South Korean parents spent a monthly average of 253 U.S. dollars per student on private education in 2020 down 10.1 percent compared to the previous year.
According to Statistics Korea on Tuesday, 66.5 percent of elementary, middle, and high school students nationwide received some form of private education last year down 7.9 percent point on-year.
But there was a huge gap in spending between the richest and poorest households.
Households with a monthly income of less than 2 million won, or about 1,700 dollars spent 87 dollars per month on private education last year.
Households earning more than 8 million Korean won, or about 7-thousand U.S. dollars, spent 5 times more spending 442 dollars a month.
Although the total spending on private education in the country declined, parents of high school students spent more than they did a year ago.
Parents of high school students spent 340 U.S. dollars a month on these private classes, up 5.9 percent from the year before whereas for elementary school students, the figure fell by more than 23-percent, and middle school students, it fell by more than 3-percent.
The director of Statistics Korea said that this is mainly due to less spending on art, music and physical education amid the pandemic.
"Elementary students' private education in art, music and physical education dropped and we think this is probably because these types of activities require students to gather closely together."
By subject, math and English saw the largest amount of spending, with nearly 80 U.S. dollars a month spent on each subject but compared to the year before, spending fell by 4.8 percent and zero.5 percent respectively.
The education ministry said it will seek measures to have more students take in-person classes again so that students can rely less on private education.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.