CERC Monograph Series in Comparative and International Education and Development



Shadow Education

Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia


By Mark Bray and Chad Lykins


Just Published!


ISBN 978-92-9092-658-0 (Print), 978-92-9092-659-7 (PDF)

May 2012; US$32

Published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) in collaboration with Asian Development Bank (ADB)


This book is downloadable for free


In all parts of Asia, households devote considerable expenditures to private supplementary tutoring. This tutoring may contribute to students' achievement, but it also maintains and exacerbates social inequalities, diverts resources from other uses, and can contribute to inefficiencies in education systems.


Such tutoring is widely called shadow education, because it mimics school systems. As the curriculum in the school system changes, so does the shadow.


This study documents the scale and nature of shadow education in different parts of the region. For many decades, shadow education has been a major phenomenon in East Asia. Now it has spread throughout the region, and it has far-reaching economic and social implications.



  •   Preface

  •   Executive Summary

  •   Introduction

  •   Mapping the Landscape

  •   Demand and Supply

  •   Impact of Shadow Education

  •   Implications for Policy Makers

  •   Conclusions

  •   References

Related links:

Interview about this study:

Articles about this study:

  •   Tutoring Spreads Beyond Asia's Wealthy [The New York Times: 5 August 2012]

  •   亞洲父母砸大錢讓小孩補習 [星洲日報: 6 July 2012] [in Chinese]

  •   亞洲區父母趨之若鶩 港人補習年花近20億 [AM730 (Hong Kong): 6 July 2012] [in Chinese]

  •   Tutors: a question of value  [The Standard (Hong Kong): 5 July 2012]

  •   The dark side of Asian shadow education [BT Premium: 5 July 2012]

  •   Shadow education: Private tutoring is more commercial than schooling [The Express Tribune: 5 July 2012]

  •   Asia spending billions on tutors: study  [Khaleej Times: 5 July 2012]

  •   Private tutorial system expanding at alarming rate in India: ADB [The Times of India: 5 July 2012]

  •   ADB study highlights dark side of private tutoring [Pakistan Observer: 5 July 2012]

  •   Asia spending billions on tutors: study [Bangkok Post: 5 July 2012]

  •   Asia spending billions on tutors: study [ANC/CBN News (Philippines): 5 July 2012]

  •   Asia spending billions on tutors: study [Yahoo! Philippines: 5 July 2012]

  •   報告:本港補習花近二十億 [香港新浪: 5 July 2012] [in Chinese]

  •   統計顯示亞洲家長為孩子補習每年開支百億美元以上 [鉅亨網新聞中心: 5 July 2012] [in Chinese]

  •   國際/研究:亞洲父母砸數十億請家教 [中央日網路報: 5 July 2012] [in Chinese]

  •   Asian parents spending billions of dollars on tutors:  Study [The Times of India 4 July 2012]

  •   研究:亞洲父母砸數十億美元請家教 [BBC中文網: 4 July 2012]  and [新唐人電視台:  4 July 2012]   [in Chinese]


Paper copy of this title can be ordered from here