Shadow schooling in South Asia

Contexts, forms and characteristics of private supplementary tutoring in English at the secondary level in rural Bangladesh

Authored by: Rafsan Mahmud

Routledge International Handbook of Schools and Schooling in Asia

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138908499
eBook ISBN: 9781315694382
Adobe ISBN:


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Shadow schooling generally refers to private supplementary tutoring for a fee. Mimicking the formal school system and delivering academic lessons outside of school hours, it has become widespread in South Asia. This form of tutoring is prevalent throughout Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as in other countries in South Asia. However, national and international researchers have different views of tutoring. In this system, a large number of mainstream school teachers provide extra lessons to improve student learning and increase their own sources of income, although the scale of tutoring and its nature differ among countries. This study explores the contexts, forms and characteristics of private tutoring in English at the secondary level in rural Bangladesh. Because the tutoring delivered is similar to the lessons administered to learners enrolled in the public school system, it plays a significant role in student learning achievements and reduces their learning weaknesses. At the same time, mainstream school teachers supplement their incomes to meet their family and personal needs. This study discusses both positive and negative implications that arise from the practice of private supplementary tutoring in rural Bangladesh.

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