Indian Parents Prefer Private Tutions Over Schools

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According to a report by Asian Development Bank (ADB) published on Wednesday, Private tutorial system, also termed “shadow education” as it mimics the mainstream system, is expanding at an alarming rate in Asia with households in certain countries spending staggering portions of their incomes on it. Social competition and teachers desiring to enhance their income by earning extra from the private tuition while looking at their pupils as the captive market, are being attributed as the main reasons.

South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have long traditions of private tutoring. 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 per cent over the subsequent four years, the report says.

In a track record (2011) of 30,000 children in rural government primary schools in five Indian states, it was found that about 16 per cent of grade two children and 18 per cent of grade four received private tutorial. In West Bengal nearly 60 per cent of primary school students receive private supplementary tutoring. The study found that there was a strong negative relationship between tutoring and attendance in school.

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. Also, the perceptions of inadequacies in mainstream schooling and smaller families and increased wealth were among the main factors to drive tutorials.

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.

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