New Evidence on Impacts of Private Supplementary Tutoring in Iran

Iran, ID LLCE2016-248;      Private tutoring is not a new phenomenon in Iran and it has been practiced even before formal education. However, during last two decades it has become a profitable business, mobilizing extensive resources and employing many people. Private supplementary tutoring may be described as a “shadow education” system, because much of its content mimics that of regular schooling. The expansion of shadow education phenomena is especially clear in societies that have national examinations to select students for upper educational levels. In Iran and in order to apply for university admission, a student must pass a national entrance examination. The competition is fierce, the exam content rigorous, and the seats at famous universities limited. Because of this most parents especially at cities start to force their children to be a good student at early stage, sending them to different classes of private tutoring. Despite the widespread nature of shadow education little information is available in Iran on its different aspects. The present paper first surveys the literature for evidence on shadow education. It then presents some information about formal education system in Iran and its shadow. Finally, we investigate how the access to private tutoring differs by types of tutoring, student academic achievement, time spent on private tutoring and variation of students’ activities. 

Keywords: Private tutoring, shadow education, Iran