Parent's Selection for Supplementary Tutoring Centre in Hong Kong - Primary School Level
With reference to the above discussion, it can be apparently observed that the education industry in Hong Kong is quite expanded. However, the performance of students and educational growth in the country can be observed to be weakening which indicates that the education sector in Hong Kong requires to be facilitated significantly within a short-run period. This in turn signifies the importance of supplementary tutoring centres to render expanded assistance to the students from the primary level of schooling. In relation to this context, there are various factors which can be identified to have a substantial impact over the decisions taken by parents regarding the supplementary tutoring facility for their children.
Related to this certain fact various researches have been taken into consideration such as the study conducted by Davies (2004), Bray & Kwok (2003), and Blachford & Catchpole (2003) among others. However, most of these researches lack in presented an in-depth but comprehensive understanding of the current scenario in the field of supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong primary school level. Furthermore, it has often been observed that researchers tend to analyze the issue with reference to the theory of planned behaviour but lack in providing with sufficient rationale as to how the theory relates with the current situation of supplementary training centre. Therefore, the problem identified in this context relates with the comprehensive presentation of the influencing factors that tend to affect the selection of supplementary tutoring centres by the parents in Hong Kong with reference to the theory of planned behaviour.
2.0 Aim and Objectives
With due consideration to the research problem identified, the research question can be stated as, "What are the factors that tend to influence the parents' selection of supplementary tutoring centres in Hong Kong primary school level and how can the decisions taken by the parents be explained with reference to the theory of planned behavior?" In lieu to this, the research objectives can be stated as follows:
Assess the current industry scenario of Hong Kong's primary education sector
Identify the reasons considered by parents while deciding upon their children's education in relation to the supplementary tutoring centre facilities
Relate the theory of planned behaviour to identify the influences caused over the parents' selection of supplementary tutoring centre
Comprehensively developing an understanding of the influencing factors which directly or indirectly tends to have an impact over the parents' decision regarding supplementary tutoring centres in primary school level in Hong Kong
To be precise, the objective of the research is to see whether the Theory of Planned Behaviour influences the intention to send the child to cram school and selection of cram school by parents in the primary school level.
3.0 Literature Review
Supplementary tutoring is one of the rapidly growing businesses in East Asia, Africa which is slowly gaining its importance in North America as well. Among the East Asian countries, supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong, is worth more than HK$400 million (Yu, 2009) and is generating more than U.S.$3.6 billion a year. Also, known as cram school in Hong Kong, teaching is done to all levels of students after school time to supplement the course taught in regular school (Blachford & Catchpole, 2003). This was very popular at higher education as the students have to undergo fierce competition (Fung 2003:181). However, in the current day context, the cram schools have become very popular among all age groups in Hong Kong. The popularity of cram schools is owed to the fact that families have realised that regular school material is not enough to meet the competitive demands of the Hong Kong education system. To fulfil this gap, families invest in tutoring so that the children are able to maintain a competitive edge. Moreover, many parents believe that their children livelihoods are significantly shaped through supplement tutoring (Fung 2003:181).
It is worth mentioning that cram schools offer supplementary tuition for all age groups starting from the nursery playgroup, primary level, and secondary level, to the higher levels that focuses on a professional course. Based on the requirements of the child, parents are often observed to choose a cram school that best meets the needs of the children which depends on factors like income, affordability and accessibility (Bray & Kwok, 2003). Income of the parents plays an important role in their decision to provide private tutoring. This also leads to the affordability, which is the cost associated to provide supplement tuition to an individual at any level. It is directly linked to the household budget which plays an important role in influencing the need for supplement tuition (Bray, 1996; Mehrotra & Delamonica, 1998; Penrose, 1998). The ease with which the students and the parents can access the cram school and the supplement tuition is another factor that influences the choice for the cram school (Foondun, 2002).
There are many motives for the parents to invest in tutoring and one of the reason being "intensive parenting" Davies (2004, pp. 238 -- 239). The author had pointed out that "the hiring of tutors may be part of a wider strategy in which parents place a great premium on education, value a cognitively stimulating environment for their children, and closely monitor their children's activities. This style of parenting emphasizes a careful plan of structured activities for children, in which tutoring is part of a series of private lessons that also include music, dance, and sports." This observation strengthens the viewpoint that selecting a cram school for their children requires great deal of planning and hence offers a link to the theory of planned behaviour (Davies, 2004).
Quantitative patterns and variations
Data that is reliable on shadow education are not that easy to get a hold of since a lot of supplementary tutoring is directed on an informal foundation. supplementary tutoring formations may not be recorded, and enrollments may be unbalanced. Further, tutors usually avoid taxes on their pays and consequently dislike consideration. Students may also vacillate to reveal the quantities of tutoring that they obtain, partially since they feel shy about looking for either corrective support or modest benefits over their peers. However, a depiction of cross- national designs and distinctions may be drawn from a variety of studies display that supplementary tutoring is a substantial marvel in a lot of parts of the world beside Hong Kong. It is discovered at both the primary and secondary levels, however it tends to be a little more an urban than rural marvel.
In some areas of East Asia, mainly Japan and South Korea, supplementary tutoring has a long history, though it importantly grew in greatness throughout the 1980s and 1990s (Zeng,1999; Seth, 2002). These are nations are prosper which are inclined by Confucian cultural customs that value learning and determination (Rohlen & LeTendre, 1996, p.374; Salili, 2005, p. 92). supplementary tutoring has also developed into something more clear, though maybe for various explanations, in low-income nations such as Cambodia and Bangladesh, and is progressively being stated in Africa (Montgomery et al.,2000; Sambo, 2001; Reddy et al., 2003; Pare-Kabore, 2006). In Eastern Europe, supplementary tutoring has arose as a foremost enterprise with the failure of socialism and the establishment of the market economy ( Popa, 2003; Dedic et al., 2005; Putkiewicz, 2005). The amount of students that are getting supplementary tutoring in other places are possibly lower, nevertheless it has also developed progressively obvious, with diverse dynamics and essential powers, in Western Europe (. Mischo & Haag, 2002; Glasman, 2004; Ireson, 2004) and North America (Schwartz, 1999; Davies, 2004; Gordon et al., 2005).
Although the scale of supplementary tutoring still differs significantly in these diverse cultures, supplementary tutoring can progressively be labeled as a universal wonder which must be taken seriously by strategy makers and others (Wolf, 2002; Baker & LeTendre, 2005).
Diversity in forms of supply
As parents make their decisions, many are not really aware of the drafting of designs and variations in the scale of supplementary tutoring and how they should be complemented by remarks about the procedures of supplementary tutoring. Considerable diversity is clear within nations, and structures vary further through nations. The nature of supplementary tutoring is partially determined by the size of the class. Individualized tutoring which is at the one end of the scale is frequently in the households of the students or the teachers; and than at the other end of the scale are bulk talk theatres with excess rooms aided by television screens concentrating on what in Hong Kong are named 'idol tutors' who in some compliments bear a resemblance to film stars and widespread instrumentalists (Bray, 2003,p. 49). Among these excesses may be very small groups, classes that are medium-sized and classes that are large. Much support in normal education organizations maintains that classes need to have lesser than 35 students so that they can be effective ( Pritchard, 1999; Biddle & Berliner, 2002; Blatchford & Catchpole, 2003); but in the shadow education structure, in some…