SEJONG, Mar. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s total spending on private education for children came to about 19.5 trillion won (US$17.2 billion) in 2018, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier, government data showed Tuesday.
The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that 72.8 percent of 5.58 million students across the country received private education and other extracurricular activities in 2018.
Per capita private education costs for all students in primary, middle and high schools came to 291,000 won per month, but per capita private education costs for those who received private education stood at 399,000 won.
For those who received private education, the monthly spending on private education by elementary school students reached 319,000 won, with figures being 448,000 won and 549,000 won for those in middle school and for high school, respectively, the data showed.
The data is the latest reminder of South Korean parents’ enthusiasm about learning in a country where education is widely seen as the key to success in the competitive South Korean society.
Graduates of the most prestigious colleges still have a great advantage in getting the best jobs in South Korea, where people’s occupations are closely linked to their social status.
By subject, per capita private education costs on English and mathematics for those who received private education stood at 207,000 won and 187,000 won per month, respectively, up 4.2 percent and 3.3 percent from a year earlier.
English and mathematics are two of the most important subjects on the college entrance exam.
The data also showed that per capita private education costs for those households whose monthly income surpass 8 million won came to 505,000 won, while per capita private education costs for those households whose monthly income is less than 2 million won came to 99,000 won.