Monthly expenditures on private education here reached an all-time high last year amid a steady drop in the number of students, a government survey showed Tuesday.
Monthly spending on private education averaged 256,000 won ($224) per child in 2016, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the annual survey by the Ministry of Education and Statistics Korea.
It marked the largest monthly amount since 2007 when the government started to compile such data.
The poll was conducted on 43,000 parents with children enrolled in 1,483 elementary, middle and high schools across the country.
The sharp increase in per-capita spending came as the number of students fell 3.4 percent on-year to 5.88 million last year amid the nationwide low birth rate.
Meanwhile, total expenditures on private tutoring edged up 1.3 percent on-year to 18.1 trillion won last year, a turnaround from the sixth consecutive decline between 2010 and 2015.
Students received an average of 6 hours of private lessons after school every week last year, up 0.3 hour from a year earlier.
The average amount spent on private education for elementary and high school students gained 4.5 percent and 10.9 percent on-year to 241,000 won and 262,000 won, respectively, while spending for middle school pupils inched down 0.1 percent to 275,000 won.
Out-of-school spending on key subjects such as Korean, English and mathematics climbed 0.6 percent on-year to 191,000 won per month, with that of sports and arts curriculum soaring 19.5 percent to 63,000 won.
South Korean parents are known for their enthusiasm about education and reluctance to reduce spending on children's education even if they tighten their budgets. (Yonhap)