This does not include coaching for entrance exams and is just the money spent on bringing children from the pre-primary to the higher secondary level up to speed on their school courses.
To put that in context, the amount is more than one third the central government’s total budget allocation of Rs 59,845 crore to the department of school education and literacy.
Families of children in each of the primary, secondary and higher secondary levels spend over Rs 6,000 crore on private tuitions while the annual spend in the upper primary (or middle school) category is a bit over Rs 5,400 crore.
The profusion of private tuitions, even among pre-primary children, is a telling commentary on the woeful state of school education in the country. Tutors only fill in the learning gap left by schools. The practice is a drain on parental resources. The only way to change this sorry state of affair is to invest more in public education and teacher training.
Data: Pvt coaching accounts for 13% of total education cost
These numbers are arrived at by combining the results of a recently released National Statistical Office (NSO)’s survey on education for 2017-18 and the education ministry’s data on the current number of students at various levels of schooling. The ministry’s figures don’t include pre-primary students, but even without them, the total adds up to Rs 24,081 crore. The survey shows that the average spent on private coaching per student is highest at Rs 2,516 at the higher secondary level, where a little over a quarter of students take such tuitions.
The average annual spend per student is lower at Rs 1,632 for the secondary level, but the proportion of students who take tuitions is the highest here at just over 30%. The per student average is Rs 845 for upper primary and Rs 502 for primary school. Private tutors are hired at even the pre-primary level, where the average expenditure per student is Rs 300.
The data also shows that the overall cost incurred by parents for school education is about Rs 1.9 lakh crore, of which nearly half goes to school fees while a little over 20% is spent on books. Private coaching accounts for 13% of the total cost of education.