Extra! Korea

April 13, 2009

Gap in spending on education widens

Filed under: economics, education — extrakorea @ 11:26 pm

The gap between how much the wealthy and the poor spend on eduction has widened.

Government data showed yesterday that the gap in private education spending between the wealthy and the poor widened last year, raising fears that the economic slump may hit children of low-income families more severely.

According to data by the Bank of Korea and the National Statistical Office, the top 20 percent households in terms of income spent 6.9 times more on private education than the bottom 20 percent in 2008, up from 5.9 times a year earlier.

[ snip ]

The top 20 percent of households spent a monthly average of 321,253 won ($240.8) on private education of their children.

[ snip ]

Although the government has been putting ever more emphasis on English education in public schools, spending for private English education rose by the most in terms of subject.

The private education spending for English rose by 11.8 percent, while that of other subjects, like Korean essay writing, fell by 10 percent, the NSO survey showed.

(source)

I really admire the way that Koreans place a lot of value upon education, but at the same time, it’s clear that education is not valued for its own sake, but as a tool for the wealthy to cement their privilege.

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