More Southeast Asian parents investing in their children

TOKYO - More parents in Southeast Asia are signing up their children for language and music lessons as well as other after-school programs.

At the Plaza Indonesia shopping centre in central Jakarta, you will find a fully booked 6-year-old boy. Three days a week, he will be at Rockstar Gym for futsal lessons, while on the other four days he goes to English language school.

His single mother, 42, pays roughly 5 million rupiah (S$533) every month for the lessons. That is about a third of her monthly wage. She thinks of it as an investment in a son who will grow up to be athletic and English-proficient.

The mother works at a trading company, and her monthly salary is about what a manager at a nonmanufacturing company would make.

According to a Rockstar general manager, the number of enrollees has increased 100 per cent in the past two years, to around 3,000.

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