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Credentialism and demand for private supplementary tutoring: A comparative study of students following two examination boards in India

Pubali Ghosh (Faculty of Education, Division of Policy, Administration and Social Sciences Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Mark Bray (Faculty of Education, Division of Policy, Administration and Social Sciences Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 13 March 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

Private supplementary tutoring is expanding fast around the world. Recognising that examination boards are major shapers of curricular load, the purpose of this paper is to identify the roles of examination boards at Grades 8, 9 and 10 in Bengaluru, India. Two boards were chosen, with one having a heavier perceived curricular load than the other.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used mixed methods with a questionnaire survey of 687 students in Grades 8, 9 and 10, and 51 face-to-face, semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Perhaps surprisingly, the findings did not reveal significant differences in tutoring demand by students. Both groups viewed the board examinations as having high stakes, and accordingly invested in extensive private tutoring. Competition emanating from credentialism was the main driver of the decision to receive tutoring among both cohorts.

Originality/value

Although previous studies have explored various components of demand for tutoring, to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first to explore the impact of examination boards on demand for tutoring. Since the system of schools being affiliated to examination boards is common not only in India but also in many other countries, the study has broad international relevance.

Keywords

Citation

Ghosh, P. and Bray, M. (2018), "Credentialism and demand for private supplementary tutoring: A comparative study of students following two examination boards in India", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 33-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-10-2017-0029

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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