One effect of South Korea's financial crisis has been a sharp reduction in the amount of money parents spend on private, after-school, tuition for their children. A survey carried out by the Korean Educational Development Institute found that one in three parents has cut spending on private "crammers" since last autumn. Almost half of these blamed financial hardship for their decision.
But despite the cutback, 38 per cent of families continue to enrol their children for private tutoring courses. The impact on family budgets is substantial. While public spending per head on education is 5 per cent of GDP, it rises to 11 per cent per head once parental topping up is taken into account.