Published originally in the Korea Herald on 2007.11.21
Korean households’ monthly private education expenditures rose to record levels during the third quarter of the year, the National Statistical Office said yesterday.
According to the NSO’s quarterly household accounts report, local households spent more than 143,000 won ($153) on private lessons and hagwon tuition each month of the last quarter. During the same period, local households’ total education-related spending, including regular school fees, averaged approximately 303,000 won.
The 143,000 won average for the last quarter is the highest on record since the NSO first included private education as a separate category in its household accounts report in 2003, and an increase of 11.6 percent from the same period last year. Last quarter’s hagwon and private lesson spending rose 40.7 percent in comparison to the first quarter of 2003.
According to the report, local households’ total consumer spending increased at a much lower rate of 8 percent last quarter from a year ago.
During the same period, urban households’ monthly expenditure on private lessons and hagwon rose to more than 152,000 won from 136,000 won. In comparison to the second quarter of the year, both the national and urban average expenditures on private lessons and institutions had risen by 2.3 percent.
The report also showed that the gap between the top and the bottom income groups’ expenditures on hagwon and private lessons had widened during the quarter that ended on Sept. 30.
According to the NSO, the households among the country’s top 20 percent by income had spent 5.7 times more than those in the bottom 20 percent income group.
By Choi He-suk