Despite the prolonged recession, Tokyo households spent more on their children’s education during the 2000 academic year — which ended last month — than during the previous year, according to an annual survey by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government released Thursday.

Households in the capital with children going to private elementary schools spent on average 1.5 million yen, up 7.2 percent from the year before. , the survey says.

The cost of education for 14 years of schooling — from kindergarten to high school — amounted to 18,502,554 yen when children attended only private institutions and 5,792,308 yen when they attended only public schools.

The October survey of 6,500 households selected at random received responses from 1,671 families.

Over 80 percent of parents whose children go to private school feel the financial burden of education is heavy, with 43.8 percent of those with children going to private high schools characterizing the cost as “very heavy.”

The spending increase was largely attributed to those who spent money on extracurricular education, with the average household with a private high school student spending about 365,000 yen in the year on fees for cram school, a private tutor or correspondence courses.

“The increase of spending on education fees surprised us, because we expected people would spend less amid the tight fiscal conditions,” said Toshihisa Fukuyama, head of the education information section at the metro government’s office of education.

The survey also found that today’s children remain active participants of nonacademic classes after school, with 74.5 percent of elementary school boys and 82.7 percent of their female classmates taking extracurricular activities.

The most popular lessons among children include piano, swimming and English conversation, according to the survey.

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