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The Challenge of Shadow Education: Private tutoring and its implications for policy makers in the European Union

Across Europe, parents are paying privately to provide their children with enhanced “ shadow” education opportunities outside of the state-provided education. Parallel to public education systems in the European Union (EU) are shadow education systems of private supplementary tutoring. These have grown considerably across the EU but have received little attention, even though they have profound economic and social implications. An independent report prepared for the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture European Commission shows that French and German parents are spending more than 3 billion Euros ($4.39 billion) annually on additional schooling. The report raises concerns the trend is deepening educational inequalities across Europe, with the children of wealthier parents tending to receive extra resources, creating divisions that could have long-term social implications.

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