SEOUL, March 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Spending on private after-school classes hit a record high of 23.4 trillion won (US$18.9 billion) last year amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic that restricted in-person school education, according to a survey released by the education ministry Friday.
The 2021 expenditures, based on a survey of some 74,000 elementary to high school students nationwide, marked a solid increase from 21 trillion won in 2019 and 19.4 trillion won in 2020, and a new record high since related figures were first compiled in 2007, according to the ministry.
The 2019 and 2020 tallies surveyed 130,000 and 30,000 more students, respectively.
The increase in expenditures came as demand for private education rebounded as infection fears that limited participation in private learning during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic declined.
In 2021, the rate of participation in private education among elementary to high school students was 75.5 percent, up from 67.1 percent in 2020 and 74.8 percent in 2019.
Of those who participate, the average length of private education was 6.7 hours per week and the average spending was 485,000 won per month.