Confronting the shadow education system. What government policies for what private tutoring?

by Mark Bray

IIEP Policy Forum
2009, 135 p. ISBN: 978-92-803-1333-8
Price: €20

This book focuses on the so-called shadow education system of private supplementary tutoring. In parts of East Asia in particular, such tutoring has long existed on a large scale. It is now becoming increasingly evident in other parts of Asia and in Africa, Europe and North America. Pupils commonly receive fee-free education in public schools and then at the end of the day and/or during week-ends and vacations receive supplementary tutoring in the same subjects on a fee-paying basis.

Supplementary private tutoring can have positive dimensions. It helps students to cover the curriculum, provides a structured occupation for young people outside school hours, and provides incomes for the tutors. However, tutoring may also have negative dimensions. If left to market forces, tutoring is likely to maintain and increase social inequalities, and it can create  excessive pressure for young people who have inadequate time for nonacademic activities. Especially problematic are situations in which school teachers provide extra tutoring in exchange for fees from the pupils for whom the teachers are already responsible as part of their normal jobs.

This book begins by surveying the scale, nature and implications of the shadow education system in a range of settings. It then identifies possible government responses to the phenomenon. It encourages a proactive approach through which governments determine which types of tutoring they consider desirable and which types are problematic, and then design appropriate policies.

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Read the article in UNESCO's Eduinfo Newsletter >

Read the article in the 'Times of India' >

Read the article in an educational newspaper in Croatia >

Read the article in a Teacher magazine in Georgia >