Good marks have always been perceived as critical to the future success of a child. Most of us remember our parents telling us that to achieve something in life, it is necessary to get a good education.
Private tutoring is a rapidly expanding industry around the world, including countries such as U.S. spending heavily on tutoring.
Korean parents are no different where education goes, in fact their children are said to spend twelve hours a day at school and even a 3-year old has English language tutors.
You would understand the extent of interest that Koreans show in children’s education by the fact that the Korean Air Force is said to ground its planes, during the college entrance exams so as not to disturb the students.
The pride of most Korean families hinges on what universities their children attend, which is the reason why Koreans shell out more for schooling of kids aged 5 to 21 years of age, than any other country in the OECD.
OECD, which is the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international organization that consists of thirty countries that follow the principles of free market economy and representative democracy. Countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan and others are all part of this organization.
Daeko, meaning big lesson with its 17,000 teachers is South Korea’s biggest education company and its most popular programs are English, Mathematics and Korean. This institution has a unique thinking, where they understand that children learn more from a personalized curriculum and developed their own coursework called “eye-level,” which is designed to help teachers get down to the level of the students and give them the flexibility to tailor lessons based on individual needs. Here, teachers do not get paid a fee, instead they hustle up their own students, as many as they can handle and pay 40% to the institution for the study materials and marketing support. They are of course held responsible for showing results and ensuring the children do well.
This one-on-one approach was liked by most Koreans, especially since each class had about 70 students per teacher. Due to the heavy demand for tutoring in different courses, they are now offering 14 courses and even have classes in essay writing or in English and Chinese, which are taught by native speakers.
These high levels of tutoring organizations are believed to have a salutary effect of ensuring high academic achievement on the part of the students of Korea, particularly their high math and science scores.
The Korean obsession with education and the tech-driven economy is pushing the children into a savage competition for places in the top universities and colleges in the nation. This is fueling the boom in the tutoring business.
Their love of learning means huge competition in the education market and statistics show that about 11% of foreign students at U.S. colleges are Korean, who are only behind Indians and Chinese.
Parents are also willing to pay heavy amounts of money towards their children’s education. As a mother of two children says, “We know we’re paying too much, but their lives will be decided by the universities they attend.” After all, it is a known fact that the parents’ love for their kids is the most unselfish act that has no parallels.