By: Kim Se-jeong

Eight out of 10 elementary school students in Seoul received private tutoring last year and each family spent an average of 356,000 won ($329) on this, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), Wednesday.

The city government said 84 percent of 458,000 city students answered they had private education. In 2007, the figure was 89.9 percent.

Although fewer students received private education, the amount spent is on the rise. In 2013, the amount was 335,000 won, up from 280,000 won in 2007.

The statistics showed that students spent seven hours every day for private education in 2014, down from nine hours in 2007.

Last year, 458,000 students were attending elementary schools in Seoul, a record low since the city started keeping records in 1965.

The highest number was 1.18 million in 1982. The number gradually decreased and in 2013, the figure went below 500,000 point for the first time. The decrease is a result of the country’s low birthrate.

The statistics are part of SMG’s annual survey on the health and social life of children.

They also showed one out of five students in sixth grade was obese last year and that trend had not changed over the last decade.

SOURCE: THE KOREA TIMES