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The Ninth Gate And The Pianist Term Paper Help With History Assignment


The Ninth Gate and the Pianist

Roman Polanski is one of the most prolific modern-day directors and one word that can be used to describe his works is surrealism. Polanski also integrates symbolism and romanticism in his films to achieve certain effects. Polanski’s influence on film rises up from the notion that objects and people can be utilized as vehicles for incomprehension and complete understanding. Humanity looks different according to how we perceive it and Polanski offers us the opportunity to perceive in many different ways based and emotions such as desire and longing to fear. Emotion serves as an anchor in his films and we often have powerful objects to which we can attach those emotions. Polanski’s powerful direction often results in ingesting aspects of a film long after it has been viewed.

Many of Polanski’s films operate from the perspective of the outsider that is seeking information of some sort from an insider. This type of direction indicates that conclusions in films are not necessarily fixed but instead evolve according to the outsider. Signals and signs exist among other signals and signs and they interact with one another to form a dynamic relationship. The unforeseen is significant in this respect and it exists through a variety of techniques including parody, irony, and imitation. Polanski’s vision also includes doppelgangers and mirrors where individuals see reflections – either a reflection of him or herself or someone else and because of this dynamic, Polanski can show people from different perspectives. As with most creators of larger-than-life characters, Polanski provides an image, perhaps a victimized one or an insane one, and it is up to us to discern upon what we are looking. In the Ninth Gate, we must decide at what point to believe that our protagonist is learning, or seeing, the truth in his quest. Polanski is not afraid to illustrate the question of human perception and often links this to surrealistic elements in films. How one looks at an object and how it appears may be two different things entirely and Polanski populates his films with characters and objects that are always worth a second and third glance. One particularly powerful scene occurs in the library with the mysterious woman appearing then disappearing. We know she is there behind the bookshelf just as we know that she is above him on the upper floor but second glances cause us to doubt. Alexander Stein asserts that the film takes the “spiritual side of consumption as far as it will go” (Caplan). Polanski is also known for his “penchant for idiosyncratic literary adaptations” (Morrison) and his “tendency to integrate surrealist or visionary imagery into the frameworks of traditional genres” (Morrison 34). The Ninth Gate harks back to a “kind of old-style European sensibility – assumed, paradoxically, to be lost” (34). Morrison observes that how the film “registers what it’s really about… is, in the end, a sign of its odd sense of mastery. The technical advancements of the film… are unimpeachable and strangely casual” (45). As we learn from Corso, the quest for information leaves us wondering as the final scene in the Ninth Gate does.

Polanski pays special attention to objects, particularly hands, to emphasize their importance. In the Pianist, Szpilman’s hands open and close the film, indicating their value to him and his life. The piano is also a significant object as well. It becomes representative of Szpilman’s life and survival. How Polanski chooses to convey the significance of the piano is important. Alexander Stein observes that the piano is something with which Szpilman has an intimate relationship. This can be seen in the scene when Szpilman hides in a room with a piano inside. He cannot make a sound so he sits at the piano mimicking the movement of playing with his fingers dancing above the piano keys. Stein maintains, “Polanski’s interpretive choice in so structuring this scene bears consideration… It elegantly communicates Szpilman’s unconscious reliance upon his intimate relationship with the piano and the vast repertoire of music stored in his memory as a musical-hallucinatory coping mechanism” (Stein). Another scene that depicts this relationship occurs when the Nazi finds Szpilman in the house and asks him to play. Here we see the connection between man and object and understand how that relationship helped the man keep his sanity. The soldier’s reaction is quite compelling in helping us comprehend the magnitude of the relationship. In the Ninth Gate, we can say that Corso’s spectacles become a symbol of the man’s ability to reason. We must ask if we believe that Corso sees what he thinks he sees. The relationship between individuals and objects is crucial to understanding the development of each film.

Polanski’s talent can be seen in the two very different but powerful films and from each one we can gather a sense of why the director has carved a name for himself in the industry. The Pianist with its drama and real life element force us to look at the life of one man and how he survived. Many would deduce that he did survive because of his hands and what they could do. In the Ninth Gate, we see a man living in a surreal world that understands everything through books and his glasses become significant symbols because he cannot live without them. Both films illustrate Polanski’s ability to draw our attention to humanity through objects.

Works Cited

Caplan, Nina. “The Devil’s in the Details..” Newspaper Publishing. 2000. LexisNexis Resource Database. Information Retrieved November 19, 2008.

Morrison, James. The Old Master: Kubrick, Polanski, and the Late Style in Modern Cinema.” Raritan. JSTOR Resource Database. Information Retrieved November 19, 2008.

Stein, Alexander. “Music and Trauma in Polanski’s the Pianist.” JSTOR Resource Database. Information Retrieved November 19, 2008.

The Ratio Analysis of Different Companies history homework: history homework

Ratio Analysis of Different Companies Within the Same Industry

The aim of this report is to make a comparison between 10 important companies, from different fields of activities. The comparison tool would represent various financial-accounting ratios that would best highlight in quantitative terms the specific characteristics and performance of the company.

This comparison based on financial and accounting ratios is important due to the fact that stakeholders in these companies need to be informed at all times about their investments. A basic principle of security placements is that all investors must be aware about the opportunities on the market and should act only upon an informed decision.

The five fields of activity included in the presentation represent main industries in the current economy, each employing a large share of the global workforce, involving important investments and budgets. The magnitude and the importance of the industry can be perceived differently – the attention paid to these companies by individuals, specialists and even Governments as well as the fact that market is heavily influenced by their performance.

For example, a retailer conducts business in collaboration with a multitude of other types of enterprises, among which we can mention – logistics companies, manufacturers, shipment companies, and so on. If the retailer has a negative performance, or even worse goes bankrupt, it can influence in an unwanted manner the other corporations it does business with. The companies, which represent the subject of our analysis, are to be presented in a pair of two, and have different characteristics and attributes.

Retailer Industry: Home Depot vs. Sears

Home Depot was founded in 1978 in Atlanta, U.S., being the one of the largest home improvement retailer in the world. It has more than 2000 stores – Home Depot Stores, Expo Design Centres, Landscape Supply stores, conducting businesses in developed markets – Canada and U.S., as well as in emerging ones – Mexico, Puerto Rico and China. The securities of the company are traded at the New York Stock exchange, among other important shares. Regarding the number of employees, Home Depot is one of the largest companies in U.S., having more than 300.000 persons working and believing in the Home Depot objectives and targets. The social responsibility of Home Depot is proven by its numerous involvements in the building and refurbishing of playgrounds – attract both the parents and children; ensures the safety and accessibility of socializing places within the community – helps bring people more closer one to another; building affordable houses – ensure proper housing facilities for all social layers; and prepare communities for emergencies – both natural (typhoons) and artificial (terrorist attacks).

Sears Holdings Corporation is the fourth American broadline retailer conducts business in more than 3800 full line and speciality shops in United States and Canada, having annual revenues at the level of 50 billion dollars. Also, an important part in the Sears’s activity is the sale of home appliance, offering to customers a diverse range of products, like garden tools, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. The public perception of the company has heavily risen following the merger between Sears and Kmart in 24th of March 2005. Sears Holding has besides corporate goals, very important social ambitions like improving the life of customers, by offering them qualitative products and services. The corporate culture of the company is guided by three directions – vision, mission and values.

In discussing the performances and financial ratios of the two companies, we should aim at tackling the major financial ratio, depicting liquidity, financial leverage and profitability. The current ratio, computed as the Current Assets over the Current Liabilities, indicate the coverage of short-term payments as compared to current assets. Regarding the two retailers, Home Depot has a Current ratio in 2006 of 1.4 as compared to 1.5 belonging to Sears.

An interpretation of these figures is that Sears is more liquid than Home Depot, offering more certainties to short-term suppliers. The strong brand name that is Sears ensures suppliers that they will recover the money on their shipments of merchandise towards the retail centres. However, a current ratio of 2 would indicate a sound relationship between the short-term financial inputs and outputs. The difference between the two ratios is however too small to be able to draw a sound conclusion on the differences between the two companies and it rather comes to show that these are large retailers, with large volumes of sales that can afford to be liquid and maintain short-term solvability.

The next financial ratio to be discussed is the Leverage ratio, identified through the division of Total Assets to the Total Equity of the company offers some guidelines on the extent to which the business relies on debt financing. A ratio higher than 2 indicates a riskier company, a company that has extended its financial leverage to a certain degree.

It should come to no surprise that Home Depot registers an inferior Leverage ratio than its counterparty. This can be explained by the fact that Home Depot conducts business on more markets than Sears, so the risk is diversified in a way. The difference is quite important – 2.5 in the case of Sears and 2.1 in the case of Home Depot. It also shows a more prudent policy in the case of Home Depot and this is also understandable, considering the presentation of the company as mentioned in a previous paragraph.

Lastly, the Return on Assets ratio is an indicator of the company’s profitability on the market and stipulates whether the corporation was successful in its objectives. This ratio is computed by dividing the Net income over Total Assets and amount to 4.9% in the case of Sears and to 8.9% in the case of Home Depot. These figures offer some indications on how efficient the management of the companies was in using the asset for profit generation. The striking difference in favour of Home Depot clearly shows a more responsible investment policies and more sound management tactics than in the case of its competitor. The result says more than words, as the figure of Sears is half of the Home Depot Figure. Simply put, the assets that Home Depot has generate more income than those of Sears.

Beer Industry

Anheuser-Busch is the company with the largest volume of beer produced, having an impressive 48.8% of the American market sales – 121.9 million barrels in 2005. At a global level, the corporation maintained its efficient performer position, occupying the third place after InBev and SABMiller. The headquarters of the company are in St. Louis, Missouri and the enterprise possesses 12 breweries in United States and another 20 abroad. Anheuser Busch belongs to a greater commercial group – Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (ABC) that conducts various lines of business, and more specifically – domestic beer, international beer, packaging and entertainment. Approximately 93% of the ABC’s net sales are generated in the United States. The international activities of the company consist in producing beer, under licence and specific brewing contracts plus exports. Among the well-known brands of the company we can mention Budweiser, Busch, Michelob and Natural Light.

While Anheuser Busch has large breweries, both its own and under license, the Boston Beer Company represents the top American brewer of handcrafted full-flavoured beers. Using even from the start traditional recipes and finest ingredients, the company was able to offer the customers 18 distinctive, quality types of beer. The distribution of the company started to evolve in ’90-’92 and the process was concluded in 1995, when it was an official national brand. Since then, through a network of distributors, it exports its products into Pacific Rim, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean. The success of the company attracted both the views of customers and of competitors, who tried to copy the performance of Boston Beer Company. Founded in 1984, the company has now only 433 employees. The stable growth of the revenues led to the situation of 2006 of 285 million dollars, as compared to 2005 when the revenue levels registered 238.3 million dollars. Another excellent result of the company was the fact that it managed to cut costs, more specifically sales, general and administrative costs by about 3%.

In making the comparison between the two we shall use again the financial ratio approach and will try to discover the discrepancies in performance related to liquidity, financial leverage and profitability. Boston Beer has a Current Ratio of 3, representing one of the leader performances in terms of liquidity from the entire industry. Anheuser-Busch’s liquidity ratio was 0.81, indicating a possible problem in the company’s capacity in meeting its short-term payment obligation. Creditors should be aware in handling the Anheuser Busch, given this reduced level of the ratio.

The explanation for this is quite reasonable. As a microbrewer, Boston Beer had to pay attention to the way it ensured its financial credibility on the market. This meant that it could not be afford to be perceived as an untrustworthy short-term partner and it believed in leading a prudent short-term financial policy. Anheuser, on the other hand, had larger spread operations and could simply use its stance on the market to cover short-term liabilities.

In terms of financial leverage, the charts indicate a ratio of 4.7 for Anheuser Busch and a ratio of 1.4 for Boston Beer. The numbers show a high risk in case of Anheuser Busch (surpassing more than twice the industry mean of 2) and a very stable Boston Beer corporation. It seems that the winning strategy is to develop gradually, to offer your products to an increasing number of possible consumers, but not to overdue it and stick to your fundamental beliefs (in the case of Boston Beer – developing traditional beer with finest ingredients). Again, we notice the same financial reckless approach in the of Anheuser and the traditional stable financial approach for Boston Beer.

The Return on Assets for Anheuser-Busch was of 12.6% for 2006, while the same ratio for Boston Beer amounted 11.8%. Similar figures, with a slight advantage in the case of Anheuser-Busch, highlight the fact that both companies use their existent assets for obtaining profits and revenues in a correct manner.

Computer Industry

Compaq Computer Corporation was founded in 1982 and its main field of activity is the production of American Personal Computers, nowadays representing the second largest computer company in the world and the largest supplier of personal computers. In 2002, the company was acquired by the Hewlett Packard conglomerate. The company focused on producing computer systems that were compatible with the majority of software on the market and this issue was innovative a couple of decades ago.The competitors of HP Compaq are important computer manufacturing companies, such as Dell, Lenovo, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba. The financial figures for HP group registered a total level of revenues in 2006 of 91,658 million dollars and a gross profit of 220,231 million dollars. Compaq has initiatives and programs for promoting environmental friendly application for its clients and its business partners. The company distributes its products in more than 100 countries through a network of carefully selected marketing partners, according to some strict performance and quality service criteria.

Gateway was founded in 1985 by Ted Waitt and now represents one of the main promoters in innovation through the technology industry. The shares of the company are traded in the New York Stock Exchange starting with 1997. Gateway was acquired in 2007 by Taiwan giant Acer Inc. And represents now the third largest Personal Computer corporation in the world. Gateway sell their products through exclusive and non-exclusive retailers, by own sales force and by telephone. Also great consideration is paid to Internet order processing system. The company’s social objectives include treating customers with qualitative products and services, fact that influenced the overall customer loyalty to the company. The innovative orientation of the company can be depicted by being the first entity to offer systems with colour monitors as standard and to explore the convergence between PC and Television. As a continuation of this trend, Gateway’s most successful product is the Plasma monitor, with high fidelity colours and impressive performance.

Comparing the two entities, Compaq’s current ratio of 1.35 states that the corporation has a good position in terms of meeting the short-term obligation by using its short-term assets. However, Gateway presents itself with a Current ratio of 1.88, indicating that the liquidity of Gateway is superior to that of Compaq. The differences between the two are not sufficient to draw a conclusion on differences, although the thesis previously explained, according to which the smaller traditional start-up tends to have a more prudent financial approach is viable here as well.

The interesting figure of 1.01 for the Leverage ratio in case of Gateway indicates that the entire assets of the company are in the possession of shareholders, due to extensive capitalization. The financial leverage for Compaq is proven by the Debt to Equity indicator of 6.53, stipulating that only a small part (approximately 15% of Debt is covered by shareholder’s contributions).

Return on Assets, our indicator of profitability, is 8.25 for Compaq and a worrying – 24.5% for Gateway. This profitability indicators state that the company’s assets were evaluated at a lower value than the market value, and this could be a possible explanation for the Gateway negative result. Also Compaq is affected in terms of liquidity and financial leverage by the fact that the Compaq brand was incorporated into HP, and actual Compaq resides on some personal consumer oriented products.


Johnson and Johnson

Johnson & Johnson’s was set up in New Jersey in 1886 and registered an impressive 73 years of consecutive sales increase and 44 years of dividend increase. Employing 120,000 people at global level the company focuses in the production and sale of broadline healthcare products, protecting in this way the safety and the well being of their customers. The decentralization is one of the most important strategies, the activity being divided into a few business lines – Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Professional segment. The company is one of the most profitable corporations in its line of activity – with a value of the Gross profit margin of 75.3%.

Eli Lilly company operates in the bio-tech industry, included in the Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical corporations. Based in Indianapolis, U.S. has over 14 billion in Sales for the year 2005. Eli Lilly Company holds own 24 manufacturing facilities, without including in this figure the 3rd party manufacturers. Among the key products of the corporation we can state:: Prozac, Zyprexa, Cialis, Insulins. Eli Lilly is one of the most important innovation driven companies committed to developing a first pharmaceutical products that would improve the life of individuals. Lilly products treat depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, osteoporosis and many other conditions. Also the gross profit margin is excellent – amounting 82.8%.

Comparing the two pharmaceutical corporations, we once again aim at describing their liquidity, profitability and profitability ratio. Johnson&Johnson’s current ratio is 1.5 while the same indicator for Eli Lilly is 2.6. As a conclusion, Eli Lilly can better meet their short-term obligations, as the current assets are 2.6 higher than the current liabilties. The leverage rate, denoting the ratio between the total assets and total debt, is also another financial benchmark – 1.8 for Johnson&Johnson’s and 1.9 for Eli Lilly. This similarity show identical strategies of both pharmaceutical companies – that is maintaining a low financial leverage. Therefore, the risk for the two companies is present at reduced levels. The return on Assets for Eli Lilly company is only 8.9% as compared to Johnson&Jonhson’s figure of 13.6%. That is the managers of the latter company have better administrated the corporate assets for the previous period.

Books industry

Barnes & Noble is the number one bookseller in U.S., operating more than 700 own branded superstores in America. It also owns almost 100 mostly mall-based B. Dalton bookstores. Also, the new trends in the economy are observed by the corporation and the e-commerce with books is also booming. Despite the fast start, only 10% of the sales are performed in the online environment. In 2004, Barnes & Noble’s started a new line of business, when opened the GameStop subsidiary -nowadays being one the most important U.S. video game retailer. With annual sales of 5,261 million dollars and an net income, the company can be characterized as a top performer.

Amazon started as the biggest retailer of books and now sells an outstanding range of products. Music, DVDs, books, videos, electronics, tools, groceries and other types of services sell at at a pace of 10,711 million dollars, registering an annual growth in sales volume of 26.2%.

In comparing the two large book retailers, we aim again at discussing issues related to short-term liquidity, profitability and financial leverage. The current ratio for Amazon is 1.5 while the same indicator for Barnes & Noble is 1.2, above the average of the industry. The lack of liquidity can be explained by the fact that Barnes & Noble has retail bookstores that imply large administrative costs, reducing in this way the short-term liquidity of the corporation. The Total Debt over Equity ratio for Barnes & Nobles is 2.5 while the leverage indicator for Amazon is 1.67. The conclusion is that Barnes & Nobles is more risky, and this can be explained by the large investments incurred by the company in maintaining the stores. The Return on Assets for Amazon – the profitability of the company – is 7.9%, while the indicator for Barnes & Nobles is 4.57%. The reasons stipulated above also fit for the computed profitability index.


The ratio analysis described was targeted at depicting the differences between large corporations within the same industry. Competitors have different financial ratios, describing the various performances registered by each entity.


1) Roush, Chris “Inside Home Depot” McGraw Hill, Business Week (January 4, 2007

2) the Washington Post, Risky Side of Sears: Retailer Is Recast as a Hedge Fund, as Sales and Stores Decline, Chairman Focuses on Investment, March 11, 2007.

3) www.realbeer.comThe 48 proof beer. Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 19. Real Beer Media, Inc. (Feb. 14, 2002). Retrieved on 2007- 07-22.

A financial information, indexes on company – retrieved on 12th of December 2007.

5) Interactive press release, “Johnson & Johnson Ranks No. 1 in National Corporate Reputation Survey for Seventh Consecutive Year,” December 7, 2005.

6) Groppelli, Angelico a.; Ehsan Nikbakht (2000). Finance, 4th ed. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 433.

ISBN 0764112759.

Feminine Driving the Hospitality Industry do my history assignment

Feminine Drives the Hospitality Industry

What is the feminine? What is the current hospitality industry in relation to the feminine?

Care for me. Nurture me. All of these relate to an individual’s ideal concepts of being mothered and mothering. Although sexual relations have changed considerably in recent years, when asked ‘what are the favorite comfort foods of your childhood,’ most individuals respond with the special foods their mothers prepared for them. Even individuals with absent, harried, or culinary incompetent mothers have the culturally idealized image of the female giver of sustenance and nurturing within their collective, if not their personal memory.

After a hard day at work, with mum far away, what does the average individual turn to in his or her own life for sustenance but the hospitality industry. It could be a place for drinks and friends, a place to get favorite comfort foods, or simply a place where he or she knows the food will be prepared in a standardized fashion, without surprises — yet accompanied with at least he illusion of enough individual care to his or her own needs that the food and the dining experience does not seem generic. Families with children also depend upon seeking this feminine impulse within the hospitality industry. Mothers may be nurtured by being relieved of their culturally expected food preparation duties to their children, children may engage in the eating of prepared fantasy foods, such as chips and burgers and sundaes named after cartoon characters, and couples with children can enjoy quality time with one another.

The Plan

Like women today, London Restaurants strive to be all things to all people. The recently opened “Ark,” for example, states that though it is “candle lit” with “rustic chic and chilled music, seating 60 people over 2 floors,” it offers “freshly prepared food, from an interesting menu that caters for everyone, including vegetarians and children.” Thus Ark strives to be amicable to couples as well as to children and to those with less than ordinary dining needs. ( This is not unusual for a London restaurant in particular, as most successful restaurants in the city must not reject patrons, even if some restaurants strive to create an aura of exclusivity. Ultimately success is based upon customer desires for certain foods and an establishment’s willingness to accommodate all people. A restaurant, particularly a London Restaurant in a city known more for dining experiences than quality of food must open up its arms in a feminine and maternal embrace, rather than say it will admit sophisticated gourmets only.

Interestingly enough, the online London Restaurant guide specifically associates the few ostentatiously masculine restaurants it advertises with what is American, noting recently, for instance, when taking a man out, “according to historians,” the origins of Father’s Day “are firmly rooted in American soil. The first Father’s Day was honored as early as 1908, in West Virginia,” though “as with most popular ideas, from across the pond, we Brits were soon to cotton on,” and that to please dad, or any man, take him to TGIF. The site says this, it should be noted, in a momentary turning away from its usual stress upon English establishments. (

The Paradox

Like a woman, a London restaurant must be all things to all people, yet offer something that is unique and exclusive that makes people feel as though they are being cared and catered for like special children, and that their special needs are being indulged for an evening. Yet the industry itself remains dominated in a masculine fashion, in terms of chefs and owners, and London itself contrasts and constructs itself as feminine against more masculine dinning areas and arenas from American, which offer less ambience, or from more haute cuisine concerned areas of the world, such as Italy and France, where menus, chefs, and owners are more likely to dictate the needs of the diner’s palate and the customers, rather than respond to the customer’s own perceived comfort and needs of the moment.

The Current State of Radio Broadcasting Paper history assignment help australia: history assignment help australia

Future of Radio

What is the future of radio? Does radio have a positive future with a wide-open list of possibilities, or are there stumbling blocks in front of radio’s future? What are the technologies and other competing sources? What will it take for radio stations to convert to digital technologies, and why have they not done that to date? These and other issues will be discussed in this paper.

Current State of Radio Broadcasting

According to a report called “The State of the News Media” by the Pew Research Center, traditional AM and FM radio “still dominate the audio landscape” but there are “growing signals that raise questions about its future” (Olmstead, et al., 2011, p. 1). Olmstead reports that “large majorities of Americans continue to listen to AM/FM radio each week,” in fact nine out of ten adults in the United States listen to AM/FM. That having been said, surveys show that “most Americans point to newer technologies” as having “more impact” on their lives, even though Americans spend less time with those new technologies (Olmstead, p. 1).

In the Pew Research Center survey, the results show that for the first time Americans say they are listening more to “online-only outlets like Pandora or Slacker Radio” than they do streaming content from existing AM/FM stations (Olmstead, p. 1). This could be of course because AM/FM stations that stream still play their commercials ad nausea, while Pandora and Slacker are commercial free.

Currently, HD Radio has “failed to take off,” Olmstead continues. Just a small percentage of listeners listen to HD Radio, “or are even aware it exists,” hence, fewer stations are investing in making that transition. While HD radio remained flat in the market, AM/FM revenues for 2010 rose 6% over 2009, Olmstead explains on page 1. The continuing growth of revenue for AM/FM radio could be threatened, Olmstead continues, if radio audiences continue to go to online alternatives like Pandora. That is because the revenue for AM/FM comes from advertising for the most part, and when ratings for stations fall flat, advertising money sinks as well.

National Public Radio (NPR) — which Republicans in the House of Representative voted to kill earlier in 2011 — “continues to be a growing source of news for many Americans,” Olmstead writes (p. 2). The expansion for PBS / NPR is due to the fact that commercial radio is doing away with news outside the largest markets in the U.S., Olmstead relates. The NPR audience grew by 3% in 2010, to a total of 27.2 million weekly listeners.

While the percentage of Americans that read newspapers has dropped by 16 percentage points since 2000, Pew data shows that the percentage of Americans using AM/FM radio dropped just 3 percentage points in the same time frame (Olmstead, p. 2). Those statistics regarding listeners to AM/FM could be changing though due to the fact that early in 2011, Pew research shows that “fully 84% of Americans over age 12 report using a cellphone; and because cell phones are “almost as ubiquitous” as radios, in the future more powerful smartphones will be used as audio devices and that portends “a potential for reducing AM/FM listening” (Olmstead, p. 3).

Another sign that AM/FM radio may take a dive in usage is the polling Pew did, which shows that 22% of those surveyed said AM/FM radio had a “big impact” on their lives, but 54% said cell phones had a big impact, 44% cited iPhones, 45% said BlackBerries and 49% said broadband Internet had a “big impact” on their lives (Olmstead, p. 4). Those that listen to online radio in their cars has “doubled” over the past two years, the survey reports. About 27% of Americans indicated that they were “very interested” in hearing Internet radio in their cars in 2010, and that was up from 10% who said the same thing in 2009; 6% of respondents said they were already using cell phones to hear Internet radio in their automobiles (Olmstead, p. 6).

The economics of AM/FM radio shows improvement today, the Pew survey reports. While the audience is shrinking some, total revenue for traditional radio rose 6% in 2010, to $17.3 billion, that is up from $16 billion in 2009. While some of that rise in revenue can be possibly attributed to the improving economy, the total advertising revenue for “all U.S. media was up 3% in 2010” and radio receipts were even better than 3%, Pew explains (Olmstead, p. 10). About a third of Americans told the Pew survey people that they receive “some news” through the radio, which is down from the 38% who said they got some news from the radio in 2008 and well down from the number (43%) who said the same thing in 2000 (Olmstead, p. 12).

What are the major threats to radio broadcasting? Public Radio: Political Target

There are a number of threats that challenge radio broadcasting in the United States today. One of those threats is political, and it comes from the conservative majority in the United States House of Representatives — some representatives of the GOP are referred to as the “Tea Party” — whose members apparently believe that Public Broadcasting is a tool of liberals and should be shut down. Public radio and television are under the umbrella of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and there are 900 public radio stations that do receive funds from the CPB. However, according to the CPB, every public radio station is locally owned and operated, and those stations “provide programs and services responsive to the needs of their communities” (CPB).

Congress has authorized that local public radio stations have “autonomy” — that means the CPB cannot own any public radio stations, but can offer programming to stations, and those independent stations can choose which (if any) of the programs that the CPB offers to PBS, NPR, and Public Television programs like Sesame Street. The CPB points out that each station produces about 40% of its own programming. The local public radio stations have their own fundraising strategies to support their services, while the federal government provides about $28 million annually for CPB to providing programming to the 900 radio stations spread out around the country.

So why did the House of Representatives approve legislation for 2011 (on February 19) that “cut all financing for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the year 2013” which is the first time the House passed such legislation (Jensen, 2011). Author James Ledbetter explains that a TV and radio broadcasting system partially funded by “Congressionally controlled money provides the ultimate hot-button issue, a grandstander’s dream” (Ledbetter, 1999, p. 10). In 1995, when Republicans controlled the House, Congress “held more hearings on the budget for PBS and NPR shows than it did on budgets for Medicaid and Medicare,” entitlement programs with budgets more than 100 times the budgets for the CPB, Ledbetter explains.

Indeed, throughout the 42-year history of public broadcasting, the taxpayer subsidy has “repeatedly been used as a club with which to clobber that very commitment,” Ledbetter continues. “Like a dog that has learned to flinch at the mere pantomime of the master’s lashing,” public broadcasting leaders have learned to stay away from provocative subjects that could conceivably bring criticism (founded or unfounded) from conservative lawmakers. Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican, said the vote in the House on February 19 “reflects the will of the people” and that it is time to “get our fiscal house in order” (Sullivan, 2011). Lamborn called the vote an “historic step”; there are “so many media outlets available to people we don’t need a government-sponsored media anymore,” Lamborn continued, alluding to commercial broadcasting entities (Sullivan).

Meanwhile, as to the most recent attempt by conservatives to slash funding for CPB, the U.S. Senate rebuked the vote in the House and so public broadcasting continues, for now at least. But that didn’t stop Florida Governor Rick Scott from vetoing his state’s $4.8 million appropriation for public broadcasting; that means that each of 13 PBS stations in Florida lose about $87,287 each, according to Elizabeth Jensen, writing in the Media Decoder in The New York Times.

What are the major threats to radio broadcasting? Strategic Challenges

Robert G. Picard is Director of Research at the Reuters Institute in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, UK, and he is also editor of the Journal of Media Business Studies. In his 2009 article in The Media Business (“Radio Stations Face Significant Strategic Challenges”) he asserts that the “wide availability of substitutable audio platforms” along with “lifestyle changes” are contributing to the decline of radio broadcasting audiences (Picard, 2009, p. 1). In particular, Picard views the digital revolution as posing the biggest threat to radio broadcasting.

Rather than listen to radio stations for the songs they like, and having to endure commercials that seem endless, people now can create their own “personalized playlists” on their computers, their MP3 players, and their mobile phones, Picard explains. He doesn’t mention Apple’s iPod, iPod Touch, and iPad, but those devices also pose a challenge for traditional radio broadcasting. People can “select music that suits their individual tastes and many have wider repositories of music in their own libraries” — thanks to the iTunes and similar services — than are offered on the playlists of radio broadcasters (Picard, p. 1).

Moreover, Satellite and Internet radio are offering “hundreds of choices of highly focused music formats,” Picard continues, making radio “a less relevant platform” for music and entertainment than it was previously (p. 1). Besides using Satellite radio — and being willing to pay for a service that specializes in exactly the music genre listeners prefer — users are downloading podcasts on a number of topics that interest them, Picard explains. The problems for radio resulting from these alternative audio choices are “compounded” in the United States due to the deregulation in the 1990s that ultimately led to the reduction of musical genres and other content on radio broadcasts, Picard continues.

On top of that, programming is much less local and “less relevant” because programming and content decisions are being made elsewhere, in many cases, by corporate ownership (Picard, p. 2). Among the biggest, most powerful corporate radio broadcast interests is Clear Channel, a corporation that owns an estimated 1,200 stations (including 140 stations in New Zealand and Australia) according to the Clear Channel Corporate Fact Sheet. The Clear Channel corporation brings in an estimated $6 billion annually and its broadcasts reach an estimated 238 million listeners a month, the company claims.

Picard asserts that radio advertising expenditures are down to about 10% — from 13% in 2002 — in the United States, and the price for radio stations on the market has seen “considerable weakening” in recent years (p. 2). Picard recommends that owners of radio stations need to “start spending a good deal of time thinking about what is happening to their industry,” and what they need to do to stay relevant and profitable; they will need to “reposition their functions” for both advertisers and audiences, Picard concludes (p. 2).

Prospects of Satellite Radio and Radio Online Streaming /

Transformation of Radio Broadcasting to the Digital Age

An article in Forbes (January, 2011) points out that while CBS Radio has 130 stations in the U.S., and those stations have been “profit drivers” for CBS, the company has lost market share in the last few years because it has sold off some of its stations in order to “focus its efforts on larger markets.” CBS has lost market share (down from 11% in 2005 to 8% in 2009), but that’s not its only problem, according to the Forbes’ article. Pandora, an Internet radio service that is “pushing into the drive-time radio market,” Forbes explains; hence it is challenging CBS and other traditional radio broadcasting interests. Pandora streams online and because millions of consumers now have smart phones (that pick up Internet signals), they can use Pandora instead of commercial radio stations. Moreover, Pandora allows the user to zero in on specific musical tastes and specific artists. For example, a jazz aficionado may establish a “Miles Davis Radio” channel on his or her Pandora link, and all the listener hears is Davis and other jazz artists in the same genre — with no advertisements or drive-time hype to interfere with the music.

The Forbes article explains that Ford Motor Company will be launching new cars with “embedded software that will operate Pandora through voice controls” so that the driver doesn’t have to look for a button to push or a knob to turn. Mercedes-Benz is currently promoting Pandora’s radio service in its automobiles, as well. Obviously, digital formats are presenting a huge threat — and a viable alternative — to traditional broadcast radio in the U.S.

Blogger Rocco Pendola asserts that Pandora isn’t the only challenge to traditional radio broadcasters. Pendola explains that “Clear Channel now plans its attack” based on the corporation’s ability to promote digital radio to its already use audience (Pendola, 2011, p. 1). Only three percent of listeners, Pendola explains, have use of digital radio, but Clear Channel has seen the writing on the wall in radio, and hence it has innovated with its iHeart platform. The iHeart platform will allow listeners to “create playlists on your own musical tastes,” as Pandora has done so successfully (Pendola, p. 1). The iHeart component of Clear Channel of course provides access to all of Clear Channel’s offerings — including far right wing conservative Rush Limbaugh’s daily rantings along with Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Laura, and others — not just music.

“Clear channel is finally doing what radio companies should have started doing years ago,” Pendola continues (p. 2); “they are innovating or at least following the innovators with aggression, as opposed to sitting back licking their wounds.”

The iHeart application is designed to be used with smartphones, and Clear Channel is making sure that ample publicity will be used to promote its innovation. In September, 2011, Clear Channel sponsored a series of high-profile concerts at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (with names like Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Sting, Jay-Z among many others) in order to launch iHeart to the world, according to the Los Angeles Times Music Blog, Pop & Hiss.

Author Michael C. Keith writes that when digital technologies became available to the consumer, broadcasters viewed it (DAB, or HD) “as a threat” (Keith, 2009, p. 23). The executive vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), John Abel, is quoted by Keith saying that “ DAB is a threat to anyone who plans to stay in business for awhile” in 1990. Of course that was an exaggeration of the issue, but the fact is that digital terrestrial radio means that those with analog receivers are out of date and out of luck. Still, digital converters are now offered at fairly low prices, and because digital radio can do several other things — like transmitting data into smart phones — it means profitability for station owners, Keith explains on page 23.

It’s very simple, Keith explains: Americans demand the best quality sound available, and they are not going to get that sound on analog receivers, because analog receivers pick up interference and digital is generally considered to be “interference-free” (24). The advantages that come with digital broadcasting — according to Jeff Tellis, former president of Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) — include the following: a) “significantly improved coverage” with less power needed; b) much-improved broadcast signal; c) “more precise coverage control” through the use of “multiple transmitters”; d) no channel interference with adjacent channels; e) booster capabilities to avoid using separate frequencies to beef up same signal; f) easy transmission of auxiliary services; and g) the sharing of transmitting facilities with a “common transmitter and antenna” (Keith, p. 24).

As for satellite radio, an article in PR Newswire references an Arbitron study of listeners, which reports that as of October and November, 2009, exactly two years ago, there were “more than 35 million total adult listeners” tuning in to SIRIUS XM per week (PR Newswire, 2010). Not surprisingly, the study showed that listeners prefer satellite radio over “other audio options available to them,” and that of the broadcast options available, listeners typically listen to SIRIUS XM 62% of the time, they listen to AM/FM radio 16% of the time, about 4% of the time they listen to streaming music on the Internet and 10% of the time they use smartphones and other mobile devices (PR Newswire, p. 1).

The Arbitron survey found that on a typical day SIRIUS XM listeners spend two hours and forty-five minutes in their automobiles; those listeners tune in to SIRIUS XM 71% of the time in their cars, and tune into AM/FM 17% of the time, and 5% of their time in the car they use smartphones or other mobile devices. The survey by Arbitron showed that 56% of SIRIUS XM listeners “graduated from college or have advanced degrees” while just 24% of AM/FM radio listeners and 25% of the “general population” have degrees from colleges or universities (PR Newswire).

Satellite radio subscribers are — no surprise here — more affluent than AM/FM radio listeners, according to PR Newswire. Twenty-four percent of SIRIUS XM subscribers have household incomes of $150,000 or more; just 9% of AM/FM listeners have incomes in that category and only 9% of the general public enjoys substantial incomes such as $150,000. An interesting side note to the Arbitron survey shows that when it comes to listeners changing channels during commercials, “SIRIUS XM listeners are 61% more likely to stay with a commercial on satellite radio than with those that air on AM/FM radio stations” (PR Newswire).

The PR Newswire story mentions a few of the high-visibility personalities and artists, whose presence and star-power clearly helps get consumers interested in signing on; they include Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Jimmy Buffett and Willie Nelson, to name a few. Also the subscriber to satellite radio can hear games played in the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA (when it is not in a locked-out mode), the NHL, PGA golf and major college sports (PR Newswire).

The Future of Radio in the Next 15 Years

In the same way that Pandora is cutting cooperative / collaborative deals with Mercedes-Benz and Ford Motor Company — buy a new car and Pandora is already installed, and can be activated with a voice command — SIRIUS XM is doing some auto-related marketing of its own. The future of satellite radio has the potential to be rosy, since according to Spencer Osborne blogging in, “about 60% of all new cars manufactured” have satellite radios installed. The deal is, the new car buyer gets a promotional subscription that keeps his or her satellite radio free for three months to a year, depending on the manufacturer of the auto.

Osborne asserts that nearly half of those new car buyers convert to a subscription, which is a seemingly smart business model for SIRIUS XM, notwithstanding the “high costs associated with” the promotional package. Those high costs, Osborne explains, result from SIRIUS XM subsidize the cost of the radio hardware, the installation into the new automobiles; and in some cases SIRIUS XM also pays the car companies “up to 35% of the revenue that they derive” from the deal.

However, many professionals in the broadcast and digital world believe that a much bigger potential for satellite radio lies in the smartphone industry. Consumers are “gravitating” to smartphones like Android, iPhone and BlackBerry in droves, Osborne explains. Hence, SIRIUS XM should be able to see that their “real growth story” should be linked to the smartphone market; however, SIRIUS XM “has not yet made the game changing move that could cement them as the consumers’ choice for audio entertainment,” Osborne asserts. In fact with smartphones, SIRIUS XM has no hardware to subsidize and install (like they have to install in autos), no installation to pay for, and “no revenue to share” (Osborne, p. 1).

Indeed, there are Internet royalties to pay but those expenses are “substantially less than all of the subsidies and revenue sharing” that the satellite company shells out to auto companies that are in partnerships with SIRIUS XM (Osborne, p. 1). In fact all SIRIUS XM has to do to get on board the smartphone bandwagon is to develop and keep updates an “app” — it’s really all about “the software” when it comes to smartphones, Osborne relates. With cars, it’s all about the hardware, the writer emphasizes on page 1.

As to the future of local radio in the next fifteen years or so, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) explains that there is legislation in the U.S. Congress that could have a “devastating” effect on local radio stations. The legislation is called “The Performance Rights Act” and if it passes, it would slap a new fee on local stations “simply for airing music on the radio — airing the music that provides free promotion to the labels and artists” (NAB). A tax of this kind must be rejected, the NAB insists, because it could “financially cripple local radio stations” in the future and put jobs at risk as well as stifling new artists that wish to break into the music recording business (NAB).

What is the point of the Performance Rights Act? The NAB explains that for over 80 years record labels and musicians have “thrived from radio airplay — which is essentially free advertising — from local radio broadcasters.” Broadcast radio, after all, reaches and influences 241 million listeners per week, a number that “dwarfs the reach of Internet and satellite radio,” NAB continues. Some 85% of listeners of “all audio services” say radio is the place they first heard new music, the NAB reports. But because many record labels have “failed to adapt their business model to the digital age,” they now wish to recoup the money they are not earning and do it on the “backs of local radio stations, that are, ironically, their greatest promotional tool” (NAB).

That said, the NAB asserts that Congress should oppose any tax of free, local radio broadcasters that could put local jobs at risk, prevent new musicians from getting a shot in the record business, and “harm the 241 million Americans who rely on local radio” (NAB).

Meanwhile, Jim Kerr of believes that the future of the radio industry will be more “evolutionary” than “revolutionary” and he offers five trends for the future to solidify his position. One, listener data must be “priority one” as radio transitions into digital through mobile and social media; two, local advertisers must demand “digital accountability” and not be willing to pay unless stations have digital assets; three, the value of streaming online must be “redefined”; four, digital agencies must embrace radio (“finally”); and five, radio must begin to “significantly embrace location-based mobile services” because there is a “huge opportunity” for radio to go to an advertiser and utilize a “digital platform to send their huge reach into stores” (Kerr, 2011).

Works Cited

Clear Channel. “Corporate Fact Sheet.” Retrieved November 10, 2011, from

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “How do public broadcasters obtain programming?”

Retrieved November 9, 2011, from

Forbes. “CBS Radio Faces Pandora Threat.” Retrieved November 10, 2011, from 2011.

Jensen, Elizabeth. “Florida Governor Vetoes PBS Funding.” Media Decoder / The New York

Times. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from 2011.

Jensen, Elizabeth. “Public Broadcasting Faces New Threat in Federal Budget.” The New York

Times. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from 2011.

Keith, Michael C. The Radio Station: Broadcast, Satellite and Internet. Waltham, MA: Focal

Press, 2009.

Kerr, Jim. “Five trends for the future of radio.” VentureBeat. Retrieved November 9, 2011, from

Ledbetter, James. Made Possible By: The Death of Public Broadcasting in the United States.

Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 1999.

National Association of Broadcasters. “The Performance Rights Act Puts Local Jobs at Risk.”

Retrieved November 9, 2011, from

Olmstead, Kenny, Mitchell, Amy, and Rosenstiel, Tom. “Audio: Medium on the Brink of Major Change / The State of the News Media.” Pew Research Center. Retrieved November

9, 2011, from

Osborne, Spencer. “The Future of Satellite Radio — Smartphones.” Retrieved November 9, 2011, from

Pendola, Rocco. “Forget Pandora, Will Clear Channel Crush Sirius?” Seeking Alpha. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from

Pop & Hiss. “I Heart Radio: Seacrest/Clear Channel celebrate in Las Vegas.” The Los Angeles

Times. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from

PR Newswire. “Arbitron Study of Satellite Radio Shows More Than 35 Million ‘Premium’

Listeners.” Retrieved November 9, 2011, from

Sullivan, Beth. “House Cuts Govt. Funding for Public Broadcasting.” Fox News. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from 2011.

Parent’s Selection for Supplementary Tutoring african history assignment help

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 societies pupils commonly pay to attend tutoring classes that are much larger than this.

Diversity can also be discovered in the ages and experiences of tutors. In a lot settings, secondary school students were able to learn a little money by tutoring primary school children, and likewise university students tutor would do the same for those for the secondary students. A lot of the parents in Hong Kong approve of that fact of getting tutored by older people, many of tutors were retirees that had wished that they still to contribute to society and earn some extra money. Among these two excesses of age are others who deliver tutoring on a full-time or part-time foundation, and who may or may not have official training. Again this picture really contrasts with normal schooling, in which teachers are estimated to be aged between 21 and 65 and to have training that is formal.

In numerous systems, Parents in other countries are pleased with the mainstream of teachers themselves delivering supplementary private tutoring. In many nations like France, Australia, and Singapore, teachers are forbidden from giving such paid tutoring to the children for whom they previously have accountability in the majority. Nevertheless, in such nations like Lebanon, India, and Nigeria it is normal for mainstream teachers to deliver salaried supplementary tutoring for their own mainstream students. In some places this begins to create a problematic kind of blackmail, in which teachers cover only a section of the curriculum during school hours and then need learners to come to the classes that are private for the balance of the curriculum. This mostly happens in nations in which normal teachers obtain low pays. The level of incomes on the one hand forces the educators to pursue supplementary profits, and instead makes humanity more understanding to the practice than it might otherwise be, especially for parents in Hong Kong who are turning to them for extra help.

Parents who come from the high-income societies have extra privilages of being able to obtain tutoring that comes with amzing technology. They have this advantage in helping their children that are falling behind. A lot of parents even in Hong Kong are pursuing the option of Telephone tutoring is one option, but has increasingly been supplemented or displaced by internet tutoring. Such technology makes the point that the tutors and tutees can possibly be distant from each other and maybe even in dissimilar nations. For instance, one business in the U.S.A. is called ‘there is no longer to have any discomfort in getting a math instructor in a home’, it mentions on its website, ‘or the problem to travel to a learning palace for math tutoring help and make a one-hour tutoring assembly a three-hour catastrophe’. The business enhances: ‘Even if you live in Ohio, Texas or any place around the world, real, personalized math tutoring assistance is basically a sign up away’. Expenses can be done online by the use of credit card to individuals whom the tutees are doubtful ever to encounter in person.

In a sort of different setting, because parents In America want to see their children succeded beyond the school system by allowing foreign tutors to help their children. Tutors in India are always giving services to children in the U.S.A. As termed in one document (Nanda, 2005, p. 1): ‘being placed in small cubicles, using headsets and pen mouse, these tutors are instructing subjects like English from course curriculum that is tailored the way the parents want taught in the U.S.’. The parents like this service because it is obtained through software called White Board, in both text and voice platforms. The teacher and student are able to see each other through the computer and converse on the headphone. The salary charges in India make the provision enticing to the U.S. clients, and are in result a system of outsourcing in a globalized world. It is somewhat determined by the U.S. ‘No Child Left Behind’ legislation which was passed in 2002, which articulated apprehension at mathematics disaster charges in U.S. schools inside a setting of a scarcity of teachers in math.

Table 1. Cross-national indicators of supplementary private tutoring for Parents Decision Making




A study of 8212 households in 10 assorted places discovered an average of 41.2% of primary school students receiving private tutoring (Ahmed & Nath, 2005, p. 71). In the lowest grade the proportion was 35.9%, but in the highest grade it was 52.7%. Boys got more tutoring than girls, with particular averages in the lowest and highest grades of 43.6% and 39.7%


People in 30.2% of 73 primary schools surveyed in 1996/97 specified that students received tutoring, which spent 6.4% of the entire charges of primary education (Bray, 1999b, pp. 57, 127). A 2005 continuation study displayed that prices improved evidently at secondary level. In the top grade of lower secondary schooling,


A 2003 study of 1110 college students established that 83.4% had established private tutoring when in primary school (Stylianou et al., 2004, p. 2)


The amount of tutoring industries in main cities raised between 200% and 400% throughout the 1990s (Davies, 2004, p.235). In a 1997 chance national telephone survey, 9.3% of 500 adults with school-aged children showed that their children presently got private tutoring away from school hours, and a further 8.3% designated that their children had done so in previous times (Davies, 2004, p. 242)

Hong Kong

A 1997 survey of 507 students found that 44.7% of primary, 25.6% of lower secondary, 34.4% of middle secondary and 40.5% of upper secondary students were getting tutoring (Lee, 1996, p. 14). A 1998/99 follow-up survey of seven secondary schools stratified by capability groups established 34.1% of primary 1 — 3 students getting tutoring. Corresponding sizes for primary 4 — 5 and 6 — 7 were 45.6% and 69.3% (Bray & Kwok, 2003)


A 1997 survey showed that 25.7% of elementary pupils and 57.5% of junior high pupils went to tutorial schools (Japan, 1995, p. 6). A 1997 investigation brought in other types of tutoring, and discovered that among Primary 5 children 32% went to tutorial schools, 5.5% had got help from tutors on a one-to-one situation, 23.5% studied on communication courses, and 16.9% established study materials for home delivery (Japan, 1999, p. 68). In urban places, over 90% of children had gotten some kind of tutoring.

South Korea

In 2003, 83.1% of primary pupils were estimated to be receiving tutoring (Kwak,2004, p. 3). The proportion in middle schools was 75.3% and in high schools 56.3%. These proportions had increased intensely over the years. In 1980, respective approximations for primary, middle and high school were 11.4%, 20.3% and 23.2%. Korean homes in 2003 were spending around 10% of incomes on supplementary tutoring, and families with middle and high school students were spending around 25% (Lee, 2005, p. 100)

Hong Kong Education Context

As parents consider the factors, they are aware that the basis of Hong Kong education system is meritocracy and rivalry. As mentioned on the Education Bureau official website, in Hong Kong official school education, the government is providing nine years of free primary and junior secondary education to every child that is attending public schools. From the 2009/10 school year, senior secondary education is likewise provided public school that is free of charge. Every student in Hong Kong therefore has a more or less equivalent opening to obtain a simple level of education, nonetheless for higher education, all students normally have to experience aggressive rivalry (Fung 2003:181). For instance, in 2010, around 120,000 students sat the Hong Kong Documentation of Education Examination (HKCEE), and around 37,000 students contributed in the Progressive Level Examination (HKAL), nevertheless there were merely 14,500 first-year first-degree locations (FYFD) obtainable to provide for roughly 17% of the 17 to 20 age group . This allocation suggests that the penetrating rivalry of matriculating requires a top 32% performance in HKCEE and then a top 38% in the HKALE. Starting from September 2009, a new education system of three-year senior secondary has been implemented and all students are required to sit for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination to qualify for registration into the university. On the other hand, with the similar allocations for FYFD dwellings, competition for university spaces is still sort of tight. With an increasing amount of global students being that are being admitted each year, this organization produces an exceptionally penetrating rivalry culture in Hong Kong’s meritocratic schooling organization.

Long-standing Confucian ethnic standards have also swayed the culture of learning in Hong Kong. All gatherings contributing in the education system value diligence and learning (Salili 2005:92) resounding Confucianism philosophy, “exertion for self-development somewhat than recognition of in-born aptitudes and existing circumstances” (Bray and Kwok 2003:618).

Consequently, the students in Hong Kong are acculturated with the worth of hardworking and never-ending development. As inspections are the most forceful pointer of learning results, it is not astonishing that the whole education system has slanted to being analysis-oriented Main factors donating to an extreme occurrence of supplementary tutoring.

Operation of Private Tutoring in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the most corporate and well-organized way for parents to match their children with private tutors is basically through the internet, while other ways comprise promoting on notice-boards in chief shops and making personal endorsements. There are frequent online websites that act as networks among private tutors and students. The common process starts with the registering of private tutors through finishing forms from online. The forms involve the material of private tutors, for example personal facts, academic attainment, skills, accessible time slots and probable hourly degree.

Parents or students who want to discover private tutors are also obligated to fill in a form to designate their inclinations. Then it is the agents, who function as the part of the middlemen. They are the ones that will match students or parents with private tutors. When a match is effective, a lot of mediators charge a directive payment from the private tutors, the amount usually being two weeks of instruction fee, with students and parents by means of this service that would be for free.

Students or parents in Hong Kong will not really meet their private tutors until they start their private tutoring sessions. Therefore the two groups only awareness of each other is concluded through the explanations which are provided by the agents. Students or parents can select from a widespread selection of services to meet their needs, for instance, academic restraints containing accounting, history, English, physics, and mathematics; non-academic disciplines consisting of sports, music, languages and other hobbies. Typically, what parents and students look for in creating their choice are the experiences of teachers and the occupations of connected areas, even though individual potentials for example patience, liveliness and gender are typically not reflected.

Role Model / Idol / Gender Role Facilitator

One of the factors that push parents for supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong is that fact that they believe that they can get more success with the one on one service and the fact that the tutor can be more of a role model to them than the teacher would be in the school system. The parent in Hong Kong believe that being a role model is the expectation that most of them have towards the private tutors. When they service private tutors, they assume them to have an ordinary code of ethics, for example, no drinking, no smoking, no swearing, understanding how they should dress properly, bestowing good behavior, and also accepting a polite approach. In one home in Hong Kong, a private tutor made the point that the parents of one family always made sure that their children had to learn from her attitude and qualities, for example being autonomous, and being capable to make revenue while studying. Furthermore, the grandmother observed her as an excellent role model owing to the Chinese assessment of a teacher as a proficient in both corrective knowledge and ethical standards.

The idea of idol is dissimilar from that of role model in standings of the grade of worship. A role model brings an example, and parents vouch for them because in Hong Kong they believe students can select to follow or not. In one situation, the private tutor mentioned that his student really treated him as though they were an idol. The student imitated his hairstyle, clothing elegance, tenor of speaking, behavior and even his character. The student went to the same beauty salon, discovered the same hairstylist, even belonged to the same boutiques and bought similar kinds of clothes as his private tutor. According to the child’s parents, before getting a tutor, the student always brought home bad language and acted out aggressively, but now he has turned into be a much more mild and polite child towards others. The private tutor clarified that the student needed a good model to mirror so all that he learnt from his friends was bad language and bad-behavior.

Gender is also added to the reason why parents would vouch for supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong. By way of gender role facilitator, Chodorow (1974) theorizes throughout socialization, girls can and do become “little women? By uninterrupted and gradual imitation of mothers. Boys cast-off femininity both psychosomatically and ethnically and dream masculinity abstractly. Even though this spectacle is not worldwide and complete, it offers us a window to look at gender creation in Hong Kong society. In a lot of their families in Hong Kong, both mothers and fathers are working, so children often do not get enough of the parental attention that they need. So, among a lot of other studies, It was discovere that most students favor hiring private tutors with the same sex as they are. Parents in Hong Kong strongly believe that private tutors can also aid as a prototype for gender role and femininity / masculinity in the technique that they act and dress; they can be observed as gender role facilitators.


Seeing the tutor as a good advisor contributes to another reason why parents would vouch for supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong. Both students and parents normally really do depend on private tutors very much in positions of seeking advice. Parents pursue advice from private tutors for the reason that they have a lot of experienced with teenage issues and have smaller generation break with students. In one situation in Hong Kong, one mother had asked a private tutors sentiments on how to handle her daughter’s difficulties on dating and having a low self-confidence. The mother believed that the tutor had practiced an alike experience. The mother’s main issue was possible online deluders on sex and money. She had partial knowledge regarding online dating and turned to the private tutor for help.

In contrast, students were also able to pursue numerous approaches of information from private tutors, including relationship difficulties, academic problems, time management troubles and personal growth periods. Rather than looking for information from someone that they are really close to, like parents and siblings, they are more keen to share with private tutors. For example, a Primary Six girl unceasingly asked that the private tutor concerning her subjects on dating. She kept this hidden from members of her household since she understood they would not allow it, yet she felt more relaxed to chat concerning the matter it in front of the private tutor.

Planning was another reason why parents would guarantee for supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong. Future planning is considered by them to be one of the most important matters for most students. Being their child’s future planner is exactly beneficial when students are fronting decisional selections, like choosing a secondary school, selecting subjects to study in Form Four, determining which high school to finish Form Six and Seven, and also college selections. All questioned private tutors that were having students in these stages have been requested for information in these parts. Students and parents trust that the experiences of private tutors are valued and beneficial enough to be taken into thought. An informer mentioned she even assisted a Primary Six student endure each secondary school, and conversed each choice with the parents before they finally decided on what they need to do.

Separately from the study path, parents like the idea that the private tutors are also accountable for assisting the students to arrange their future career pathway. Even though private tutors are still in college, students and parents put worth on their advice on selecting the correct career path. For instance, a private tutor alleged when she was still cramming for her Bachelor’s degree in nursing; the parents had previously observed her as a fruitful businesswoman. The parents were enthusiastic to ask the tutor which characteristics of nursing the child would need to select in the future. Even though the private tutor did not have the real experience in trying each feature in business, she still provided the response the parents projected: finance and accounting. She assumed that the parents previously had a response in mind, but just required to hear the same response from the private tutor.

There are many other factors that may contribute to the reason why parents would vouch for supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong. Among the influential factors are having very low quality in school education (Kim, 2004; Kwok, 2004b), the actuality of an official inspection for education distribution (Dore, 1976, 1997; Stevenson & Baker, 1992), and peer pressure (Baker et al., 2001; Bray & Kwok, 2003; Hua, 1996; Kwok,2004a). These factors can be characterized into what is considered student-level factors, school-level factors, and country-level factors.

Student-level factors

Student-level factors involve things like the family SES factors which comprise of the parents’ education level, father’s job, family revenue, and the amount of family members living in the householf. The Coleman report (1961), Baker (2001), and Hanushek and Luque (2002) basically came to the conclusion that family background was more significant than school factors in making a determination of children’s educational accomplishment. In the same manner, researchers have made the point that family SES level also powerfully connected to their students’ contribution in private tutoring activities.

According to Jo and Lee (2005), the higher the parents’ education level, the more Korean students participate in the private tutoring. Also, they found that students from higher income families were inclined to have more participation in private tutoring activities than those from low income families. In addition, students with higher achievement have more participation in Supplementary Tutoring than those that are dealing with low achievement.

Likewise, Lee (2003), in his dissertation, discovered an obvious connection among the overall participation in supplementary tutoring and family SES background. Indeed, he was able to observe that as the concentration of parents’ education, work-related status, and income escalation, the contribution in supplementary tutoring activities increases. In other words, the SES of the family is significantly and positively related to the investment and time devoted to private tutoring activities. Furthermore, the higher the family income and occupational status, the more students use exclusive and adapted kinds of tutoring as associated to students from families that are dealing with lower income and occupational status.

Second, supplementary tutoring activities can take non-academic foundations for contribution (Baker et al., 2001). Peer effects are one factor in the request for supplementary tutoring (Baker et al., 2001; Bray & Kwok, 2003; Hua, 1996, Kwok, 2004 a). In a Japanese case study, Baker et all.,(2001) displayed that teenagers participate in supplementary tutoring activities sicne their peers do for entertaining and study. Also, their parents also feel a lot of pressure from the concern that their children would be fall behind if they do not offer their children with supplementary tutoring (Bray & Kwok, 2003). “dealing with the peer group stress, parents were eager to pay tutoring cost as they also understood that gaining advanced levels of education could aid their children in climbing up the public ladder after they graduate (Kwok,2004b, p. 66).”

Third, the amount of children in the family is associated to the supplementary tutoring expenses per child (Tansel & Bircan, 2004; Kim & Lee, 2001). Tansel and Bircan (2004) established that an upsurge in the amount of children harmfully affected the supplementary tutoring expenses in Turkey. For instance, families with an average of 3.51 children devote more on supplementary tutoring expenses than those with an average of 3.18 children. Similarly, rendering to Kim and Lee (2001), the amount of children in the family decreases the expenditure on supplementary tutoring per child.

Fourth, nuclear family arrangement is another issue in the request for p supplementary tutoring actions (Kwok, 2004 a). In current decades, family structure has made a certain shift that leans toward the nuclear families that have just 1-2 schooling children for each family. So, they can have enough money to employ tutors since their revenue is ranged over at most two children (Bray & Kwok, 2003).

School-level factors

Some scholars are making the arguement that low eminence in school education inspired a request for supplementary tutoring (Kim, 2004; Kwok, 2004 b). According to Hua (1996, p. 30), “a lot of parents in Egypt have quoted education that has poor quality as a main reason why they are send their children to supplementary classes.” A lot of people trust that the excellence of public schooling in Korea and Hong Kong also has become progressively average, for the reason that student assortment, parental choice, and tuition level are measured by the government under the equalization strategy (Kim & Lee,2002).

Under the equalization police, a lot teachers incline to use unchanging, lecture-leaning, and test- oriented teaching irrespective of students’ dissimilar levels of academic groundwork. It is also problematic for teachers to distribute modified educational provision to each student, for the reason that students are assigned to a school by a lottery system irrespective of their aptitude under the equalization rule. Without bearing in mind their dissimilar learning level, students can progressively involvement learning issues (Kwok, 2004 a). Displeasure with government schools nurtures stress for school selection (Boyd, 2002). For instance, in America parents who are unhappiness with public schools direct their children to schools that are charter, private schools, or home schooling. Nevertheless with limited replacements to the public school system in Korea and Hong Kong, a lot of parents who are absorbed in their children’s education have to turn to supplementary tutoring.

Another reason of parents wanting to push their children into supplementary tutoring is schools’ lack of aptitude to manage with many educational requests. With rising request for such things as the growth of creative gifts or talents and learning foreign languages, a lot of students and parents really believe that schools are not providing students with an acceptable program. For parents with a hands-on stance in the direction of their children’s education, the huge part among the request and public source stimulates them to pursue supplementary tutoring (Kim & Lee, 2001).In short, parents are relying on supplementary tutoring in order to solve this dissatisfaction with public schooling.

Country-level factors

An educational organization which uses authorized considerations for education provision can rouse the request of supplementary tutoring (Dore, 1976, 1997; Stevenson & Baker, 1992; Kwok, 2004a). This is usually reflected as the most powerful factor endorsing excessive supplementary tutoring. According to Stevenson and Baker (1992), “pupils are taking vast [supplementary tutoring] for inspections to get important compensations in the labor market, and entrance to an exclusive secondary school (p.1640).” Brinton (1988), quoted by Stevenson and Baker (1992, p. 1641), also made the suggestion that once welcomed into a respected university after modest “supported contests,” students developed into “sponsored pupils” sine they are vigorously employed by respected companies and civil service subdivisions.

For instance, about 56% of the current Hong Kong government’s 245 uppermost locations were occupied by graduates from the Hong Kong University (Lee, 2003). Also, 40% of the current National Assembly’s 298 memberships were filled by former students from the Hong Kong University (Gang, 2002). Furthermore, Park (2002, mentioned by Lee, 2003, p.35) presented that “35% of the 3,496 chief executive officers (CEOs) of the six major private companies in Hong Kong were collected of former students from the top three universities in 2001. In total, these statistics display that admission into respected universities is carefully linked to high-status professions and high status attainments (Lee, 2003).

Because the chances for entering a high-status university are extremely limited, an aggressive race for entrance to high-status universities is the consequence (Kim & Lee, 2001). As a result, parents proactively arrange for supplementary tutoring activities for their children in turn to gain advantage in the austere competition for high-status universities.

Educational rules to decrease the request of supplementary tutoring actions can affect the supplementary tutoring participation. For the reason that the government has been worried about excessive occurrence of supplementary tutoring actions among students, it has applied a lot of kinds of policy measures and programs to decrease the contribution of supplementary tutoring activities.

These comprise the application of primary school equalization, the application of aptitude grouping among classes, and the putting into practice of talent and talent class as an after school program. These rule measures to decrease and control the supplementary tutoring activities affect the request and supply of supplementary tutoring activities. However, there is little investigation about the possessions of these events to decrease supplementary tutoring activities.

In Korea for example, the competence of private organizations like the cram school (Hakwon) have really caused a demand for supplementary tutoring in expressions of supplementary tutoring producers. Because a lot of students compete for university admission through entrance tests, supplementary tutoring has become a massive market in a lot countries for primary education (Kwok, 2004 b). The growth of supplementary tutoring may also be observed “in the framework of a universal shift in the direction of the marketization of instruction and condensed government control” (Bray, 1999. P. 84). In this setting, private organizations professionally help parents who are dissatisfied with public education.

Private institutes like the cram schools are more delicate to market requirements than public schools. They typically make a distinctive determination to discover out what students desire and then reply to it. They usually upsurge their appeal by proposing the most fresh technology and by marketing by means of flyers, pictures, newspapers, magazines, movies, and television (Bray & Kwok, 2003). For instance, they display their promotion strategies as follows:

The tutoring formations had been observed to be more striking than schools of the mainstream. A lot of the predominantly vivacious centers employed flamboyant ‘idol’ tutors, who improved their appeal to primary students and teenagers by wearing clothes that were trendy and using jargon which attracted to their clienteles. They worried their educational identifications by showing their higher education experiences in the elevation leaflets and on the walls of the centers; and they improved their standing for efficiency by promoting the vivid analysis outcomes of previous pupils. In certain tutorial classes, students who attained high grades in open inspections were bestowed cash awards and package holidays in adjacent nations (p. 617).

Likewise, private organizations deliver much more particular service linked with school teachers (Bray, 1999). Furthermore, the tutoring centers and individual private tutors typically are willingly accessible because of excellent transportation links and geographical location. (Bray & Kwok, 2003; Kwok, 2004 a). Even if tutors do not have an involuntary stream of clients, as specific mainstream teachers do, such labors of private organizations would motivate use of supplementary tutoring by students.

The effect of social-cultural factors is an additional reason that parents would vouch for broad use of supplementary tutoring. This culture outcomes not only from historical old-style Confucian approaches, but also from the faith that school education is the lone way to mounting social movement (Bray, 1999). Some culturists (e.g. Zeng, 1999) have observed the impact of Confucian philosophy as one of the chief reasons for extreme supplementary tutoring in East-Asian countries, for the reason that this culture highlights effort and learning somewhat than in-born aptitudes. however, this academic background-oriented ethnic feature could be one motive why tutoring has been predominantly all-embracing in East Asia (Zeng, 1999; Bray & Kwok, 2003).

Also, for the reason that education is the most strong means for rising social flexibility, supplementary tutoring is observed as a key educational asset (Kwok, 2004 a). For instance, the levels of education of persons are measured not only a significant standard for judging persons, nonetheless also a main factor for entry into social careers or elevation in the place of work. Jung and Lee (2003) presented that 61% of persons in Hong Kong think of themselves belonging to ‘an academic clique’ ? As the most imperative factor for social achievement. For that reason, such Confucian cultural trait and faith arouses parents to pursue supplementary tutoring in Hong Kong.

However, such cultural factors appeared to be lacking empirical support (Kwok, 2004a). Baker et all, (2001) made the argument that they did not discover any associations among intensity of tutoring stresses and the effect of Confucian philosophy in their empirical trainings.

The effects of the occurrence of supplementary tutoring, on Hong Kong’s. public education, and societies and the prevalence of supplementary tutoring has both an optimistic and destructive impact on public education and its society. Some academics mostly highpoint the negative impact of psupplementary tutoring on public education and the public (Bray, 2003; Kwok, 2004b; Hussein, 1987). For instance, Bray (2003) put more attention on the opposing effects of supplementary tutoring upon normal schooling, the economy and society. In the following, the negative and positive influence of the occurrence of supplementary tutoring on public education and society in Hong Kong is reviewed.

Educational dimension

When supplementary tutoring benefits students to flourish in mainstream classes, its impression can be encouraging (Bray, 2003). Baker et al., (2001) observed that comparatively strong students can use supplementary tutoring as an enrichment policy that benefits them in getting more out of their lessons.

In contrast, comparatively weak students can use it as a remedial plan which enables them to maintain a satisfactory level in their classes. For instance, De Silva (1994, p.5; quoted by Bray, 2003, p.29) made the observation that supplementary tutoring can be accommodating for students according to what they may need:

From time to time large openings in students’ learning are shaped because of a number of factors for example student and teacher nonappearance, recurrent conclusion of school, unsuccessful teaching and carelessness on the part of the teacher. It is not every single school that claims a complete accompaniment of specialist teachers in vital areas like, English, science and mathematics. Undeveloped, inexpert or unqualified teachers controlling these topics may not be capable to lead the students to an appropriate arrangement of the units trained. Effective supplementary tutoring may aid in overcoming these gaps or lacks in students’ learning and shape their sureness allowing them to participate with others and experience a content and pleasant life.

Supplementary tutoring also has negative impressions on mainstream classes. At the outset, supplementary tutoring can destructively affect “the subtleties of learning and teaching” in school classes (Bray, 1999, p. 51). When some students obtain supplementary tutoring, teachers can be opposed by greater differences within their schoolrooms. Especially, the students do not pay passable care to educations in school for the reason that they have previously enclosed the themes through supplementary tutoring. In addition, there is a propensity to trust more on supplementary tutoring than teachers at school to make for the arrival exams (Chung, 2002). Consequently, this can not only reason students to lose attention in classes, but also teachers to misplace the longing for instruction (Kim & Lee, 2001).

Secondly, supplementary tutoring can hinder students’ all-inclusive growth (Kim et al., 2001). In turn to grow physically and expressively, students need to play with networks and to have numerous experiences. A unceasing knowledge procedure from morning time until the evening throughout weekdays and on the weekend can lead to the tiredness in pupils and restrict their chances for playing and doings that are needed for their phase of growth (Bray, 1999). In summary, when parents believe that students are spending a lot of their time in school and cram schools, their complete development is disadvantaged.

Thirdly, a weakening in self-focused learning aptitude and originality is also a significant difficult that supplementary tutoring causes. Indiscrete monotonous training of supplementary tutoring approaches can cause children to misplace the will to study. According to PISA 2000, the attention in math and reading of Hong Kong primary students is ranked 15 tth among 25 OECD nations (OECD,2001). It is more vital to center on the growth of self-directed learning ability and imaginative thinking aptitude in the 21st century, rather than merely obtaining information through the supplementary tutoring method.

Social – economic dimension

Supplementary tutoring can have a positive result by obtaining revenue and service for tutors (Bray, 2003). For instance, university students can utilize tutoring for backing their tuition which would be then problematic to get. Actually, the Hong Kong government did not forbid tutoring by university students for this motive, while it forbade full-time tutoring occupations to overall persons.

However, supplementary tutoring has many financial and social problems. First of all, the upsurge of supplementary tutoring can deteriorate the disparity of educational chance, because of social and financial background (Bray, 1999). Youngsters in advanced socio-economic groups usually obtain more supplementary tutoring than do children in inferior socio-financial groups (Hua, 1996; Setvenson & Baker, 1992). Lee and Hong (2001) also made the point that the children of well-off families can enter exclusive universities through their benefit of admission to luxurious supplementary tutoring. Similarly, Kim et al. (2004) contended that educational disparity has been deteriorated because of the propagation of supplementary tutoring, founded on their examination of the delivery of students over the last 30 years who arrived in the college of Social Sciences in Hong Kong University, one of the most prestigious universities in Hong Kong. Concerning their answers, Lee (2004) contended that students from higher socioeconomic circumstances have been capable to enter colleges through the assistance of expensive supplementary tutoring, while, chances for students from inferior socioeconomic upbringings have shriveled because of their lack of monetary admission to high quality supplementary tutoring and low value education in the normal school system. Of the kinds of supplementary tutoring, children in wealthy families can admission more designer tutoring kinds such as “one on one” or small- group tutoring, while children in poor families just have admission to “mass- shaped procedures of tutoring” (Bray, 1999. p.63).

Another issue is that extreme dependence on supplementary tutoring places an huge financial load on families. There is research representing that the yearly average supplementary tutoring expenses of high revenue families are three times more than those of lesser revenue families (Korea Education Development Institute, 2003). Furthermore, the review on the family upbringing of children of primary schools, indicated that 51.8% of the students of the year 2001 had parents whose profession had been management or expert, and that 72.1% of the students of the year 2005 had parents whose schooling level was greater than college graduate (Seoul National University, 2002, 2004). This change of parents’ social and financial upbringing reasons social dissimilarity and barricades social mobility through supplementary tutoring (Korean Educational Development Institute, 2003).

Hong Kong government policies on supplementary tutoring

As talked above, extreme supplementary tutoring can sometimes have a negative influence on public schooling and civilization in Hong Kong. The political strain from legislators and parents to resolve these problems of supplementary tutoring has provoked the Ministry of Education to take numerous procedure measures (Chung, 2002). Bray (1999) recognized six undeveloped policy methods regarding supplementary tutoring: regulation and control, a laissez-faire approach, monitoring, encouragement, a mixed approach, and prevention. Out of these six methods, the Korean government and provincial offices of education mostly emphasis on control and regulation, and prohibition policies for solving overheated supplementary tutoring. The government policy answers on the predominance of supplementary tutoring focus particularly on three approaches, the application of the equalization strategy, forbidding and controlling supplementary tutoring, and refining the eminence of public schooling.

Implementing the equalization policy

One of the features of Hong Kong educational growth is the rapid growth of primary education (Paik et al., 1998). Primary school registration went up from 1.35 million in 1945 to 4.91 million in 1964. The amount of teachers enlarged from 20,000 in 1946 to 78,000 in 1965 (Kim & Lee, 2002). Such a fast development of primary education unavoidably stemmed in congested classrooms, enormous schools, a deficiency of competent teachers and educational amenities, and extreme rivalry in the college entrance inspection (Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development, 2004). Likewise, the growth of elementary schools shaped a strong flow in the request for secondary education in the 1960s (Kim & Lee, 2002). With the upsurge of request for secondary education, the rivalry for arrival into middle schools so strengthened that supplementary tutoring flew to an great level. Such stern rivalry caused several difficulties, for example heavy pressure from arranging for the entrance exam, monetary load on family, gukyukbyeong (sixth grade disease) and illyubyung (the illness gripped with getting into a respected school) (Kim & Lee, 2001).

In 1968, the government strong-minded to eliminate the entrance test for middle schools, and in its place presented a scheme of student distribution in which primary school graduates were allocated to middle schools by lottery. A key to this strategy was to avoid extreme competition for entry into the high-status middle schools. With the elimination of the middle school entry exam and the development of the high school equalization strategy, the occupied heaviness of inspection compression was absorbed at the college entrance test (Seth, 2002).

As the struggle for entry into high schools became austere, the high school equalization policy had gone into effect in 1973 and was applied in Seoul and Busan in 1974. The government eliminated the current reasonable high school entrance test and applied a new amount which owed middle school graduates to high schools by means of the School Region Joint Introductory High School Examination and the lotto (Paik et al., 1998). The key aim of the school equalization strategy was “to evade extreme examination competition, to end an developing propensity of making middle school education center about groundwork for the high school entrance test, to stop the repetition of supplementary tutoring, and to remove the alterations in training in high schools, and to endorse the equivalence of educational chance (Seth, 2002, p.156).” Under the equalization policy, students in High-School were owed to schools founded on their region of residence. To reach these resolutions, the government applied the cycle of teachers at public schools to get rid of the gap in the value of teaching from school to school.

After the government applied this rule, much disagreement shadowed. In the 1980s, the equalization policy were facing some complaints that the educational circumstances among schools varied significantly, and it had to be adapted for safeguarding national enthusiasm. Likewise, in the 1990s, few parents of non-steady places and “special drive schools,” like foreign language schools and science schools, protested that their children were comparatively deprived likened to the students of equalized parts for the reason that the weight of high school records are more significant in college entrance test.

In addition, the equalization policy produced heated discussions regarding whether it is the main motive for extreme supplementary tutoring. Those who upkeep the elimination of the equalization policy uphold that the equalization policy is the chief reason of excessive supplementary tutoring (Kim & Lee, 2002; Lee, 2004; Kim et al., 2004, Lee & Hong, 2001). For instance, Kim and Lee (2002) contended that students from non-stable parts were spending much less on supplementary tutoring than students from equalized regions. Since the schools deliver a low worth of education for students under the equalization rule, parents and students with an advanced request for excellence education do not have any choice but to seek supplementary tutoring (Lee, 2004).

Nevertheless, those who back the equalization policy declare that the association among the equalization rule and private tutoring is not strong (Chun, 2003; Shin, 2004). Chun (2003) declared that the upsurge in average revenue other than the equalization strategy can be a factor that rises supplementary tutoring, for the reason that it makes more money obtainable for supplementary tutoring. Likewise, groups of the policy, like the Korea Teacher’s Union, contended that supplementary tutoring has been instigated mainly by the problematic character of the College Scholastic Ability Test (suhak neungnyeok siheom) (Shin, 2004). Lastly, their arguments regarding this subject continue provocative for the reason that both parties have miscarried to make available believable and objective evidence to support their proclamations.

Banning, controlling, and regulating private tutoring

Another plan of the government comprises more uninterrupted measures for example outlawing, monitoring, and regulating supplementary tutoring actions by law and administration. In 1980, the Hong Kong government started an educational reform which barred supplementary tutoring. The ban was meant at teachers who expected more money from supplementary tutoring, at tutorial organizations which helped school learners, and small-group tutoring and one-on-one at home (Bray, 2003). Nevertheless, since such a ban was hard to apply, the upsurge of supplementary tutoring has sustained. Even after the disappointment of the ban on the private tutoring in the early 80’s, the administration and local teaching offices tranquiled the sanction by stages, but still controlled and measured supplementary tutoring activities (Bray, 2003; Kim & Lee, 2001).

In 1990, though, supplementary tutoring again was endorsed to high school scholars, and then in 2001 the policy that barred supplementary tutoring actually had turned out to be inconsistent to the legitimate law, which made supplementary tutoring legally satisfactory (Kim, 2004). As supplementary tutoring is lawfully permissible to students, the government and native education workplaces have turned to unintended actions that reduce supplementary tutoring doings needless by refining the excellence of public education somewhat than prohibition, regulating, or monitoring the supplementary tutoring activities.

Hong Kong Education Context

Parents are clear about the basis of Hong Kong education system is meritocracy and rivalry. As stated on the Education Bureau official website, in Hong Kong official school education, the government is known for providing nine years of unrestricted primary and junior secondary education to all kids that are going to public schools. Opening from the 2008/09 school year, senior secondary education is likewise delivered free with no charge to students in public school students. Every single student in Hong Kong therefore has a more or less equivalent chance to obtain a plain level of education, but for higher education, each pupil has to experience brutal rivalry (Fung 2003:181). For instance, in 2009, about 130,000 students had sat the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), and around 36,000 students that had donated in the Advanced Level Examination (HKAL), however there were just 13,500 first-year first-degree positions (FYFD) obtainable to provide for roughly 17% of the 18 to 20 age category. This proportion really does imply that the penetrating rivalry of matriculating, needs a top 32% presentation in HKCEE and then a upper 38% in the HKALE. Opening from September 2009, an innovative education organization of three-year senior secondary has been applied and all students are obligated to be seated for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Analysis to be suitable for registration into university. Nevertheless, with the same shares for FYFD residences, rivalry for university spaces is still very competitive. With a rising amount of global students being acknowledged each year, this arrangement makes an exceptionally strong rivalry culture in Hong Kong’s meritocratic education system.

As mentioned earlier, Long-lasting Confucian cultural standards have also had a big influence on the culture of education in Hong Kong and the parents of students that are falling behind in their education. All parties that are involved in the education system really do value learning and meticulousness (Salili 2005:92) resounding Confucianism philosophy, “struggle for self-development rather than receiving of in-born aptitudes and prevailing conditions” (Bray and Kwok 2003:618). Consequently, Hong Kong pupils are acculturated with the worth of meticulous and unceasing improvement. As test have become basically the most imposing pointer of learning outcomes, it is not surprising that the entire learning system has skewed to being test-oriented.

Refining the quality of public education

Some academics observed the wide occurrence of private tutoring as a failure of educational rules (e.g., Kim & Lee, 2001). For example, on places like Korea, The Korean Teacher’s Union (KTU) made their points by unceasingly arguing that mediocre school education produced the development of supplementary tutoring by “hasty school growth rules led by the government” (Lee, 2003, p. 47). However, in Hong Kong is sort of the same idea as many believe that the educations system is cracking.

In this respect in Hong Kong, the Ministry of Education has took it upon themselves to make sure that they reinforce the excellence of public schooling. For instance, the Ministry of Education has taken numerous actions to decrease class size, to recover school environment, and to entice teachers that are qualified (Chung, 2002).

Table 2.1. Strategy Modifications on Private Tutoring Activities after the Ban

Year Key Policy Modifications on supplementary tutoring

1980 Most supplementary tutoring actions forbidden

1984 Low achievers in the primary schools (those at the bottom 20%) were permitted to take corrective instruction within official schools by official school teachers

1988 Having lessons after-class inside schools by school teachers were formally indorsed to all students with a fee duty even though it was the least

1989 Supplementary tutoring for elementary and secondary school students was allowed only by undergraduate college scholars in order to make ends meet, not for professional business

1991 Hakwon instruction became endorsed for all students throughout the winter holiday eras

1996 Students that were in graduate school had been allowed to obtain supplementary tutoring on the same foundation as undergraduate college pupils

2000 The supreme Court made it clear that there would be no ban on supplementary tutoring

Additionally, the Ministry of Education similarly prolonged free scholastic broadcasting services to offer enrichment lessons, delivered financial provision for additional actions in schools after usual class hours, and transformed the national core curriculum to dismiss the load of academic learning (Bray, 2003; Chung, 2002). These consecutive exertions are aiming to give more services in turn to make it needless for parents to pursue supplementary tutoring. As the government clarified (Ministry of Education, 1996; p. 30):

Such an amount is pointed at discouraging the disproportion which consequences when students from wealthier families pursue supplementary tutoring to make sure that they are capable to pass the numerous admission tests and do good in school. With the appraise planned, value tutoring will be obtainable to any student that will need it[by the school itself] therefore decreasing the financial load now forced on families (quoted by Bray, 2003, p.61).

On another level, the Hong Kong government completed pains to change the college entrance organizations. The administrative plan intended to make it pointless to prepare for the university entrance test through supplementary tutoring events. Under the new admission method of 2004, the picking standards were expanded to not only test scores, but likewise high school chronicles, social services, the person’s ability and ability, and social-financial factors (Chung, 2002, Bray, 2003). Eventually, the purpose of the Ministry of Education is to decrease the influence of test scores by the numerous admission measures for arriving in the university.

Furthermore, the government applied ability-alliance among classes, and talent and ability class as an after school program for captivating the request of supplementary tutoring from students to school by offering for students’ numerous individual requirements. In aptitude- grouping among classes, it took into explanation the differences among students in aptitude and dissimilar needs. Also aptitude and ability class as an after school program can be utilized as an alternate way to substitute supplementary tutoring activities by supporting and refining fairness of educational chance and can donate to decreasing supplementary tutoring expenses (Kim, Wang, & Kwon, 2000).

Tutor Roles: Parent Factors in their Child’s Education

From participant observation and interviews that were from parents, it was clear that a tutor child relationship was one of the things that factored into their decision for private tutoring. There are 12 roles that are performed by private tutors can be established that parents looked for as one of the factors in making their decisions. All of these roles do symbolize the individuality of private tutoring in the cultural background of Hong Kong. Some private tutors can achieve numerous roles from time to time, fluctuating from one to another in diverse contexts. The readiness to achieve such roles is determined by three factors: private tutors? purposes, parents? pressure and requirements, al of which is composed with the students? collaboration. As a result, how private tutors achieve numerous roles is a dynamic procedure of relentless adjustment and cooperation between private tutors, parents, and students.

The relationship that is among private tutors and students/parents can be exemplified by executing these roles. The association is a delicate, unsolidified, flexible, dynamic and communicating procedure that has definite difference from case to case. Even though at times, these roles are shaped deliberately by private tutors themselves to build a sense of identity and strengthen power associations, yet they are also produced through everyday performs to resolve difficulties or please the requirements of parents and students. As a result, these parts should be observed from a functionalistic aspect.

Roles performed by Private Tutors — Strengthening Capitalism and Meritocracy Private tutoring strengthen capitalism and meritocracy through the transfer of tutoring and commodification of association. Private tutors are being symbolized and commercialized. Private tutors in Hong Kong are hired by parents in order to achieve specific roles so that students can get nourishment and can get an advanced chance to get societal identifications. It strengthens social stratification and class disparity for the reason that richer families can entrance better education through paying private tutors with advanced requirement and teaching ability.

Parent Factor: Tutor is a Knowledge Disseminator to Their Child

The primary role of a private tutor is as a knowledge disseminator. Technically, a private tutor is employed to disseminate knowledge related to academic subjects and examination skills. It is interesting that no informants would mention it in greater detail. When asked about it, every informant just talks about it briefly and then switches the topic.

In a meritocratic system, based on achievement rather than ascription (Rich and DeVitis 1992:102), levels of knowledge are certified by an objective system of verification. For instance, public examination results are recognized by society as objective evidence proving one-s ability and knowledge. Therefore, as long as tutors can provide genuine credentials, even the most skeptical parents will believe in the tutors? capability of teaching. This kind of “result reductionism?, where selection criteria of private tutors is reduced to academic results, is further proven by the result-driven regime of online private tutoring businesses, where students? good examination grades are considered the equivalent to perfect tutors. This phenomenon exists not only in school subjects but also in areas of music, language and cooking, where certificates are necessary to prove one-s ability and knowledge in that specific domain.

Parent Factor: Tutor is a Motivator to their Child

Hong Kong secondary students apparently favor the usages of rote-memorizing and rote-learning. According to Biggs and Watkins, rote learning is “the mere exercise of memory without proper understanding of, or reflection upon, the matter in question” (1996:270). These Hong Kong’s two methods employed are teacher-dependent and the second one involves self-selection (Watkins 1996:115). Given the result-oriented culture and the habits of utilizing these methods by Hong Kong students, teachers are depended upon for selecting examination materials for them. Yet, school teachers and group tutors cannot satisfy the individual needs or give enough attention to each student, so students seek private tutors for individualized attention. Individualism has intensified the need for privatization of education and learning, making one-to-one private tutoring a popular option. During interviews, parents often complain how their children lack self-motivation to learn; instead they usually believe that this is due to their failure to compete with peers in this competitive meritocratic society.

Vocabularies are practiced, textbooks are recited, and current issues memorized. All these involve a high degree of repetition and memorization skill, with examination being the ultimate goal. In such cases, students find it difficult to remain self-motivated, so the duty rests upon private tutors. A private tutor confided that she was specifically asked by the student’s mother to motivate a Primary One student. The mother claimed that the student was clever, but he had little interest towards study, which coincided with his terrible academic results. In this case, the private tutor-s job required the tutor to bribe the child into study by offering sweets upon completion of various parts of his homework.

Some private tutors have devised various ways to motivate their students. They set up small targets or checkpoints for the students and encourage them to fulfill these task by task. However, this method requires a lot of time and effort. Moreover, some parents thought it was too time-consuming and ineffective, so not a lot of tutors were able to adopt this method. In fact, one informant complained about her role as a motivator because she felt that the entire responsibility of motivating the students has been shifted onto her. It seemed as if it was her fault when the students weren’t actively involved in their studies. The private tutor pointed out that the son-s attitude was exactly like his mother-s: evading responsibility.

Demerath, Lynch and Davidson coined a term called “psychological capital? (2008:279-289). The components of psychological capital include pronounced expectations for personal advancement, strong beliefs in students? capacities to success, and self-conscious development of a strong productive work ethic (2008:286-287). In short, psychological capital is the mental capacity of competitiveness in a capitalist society. In this case, the students with low motivation build up their psychological capital through private tutoring, because willingness to compete is always the first step to success in a capitalist meritocratic society.

Industry Overview

(a) Primary tutoring branches

The following graph shows the number of primary tutoring branches in Hong Kong from the school year 2005/2006 to 2009/2010 and the forecast number from the school year 2010/2011 to 2014/2015:

Notes: Figures are as at September-2010 of the respective school years.

The number of primary tutoring branches in Hong Kong amounted to 865 in the school year 2009/2010, compared to 823 in the school year 2008/2009, representing CAGR of approximately 5.6% from the school year 2005/2006 to 2009/2010.

(b) Primary school students

According to the Hong Kong the Education Bureau (EDB).the Education Bureau (EDB).Education Bureau (EDB), there were 344,748 primary school students in the school year 2009/2010, representing a decrease of approximately 5.9% from that in the school year 2008/2009.

The process of providing supplement tuition to their children is carefully planned by evaluating many factors like the Brand recognition, Quality of services, Flexibility and variety of programmes and services, Location of learning centres, Tuition fees, and Ability to effectively market programmes and services to a broad base of prospective students. They form an important component when the consumer decides or has an intention to buy the products and services which is an important factor in the Theory of reasoned action (Ajzen, 1985). The theory suggests that the intention to use or perform is in turn a function of the consumer’s attitude and their subjective norms.

This intention is determined by three things: “their attitude toward the specific behaviour, their subjective norms and their perceived behavioural control” (Ajzen, 1985).

The theory of planned behaviour (figure 1) explains that only specific attitudes toward the behaviour are required to predict that behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). Apart from measuring attitudes toward the behaviour, it is important to measure people’s subjective norms; which is their beliefs about how people they care about will view the behaviour in question. To predict someone’s intentions, knowing these beliefs can be as important as knowing the person’s attitudes. Finally, perceived behavioural control influences intentions. Perceived behavioural control refers to people’s perceptions of their ability to perform a given behaviour. All these predictors lead to intention where the more favourable is the attitude and the subjective norm, and the greater is the perceived control the stronger should the person’s intention to perform the behaviour in question.

Figure 1

In relation to selecting a cram school, the attitudes of the parents are already defined as they want their child to excel in primary school education. This in turn has a favourable influence on the subjective norms where the parents feel that it is important for the child to receive tuition. The parents have a strong belief that the children future is based on the supplement tuition and hence have strong perceived behavioural control which has as strong impact on the intention to send the child in the cram school. However, intention to send the child in a cram school basically means that the selection of the school and is influenced by many factors like affordability, accessibility and income. How the cram school positions itself in the market also influences the intention to send the child in the cram school.

Furthermore, the Theory of Planned Behavior goes out to explain why people perform specific actions. In this study, the focus is on why the parents make the decision that they make concerning their child’s education in the cram schools. They do so since they form an meaning to carry out the action. Intentions are inclined by the parent’s beliefs, the social pressure to obey to the demands of others, and their perceived ability to carry out the action in making sure that the children are successful in their education. These are recognized as beliefs, salient referents and perceived behavioral control.

Figure 2: Simplified Theory of Planned Behavior (source: Ajzen, 1988)

Figure 2 basically shows us that a person’s intentions are actually a very good predictor of their behavior. The parents desire make it very clear that they want their children to have extra teaching in order to make sure that their children are successful in the cram schools. The sturdier the intention of the parents to achieve a particular behavior, the more probable that they will execute that behavior. Some experts explain that this, nevertheless, is not particularly enlightening — to say that people do what they propose to do is not principally instructive. Experts believe in the case of the parents intentions that the determinants of behavioral intentions need to be considered. It can be seen from Figure 1 that intentions are a purpose of three causes:

1.) beliefs

2.) salient referents

3.) perceived behavioral control

Behavioral beliefs

Behavioral beliefs normally just connect the behavior to certain outcomes. For instance, the parents are believing that giving their children to have the opportunity to get supplementary in addition to their primary education and failing grades (the behavior) leads to a reduction falling behind in school and not becoming successful enough to move to the next grade (the outcomes). Therefore, the approach towards the conduct is determined by the person’s assessment of the outcomes that are associated with the behavior. The more certainly the person makes an evaluation of the outcomes and believes that the behavior will attain these results then the more probable it is that the individual or in this case the parents of the children will perform the behavior.

Salient referents

Salient referents are persons or groups that the individual trusts will support or condemn of him or her execution the behavior. In this case there are some that would condemn the parents behavior because they believe that by having them pursue supplementary tutoring, is saying that the education system is failing their children. Some times the complaints may not be from outsiders but from the people that you know. The important referents sometimes do involve the person’s parents, spouse, partner, close friend, co-workers and, in a lot of situations, individuals such as their dentist, lawyer, and so on. As Ajzen (1988:121) explains: “Commonly speaking, individuals who believe that a lot of referents with whom they are interested to observe contemplate they should achieve the behavior will observe social pressure to do so.” The opposite would also hold factual, i.e. If a person had the belief that most individuals with who a person is motivated to obey would dislike of the conduct then they will observe social pressure not to achieve the conduct.

Perceived behavioral control

This denotes to the perceived comfort or struggle of executing the behavior. The better an individual’s perceived behavioral control, the sturdier should be their meaning to achieve the behavior. So, for instance, if the parents of the children consider that they have the necessary resources to pursue their plan of action ( time, ways of transport) to join a conference or something that supports what they want to perform especially with a class teacher then they are probably more probable to form a meaning to achieve the behavior of whatever they are trying to meet.

It is clear to that the three determinants of behavioral beliefs, salient referents and perceived behavioral control all provide the strength of a the parents intention to perform their pursuit in getting what they want done. Obviously, just because a people do form their intentions to achieve a conduct this does not habitually mean that the person will really conduct the behavior. For instance, the parents could form the desire to meet with the class teacher but something could come up possibly concerning another direction to pursuing their matter unexpectedly and not get a chance to make it to the meeting. Furthermore, the distance of time that permits among creating the meaning to achieve the behavior and the definite time when the behavior is to be achieved is possibly powerful. If the length among intention and timing of the conduct is short then it is more probable that the conduct will be achieved. Nevertheless, if the period is long (maybe several days or even weeks) then other factors possibly will interfere that cause the person to reassess and redesign their approach in the direction of the behavior. For instance, a new revelation about supplementary tutoring backhand businesses could cause the parents to adopt a different form of beliefs about that representative’s aptitude to understand the results that are significant to the parents and they could possibly choose to choose (the behavior) a different route for their child, or not at all. In the same way, or another example would be if a person had an argument with their mate then this could possibly reduce the other mate desire to meet the terms with their wishes and this could possibly again encourage their intention to achieve a specific behavior for which they may of had earlier evaluated their significant other endorsement as significant or necessary.

4.0 Research Methodology

The research methodology to be used in this study will deal with the mixed approach applying both qualitative and quantitative research methods (Creswell, 2003). It is due to the reason that the factors which tend to influence the decision of the parents involve both quantifiable and unquantifiable factors. For instance, attitudes perceived by the parents while categorizing and finally selecting the supplementary tutoring schools for their children tend to be a qualitative factor which is quite challenging to be measured and analyzing in statistical terms. On the similar context, factors such as consuming capacity among others can be regarded as quantifiable which in turn suggests a quantitative research approach. With this concern, the research study will emphasize on a mixed approach (Creswell, 2003).

Notably, to conduct the mixed research study, this research process will involve both secondary data sources and primary data sources. The secondary sources will involve articles and journals published online as well as available in printed forms. This will in turn facilitate the objective to use the theory of planned behaviour for the purpose of this particular research study. For instance, theory of planned behaviour states that there exists a strong linkage between the attitudes perceived by the people and their behaviour. As noted by Ajzen (1991), human behaviour can be referred as the reaction of attitudes perceived by them. In relation to the problem identified in this study, it can be stated that divergences amid the decisions taken by parents regarding their children’s education in supplementary tutoring centres are due to the impact of their varying attitudes. To be precise, the decision of whether to admit their children in any of the supplementary tutoring school in Hong Kong can be regarded as the behaviour of the parents. This certain behaviour depicted by the parents often tend to be based on various factors among which their perceived attitudes can also be regarded as one of the most influential factors to create a substantial impact over their decisions.

Hence, it is in this context that the theory of planned behaviour can be applied in the proposed research study of this paper. The proposed research model in this study which is intended to gauge the qualitative research approach can be well observed with reference to the below presented figure 2.

Behavioural Beliefs

Normative beliefs

Control Beliefs

Attitude toward the behaviour

Subjective Norm

Perceived Behavioural Control



Figure 2: Proposed Model (Ajzen, 1991)

It can be apparently observed from the above diagram that the behavioural, normative and control beliefs perceived by the parents shall have a significant impact over each other as well as influence attitude toward the behaviour depicted by the parents. Similarly, the normative beliefs perceived by the parents regarding the importance and essentiality of supplementary tutoring also might have an influence over subjective norms practiced by the group. Control beliefs can also have a significant influence over the perceived behavioural control existing amid the group (Ajzen & Fishbein, n.d.). These factors altogether is likely to create a strong impact over the intention of the parents in the education sector of Hong Kong which in turn further can be observed to have a substantial impression on their behaviour regarding the selection of supplementary tutoring centres. Therefore, with due regards to the theory of planned behaviour and the parents’ decision to select the supplementary tutoring centres in Hong Kong, it can be stated that this certain theory can be effectively applied to obtain sufficient understanding regarding the factors which influence and play a major role in determining the rise of these supplementary education institutions in Hong Kong’ primary school level.

Notably, in order to conduct a quantitative research, hypothesis will be formulated where the variables will be operational zed. Furthermore, to empirically prove the objectives in this research, a questionnaire survey will be conducted by distributing questionnaires to parents of children who are studying in the primary school level in Hong Kong. Notably, structured questionnaires would be used for the purpose of collecting sufficient data with regards to the determined research objective.

Furthermore, in order to analyze the overall efficiency and accuracy of the study and its developed research methodology, the proposed research process will also take into concern a pilot testing with 50 parents. This will not only suggest any lacuna within the research methodology but also assist in checking for validity and reliability of the instruments used in the data collection process, i.e. The questionnaire. The target sample size that would be considered for data collection in this study will comprise of 600 parents. In this context, the samples will be selected through non-probability sampling technique using the random sampling method. The participants or respondents to be selected in this study will be selected from the geographical area located around the tutoring centres in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories. Questionnaires will be prepared with due consideration to the questions that will measure the variable attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural controls of the parents as they are assumed to influence the planned behaviour of the selected respondents to a significant extent. A sample set of questions is given in appendix. Data collected will be analyzed using SPSS and Excel software.

Collecting Data

As noted above, research on private supplementary tutoring commonly encounters various obstacles. Perhaps the greatest is the unwillingness of the tutors to be researched. Many tutors avoid taxation on their earnings, and these tutors in particular do not welcome attention from researchers. The Hong Kong government has recently insisted that tutorial businesses which provide for 20 or more persons during any one day, or eight or more persons at any one time, should register with the authorities. However, some tutors still fail to register, and would not welcome exposure of that fact by researchers. Some tutors are also sensitive to the possibility of negative publicity about their qualifications and methods; and full-time school teachers who undertake private supplementary tutoring may not want their schools to know about their after-school activities because it could affect their school images and/or pro-

motion prospects.

In this situation, it is generally easier and more reliable to collect data from households than from tutors. One study of 507 students was conducted in 1996 through a telephone survey of randomly selected households (Lee,

1996). This method did produce useful data, though was subject to shortcomings in the types of information that could be collected over the telephone. Rather more effective for those who have access to schools is to solicit information from the pupils themselves. This technique has been used on a small scale by Tseng (1998) and Wong (1998), who were classroom teachers who sought information from their own pupils. The technique was also used for the present study. Solicitation of data from households and from pupils has the added advantage over solicitation of data from tutors that it is possible to identify which sorts of pupils do not receive tutoring in addition to identifying their counterparts who do. Most of the data which follow are taken from a study which focused on the secondary level of schooling, and which employed a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques (Kwok, 2001). The researcher did not have capacity to survey pupils in all of Hong Kong’s 450 secondary schools, and for the quantitative part of the study decided instead to undertake detailed investigation of six schools which served a range of socio-economic groups and had diverse academic abilities in the student populations. Within each of these schools, one class was randomly selected during the 1998/1999 academic year from each of three class groupings: Secondary 1 — 3, Secondary 4 — 5 and Secondary 6 — 7. This generated responses from 630 pupils. The questionnaire was written in Chinese, and piloted before conduct of the main study. With the agreement of the classroom teachers, the researcher himself administered the question-naires during class time, and was thus available to answer procedural questions and to ensure response rates of almost 100%. The findings were generally consistent with those of Lee (1996), Tseng (1998) and Wong


The quantitative study gave a useful portrait, but in some respects had limitations. To supplement the quantitative study, therefore, a qualitative study was organized. Semi-structured interviews were conducted of 47 teachers, 42 tutors, 34 members of the general public, 31 parents, 28 secondary school students, 12 principals or vice principals, and three school inspectors. These investigations included 16 in-depth case studies conducted over a 3-year period of students, tutors, and tutorial schools undertaking different types of tutoring. The viewpoints of persons other than students are important because students may not have the same perspectives as their parents, teachers and other actors. The quantitative and qualitative studies generated huge quantities of data. Since the data cannot all be presented here, the remainder of this paper highlights some key findings.

Design of the Study

This study will use a mixed methods (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003) design, which is a technique for accumulating, analyzing and “mixing” both quantitative and qualitative statistics at some phase of the study procedure within a single study, to understand a research problem more completely (Creswell, 2002). The foundation for mixing is that neither quantitative nor qualitative approaches are adequate by themselves to arrest the tendencies and particulars of the situation, such as a compound subject of parents persistence in the distributed learning environment. When used in mixture, quantitative and qualitative means accompaniment each other and permit for more whole examination (Green, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989, Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998).

In quantitative research, an investigator depend on numerical data (Charles & Mertler, 2002). He practices postpositivist assertions for evolving knowledge, for example cause and effect rational, discount to exact variables, hypotheses and queries, use of measurement and observation, and the testing of theories. A researcher splits variables and causally shares them to regulate the greatness and incidence of relations. Furthermore, a researcher himself/herself controls which variables to examine and selects tools, which will profit extremely reliable and legal scores. On the other hand, qualitative research is “a review procedure of accepting” where the researcher grows a “multifaceted, holistic image, examines words, reports thorough interpretations of informers, and conducts the study in a natural location” (Creswell, 1998, p. 15). In this method, the researcher makes information rights founded on the constructivist (Guba & Lincoln, 1982) or advocacy/participatory (Mertens, 2003,) perspectives. In qualitative research, data is composed from those engrossed in everyday life of the location in which the study is being framed. Data analysis is founded on the standards that these members observe for their world. Finally, it “produces an understanding of the issue based on multiple contextual influences” (Miller, 2000).

In a mixed methods approach, the researchers build the knowledge on pragmatic grounds (Creswell, 2003; Maxcy, 2003) asserting truth is “what works” (Howe, 1988). They choose approaches, as well as variables and units of analysis, which are most appropriate for finding an answer to their research question (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). A major tenet of pragmatism is that quantitative and qualitative methods are compatible. Thus, both numerical and text data, collected sequentially or concurrently, can help better understand the research problem. While designing a mixed methods study, three issues need consideration: priority, implementation, and integration (Creswell, Plano Clark, Guttman, & Hanson, 2003).

Priority refers to which method, either quantitative or qualitative, is given more emphasis in the study. Implementation refers to whether the quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis comes in sequence or in chronological stages, one following another, or in parallel or concurrently. Integration refers to the phase in the research process where the mixing or connecting of quantitative and qualitative data occurs.

This study will use one of the most popular mixed methods designs in educational research: sequential explanatory mixed methods design, consisting of two distinct phases (Creswell, 2002, 2003; Creswell et al., 2003). In the first phase, the quantitative, numeric, data will be collected first, using a web-based survey and the data will be subjected to a discriminant function analysis. The goal of the quantitative phase will be to identify potential predictive power of selected variables on the distributed doctoral students’

persistence and to allow for purposefully selecting informants for the second phase.

In the second phase, a qualitative multiple case study approach will be used to collect text data through individual semi-structured interviews, documents, and elicitation materials to help explain why certain external and internal factors, tested in the first phase, may be significant predictors of the student persistence in the program. The rationale for this approach is that the quantitative data and results provide a general picture of the research problem, i. e., what internal and external factors contribute to and/or impeded students’ persistence in the ELHE-DE program, while the qualitative data and its analysis will refine and explain those statistical results by exploring participants’ views in more depth. The visual model of the procedures for the sequential explanatory mixed methods design of this study is presented in Figure 1 (Appendix 1). The priority in this design is given to the qualitative method, because the qualitative research represents the major aspect of data collection and analysis in the study, focusing on in-depth explanations of quantitative results by exploring four maximal variation cases. A smaller quantitative component goes first in the sequence and is used to reveal the predicting power of the selected external and internal factors to ELHE-DE students’ persistence and attrition. The quantitative and qualitative methods are integrated at the beginning of the qualitative phase while selecting the participants for case study analysis and developing the interview questions based on the results of the statistical tests. The results of the two phases will be also integrated during the discussion of the outcomes of the whole study.

Plan of action



Literature Review


Preparation of questionnaire (includes pilot testing)


Data Collection


Data entry and analysis


Compilation and finishing of report


5.0 Conclusion

The focus of this research is to show the factors that influence the decision to select cram school for the primary school children. It is believed that the cram schools offer supplement tuition as a service and hence they also have to have a marketing strategy that will attract and retain more customers. It is in this context that the Theory of Planned Behaviour plays an important role in the research issue identified. It is worth mentioning that this research is intended to provide knowledge for the cram school to focus more on which to maintain a competitive edge.

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7.0 Appendix

Sample questions for the Questionnaire

Personal Details:

1. How many children do you have?

a. One b. Two c. More than Two

2. How many children of yours are in the primary school level?

a. One b. Two c. All of them

Attitude toward the specific behaviour






Do you think that supplementary tutoring centres are very much required in Hong Kong?

Yes No

Do your children go to cram school for their education?

Yes No

I would recommend parents to give their child the facilities of supplementary tutoring centres.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

If I educate my children in cram schools with supplementary tutoring facilities, I am doing something good for my children.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

Children who are weak in their studies at the primary level of schooling, supplementary tutoring can be of great help.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

Subjective norms






It has become a trend to educate children in cram schools with supplementary tutoring facilities.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

Does almost all your friends and relatives have their children educated in supplementary tutoring centres?

Yes No

Did you feel pressure from your peers to admit your children in the cram school?

Yes No

Do you think income and accessibility are quite essential to decide upon whether to admit your children in supplementary tutoring centre?

Yes No

The syllabus or curriculum offered in schools is not competent enough to support your children to become successful in the highly competitive environment today.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

Perceived behavioural control






You can assist your children in learning more than the supplementary tutoring centres can do.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

My children are performing better after joining the cram school.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

I have to manage time in order to meet with the daily requirements of my children’s studies.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

Do you feel that engaging your children in supplementary tutoring centres will give rise to their burden in terms of study?

Yes No

The schools should re-assess their curriculum in order to avoid the need of supplementary tutorial centres.

Strong disagree <1 2-3 4-5-6> Strongly agree

Source: (Francis & et. al., 2004)