by Walter Müller, derStandard (June 25, 2013)
*Original article in German
On average, Austrian families pay more than 600 euros per year in tuition. Extrapolated from the data of 2,901 surveyed parents, a total of 118 million euros are paid for tutoring. About half of surveyed parents feel “very strong” or at least “noticeable” financial stress caused by the cost of tuition. This relates specifically to socially and financially disadvantaged households, if paid tuition is affordable at all. But the high tuition costs are only part of the problem. More than three-quarters of the respondents answered that they need to learn regularly with their children at home. Six out of ten parents do generally find it hard to help the children with their homework and check their knowledge on tests or homework. Education expert Bernd Schilcher explains that the issue of tuition is “basically a scandal.” The reason why high sums need to be raised by the families for private tuition in Austria lies, according Schilcher in the “too-short school days.” Austrian students spend 180 days a year, which Schilcher believes is not enough time. He believes that a new school system with instruction and exercises in the afternoon would cut the need for tutoring in half.