A new survey shows that much higher proportions of Asian children participate in extra tuition outside school compared to Australian children. In Australia, there is much more emphasis on participation in sport than in academic tuition or learning a foreign language.
On average, 32 per cent of Asian children participate in extra tuition in academic subjects compared to 7 per cent of Australian children. About one-quarter of Asian students learn a foreign language compared to 6 per cent of Australian children.
Asian countries that achieve high results on international tests such as the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) have very high proportions of children engaged in academic tuition. Over 50 per cent of children in Taiwan participate in academic tuition; 45 per cent in Singapore; 40 per cent in Hong Kong, 36 per cent in China, 33 per cent in Korea and 29 per cent in Japan.
In addition, 53 per cent of Chinese children, 50 per cent of Korean children and 38 per cent of Hong Kong children are engaged in learning a foreign language.
The success of these countries in PISA and TIMSS is not simply a matter of having better teachers as some would have us believe. The high proportion of children participating in private tuition is a factor as well. Families in these countries place high emphasis on academic success and are prepared to have their children spend long hours out of school in tutoring classes.
The survey was conducted by Mastercard.