Some Reflections on Trends in Shadow Education in Korea

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Research in Education

Year: 2021


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Some Reflections on Trends in Shadow Education in Korea

Jae-Bong Yoo,JeongA Yang



The purpose of this paper is to discuss some issues on shadow education in Korea. Korea education has shown a high performance in PISA and TIMMS. One of major elements for an excellent performance seems to be shadow education. Indeed, most primary and secondary school pupils engage in shadow education including private academies called ‘ Hagwons’ and private tutoring after school education. The total cost and the ratio of participation in shadow education has sharply increased since 2015. Especially the totals costs of primary pupils at the school level and of mathematics and English at the subject level

Shadow education in Korea has some advantages: high achievement, customized teaching and learning, high satisfaction for customers. However, it raises some problems in education in general and school education in particular: the deterioration of public education, bigger gap between rich pupils and poor pupils, lack of high order competencies and autonomous learning due to exam-centered education, physical and mental health problems, and so on. Therefore, Korean government, Department of Education, has tried to reduce solve shadow education for a long time; however, the policy for shadow education seems to be not successful.

This paper analyzes the trends of shadow education expenses and participation rate using the shadow data from the National Statistical Office of Korea from 2007 to 2019, and also explore some educational policies in order to reduce them at primary school level, where is the main factor of the increase in shadow education expenses.

keywords: public education; education fever; equity; primary school; private academies.