Millions of Indian parents are, quite literally, paying the price for the country’s abysmal education system.
Between 2008 and 2014, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) reported (pdf) last week, the average annual private expenditure for general education (primary level to post graduation and above) has shot up by a staggering 175% to Rs6,788 per student. During the same period, the annual cost of professional and technical education has increased by 96% to Rs62,841 per student.
And here’s exactly what the 65,926 Indian households—both urban and rural—that the NSSO surveyed in early 2014 are spending this money on. Private coaching accounted for 15% of the average total expenditure on general education. As many as 25% of students across the country were reported to be taking private tuition classes, suggesting how pervasive the industry has become.
But given the sorry state of India’s education system, this is no surprise. According to the latest Annual Status of Education report, which assesses government schools in the country, nearly 20% of students surveyed from Class 2 didn’t recognize the numbers between one and nine, and only 25% of students in Class 3 could do subtraction.