driven mainly partly because of social competition and also because teachers desiring to increase their salaries and seeing their pupils as captive market, the study said.
A 2008 market survey in India had estimated the size of the coaching sector at USD 6.4 billion and predicted the annual growth of 15 percent over the subsequent four years, it said.
In a track record (2011) of 30,000 children in rural government primary schools in five Indian states, it was found that about 16 percent of grade two children and 18 percent of grade four received private tutorial.
The study found that there was a strong negative relationship between tutoring and attendance in school.
"Children in both grades were far less likely to have been found present in school. A possible explanation was that parents expected their children to learn more in paid classes than in school and therefore insisted less on regular school attendance".
In West Bengal nearly 60 percent of primary school students receive private supplementary tutoring, it said.
The demand for supplementary tutoring was mainly driven by the awareness that investment in education can generate strong returns from good performance in key examinations and entrance to high status secondary schools and universities.
"...families know that poor performance in school and on examination is related to weaker employment and lower standards of living," it said.
Also, the perceptions of inadequacies in mainstream schooling and smaller families and increased wealth were among among factors to drive tutorials.
"In most part of Asia, family size is decreasing...children with fewer siblings received more tutoring than children with more sibling."
The study said that shadow education has long history in parts of Asia. However, in most parts of the region private tutoring has been ignored by policy makers.
It said that private education can no longer be ignored because it has grown significantly throughout the region and shows a sign of further growth.
First Published: Thursday, July 05, 2012, 13:39