Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China (I201622172@hust.edu.cn)
This study aims to gather and analyze students’ perspectives on buying private tutoring services, also known as shadow education (Bray, 2007). Private tutoring service has been rapidly spreading and trending around the world. Its rapid development is one of the signs of marketization and privatization in education and students as the ‘consumers’ of education services play crucial roles in boosting the trend of private tutoring through their demands. Analyzing and understanding their perspectives in buying private tutoring services are crucial in order to have a better understanding on factors ‘forcing’ them to buy shadow education services. Data were collected through students’ focus group discussions to acquire their personal views and motives on buying private tutoring services. Findings indicate students buy private tutoring services due to their academic achievements and/or problem, their parents-related decision, and their view on the usefulness of private tutoring services. Understanding the motives on why students buy private tutoring services is useful to analyze how their demands are related to their dissatisfaction on the mainstream education. This study also reveals private tutoring services, and education privatization in general, is an unavoidable in the future. Schools and policymakers may start to study these phenomena thoroughly and produce reliable policies to improve students’ experience in mainstream schooling.
Keywords: private tutoring; shadow education; students’ perspectives; marketization in education