As the COVID-19 situation eases, students will be returning to study onsite per normal circumstances, with schools set to reopen on May 17. Generally, at this time of year, parents must assume the burden of their children’s education expenses. While the prices of energy and various goods have risen substantially, employment and household income remain fragile. This may impact the ability to pay education expenses among parents and guardians whose financial status is affected by the abovementioned circumstances.
KResearch has conducted a survey to determine the views of parents (who have children studying in kindergarten to high school) towards the impact of rising expenditures and adjustment methods required to cover expenses for the new school year amid the higher cost of living in 2022. Currently, parents’ biggest concern is surging prices of energy and goods, which will consequently affect their purchasing power and spending on their children’s education. Findings revealed that more than 70.8 percent of parents are worried or have liquidity issues that have put pressure on spending for their children’s education. Since education is essential, parents experiencing liquidity problems must borrow heavily in order to pay school expenses, including borrowing from family/friends, and taking out loans from financial institutions via credit and debit cards. Some parents have turned to pawnshops or informal lending, while others have chosen to pay in smaller installments or seek tuition fee relief from the schools.
KResearch expects that parents in the Bangkok metropolitan area may incur approximately THB26.90 billion in education expenses during the 2022 school year, which would represent a 2 percent compared to the poll conducted during the same period of the previous year. However, the projected spending is still below the estimate made during the survey period in 2020. This year’s hike in expenditures can be attributed to specific factors like the resumption of onsite learning as school classrooms reopen. This naturally drives up education expenses like school uniforms, travel costs, activity fees and meal prices.
The aforementioned increase in education expenses for the new school year in the Bangkok metropolitan area may not be indicative of actual improvement among related businesses, but is more likely the result of a lower base over the past 1-2 years during the pandemic, as well as prices and costs of living which have now risen as the virus wanes. For the time being, parents will need to manage their children’s education expenses efficiently by curtailing other daily expenditures and seeking alternative sources of income.