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August 31, 2009

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Home » Metro » Education

Parents turn to tutors to bolster grades

NEARLY half of 1,500 families questioned in four local downtown and rural districts have hired private tutors to improve their children's academic performance, a new survey shows.

The survey, conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at Fudan University, covered families in Luwan, Minhang, Qingpu and Baoshan districts.

It shows that 46 percent of the questioned families have ever hired private tutors, and of those, nearly 70 percent said they hoped the tutors would help increase their child's grades. Only 16 percent said they hired tutors because the children couldn't catch up with their peers in school.

"Many of my daughter's classmates have tutors. If I don't hire one for her, she might lag behind," said Liu Yingmei, who has a 12-year-old daughter.

Among families that have hired tutors, 44 percent were for high school students and 18 percent were for junior school students.

Parents also chose to spend money on extracurricular courses related to their children's study, said Lin Rongri, a professor in charge of the survey.

The majority of parents selected English courses. Computer studies and playing musical instruments ranked second and third.

The survey also shows educational costs for children in kindergarten and high school are much higher than for those in primary school and junior middle school, where tuition is free.


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