Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Parents worry about rising cram school costs

A cram school teacher, holding a microphone, writes on the blackboard during a class.

Photo: Wang Min-wei, Liberty Times 自由時報記者王敏為攝

The magazine Global Views Monthly recently published a major survey on the 12-year compulsory education system. It showed that 70 percent of parents were in favor of it, but over 50 percent of them thought that removing the entrance exam and instead looking at academic results would increase the pressure of schoolwork on children. Almost 50 percent of parents would choose to increase the time their children spent in cram schools. The monthly expense for supplementary education is estimated to be almost NT$7,000 per child. Once 12-year compulsory education is implemented, there are fears that this cost might increase.

Less than 40 percent of families with children between seven and 12 years old said they wanted their children to attend the senior high school in their school district, while 32 percent said they would let the children decide. Around 14 percent would move their children’s household registration to a district with a reputable senior high school. In addition, close to 20 percent would register their children in private senior high schools with high university enrolment rates.

Sixty-seven percent of children under the age of 12 attend cram schools. The average sum spent on supplementary education is NT$6,950. For households with incomes less than NT$40,000, monthly spending on children’s supplementary education exceeds NT$5,700.

Global Views Monthly made this survey between Feb. 11 and 17 by random phone interviews to 823 people. The estimated margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percent.

The National Alliance of Parents Organization (NAPO) suggests that enrolment in universities based on academic results would result in more students going to cram schools, and that since there are plans to let children enroll in schools without taking an exam, academic results should not be taken into account. NAPO also stressed that the survey results are a reflection of the fact that a majority of parents still view the 12-year compulsory education system based on traditional views with an excessive focus on moving on to higher education, and that the Ministry of Educations (MOE) promotion of the new system is insufficient.


1. compulsory adj.

必須的;義務的 (bi4 xu1 de5; yi4 wu4 de5)

例: You don’t have a choice in the matter, attendance is compulsory.


2. random adj.

隨機的 (sui2 ji1 de5)

例: There is no system to the selection process, it is completely random.


3. superstitious adj.

迷信的 (mi2 xin4 de5)

例: He’s so superstitious he even believes breaking a mirror will bring seven years’ bad luck.


The National Teachers’ Association (NTA) said the survey shows the superstitious belief in cram schools among parents.

In response, the MOE said the 12-year compulsory education system has a complete set of complimentary programs once implemented. It is aimed at reducing the pressure on students of entering higher education, and it will also take account of parental concerns. A draft of the plan will be published around August, and it is scheduled to be implemented in 2014.










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