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Philosophical Orientation of the Philippine Educational System

Advanced Foundation of Education

Virginia G. Santos
FS 101

Prof. Eric C. Mendoza, Ed. D.


No one can step twice in the same river, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon him. Heraclitus
The countrys educational system adhered to certain philosophies at different period of its history. (Duka 1999) The present Educational System of the Philippines in one way or another influenced by the pre Spanish period during the Spanish regime. It was also affected and influenced by the American era, during the Japanese Occupation and in 1940s termed as the Post War Philippines.

Philippine Educational system before 1521 Pre- Hispanic Education

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, education in Philippine Islands was INFORMAL. The Malay basic education began at home in an immersion-type of setting which expanded and continued towards the childs participation in the community. Datu or Chief headed the tribal community, the child absorbs the lifestyle of his family and later assimilated in the tribe as he undergoes the different rites of passage in order to grow and develop as a man/woman. These rites of passage are: circumcision, marriage, fatherhood, going to war, caring for children, death and reunion with ones ancestors (afterlife). To promote reverence and adoration for the Bathala (Supreme Being) is the primary objective of education. The students learned their traditions, beliefs, values, customs and patterns of behavior of the social group through learning activities like listening to elders or storytellers, actual participation in rituals and other tribal activities and also by imitating their elders and role models. The natives of the Philippine Islands were described as able to excellently write an alphabet of 16 characters of their language, distinct from China, Japan, or India but similar to Greek or Arabic. The native possessed high literacy and spirituality, a system of governance and an advanced socio cultural environment even before the arrival of the Spaniards. (Martin 1980; Gonzales 1993; Estioko 1994, Bago 2001)

1521-1896 Philippine Education during the Spanish Regime

The primary objective of Philippine Educational System under the conquest of Spain was to spread Christianity, the core of Spanish culture in the occupied localities. Building the Parochial Schools enabled the Friars to teach catechism to the natives. The teachers were missionaryfriars who learned the local dialects and taught in these dialects contrary to the policy of the Civil government to use Spanish as a medium of instruction. Natives were trained to learn reading and writing the Castilian Alphabet at the same time doing simple arithmetic using the natives dialect. Religion was taught in Spanish.

Philippine Education was managed, supervised and controlled by the Friars for 300 years. The Spanish government failed to establish a workable educational system by completely delegating the task to the church. In the 19th century system was reorganized due to the lack of uniformity of instructions. Filipinos were taught according to their respective missionary discipline. To resolve the problem of teacher-student ratio, students assistants were hired, and more knowledgeable students were promoted as monitors and tasked to tutor other students.

Characteristics of Philippine Education during Spanish Regime

System of schooling is not hierarchal and structured Lack of trained teachers Lack of Advancement for advance learners Lack of school houses, instructional materials and funds for Parochial Schools Friars were the convenient target of criticism for the lapses in educational system Higher level schools were established to answer the need. Colegios for Boys and Beaterios for Girls were set up. Promotion for secondary level was based on proficiency and not in the number of years in school. A tertiary level with Bachelor of Arts degree was opened to qualified students only.

1896-1899 Philippine Educational System during the Philippine Revolution

During the 19th century Philippine revolution, a Propaganda Movement that demanded for curricular reforms e spearheaded by the elite class of Filipinos, called the Illustrados. The Friars and the resident colonial government were to blame for purposely making the Filipinos ignorant. They charged them of preventing the native Filipinos to communicate with the Spanish colonial authorities in Spain. With that, Spain had no way of knowing the atrocities, abuses, and corruption committed by their colonial administrators. Except for a fortunate few of well educated and well travelled illustrados like Jose Rizal, Juan Luna, and Graceano Lopez- Jaena, ignorant Filipinos remained unaware of what was going on in the other parts of the world.

GRACIANO LOPEZ-JAENA commented on the Philippine Education in 1887: The distressing cause of the distressed situation of Filipinos today is the anomalous
education received by the youth in the schools. They learn to read correctly and write gracefully, but they do not learn anything useful because they are not taught any. They are taught how to pray and never to work.

Reforms in Education sought by Propaganda Movement

The secularization of education The instruction of Spanish Greater attention to natural science for both male and female The design of a relevant curriculum The improvement of higher centers of learning The establishment of an education system comparable to those in progressive countries

Expectedly, the friars opposed the reforms, resisted the secularization of education and institution of radical changes. Eventually, an introduction of liberal ideas will result to a demand of freedom from colonial rule that is why they did not want to lose control of the education. Spanish was the medium of instruction but limited only to the best schools in Manila at the end of the 19th century. Teaching in native dialects was continued by the friars. They argued that; they are teaching Filipinos to develop their own language; if Spanish speakers find it difficult learning the Castilian it would be more difficult for non- native speakers to be proficient in Spanish. For 300 years the delay of educational reforms made the colonial education out of date. Education in the Philippines remained outdated because it is irrelevant and failed to respond to the needs of the community even when dramatic changes of education, science, technology took place all over the world.

1898-1935 Philippine Educational System during the American Occupation

Education was used as a means to pacify the local communities when Americans came. It was a vehicle for benevolent assimilation. American teachers infused the spirit of democracy, progress and fair play which coincided with the Filipinos aspirations during the Spanish rule. The Americans removed religious bias, and put in place a secular education which clearly defined the policies in separation of church and state in education. English was the medium of instructions. American education focused on strengthening the elementary school system, it was upgraded, flexible, tentative, and experimental.

The 1902 General Superintendent formulated the following aims for secondary education: To fit the students for higher educational work of a general nature. To prepare for university work to offered later in Manila To prepare Filipino teachers to carry on successfully the work of education To educate for clerical positions and be fit for the trades and agriculture.

The 1935 Commonwealth Constitution mandates the Educational objectives under Article XIV: All schools shall aim to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, and
vocational efficiency and to teach the duties of citizenship.

1935-1941 Philippine Educational System during the Philippine Commonwealth

OBJECTIVES: 1. 2. Education for character development. To cultivate qualities of character that was contributive to social welfare. To learn to appreciate the value of ethical conduct. Education for personal discipline and self realization. Democracy as a way of life means: Personal worth, freedom, equality, rule of law, public morality, individual opportunity, individual responsibility 3. Education for civic conscience and citizenship. With citizenship, an individual develops civic conscience and civic responsibility. Civic consciousness an individuals self interest/personal interest for the collective welfare of the group. Civic responsibility includes: social justice, participation on community activities, social understanding, critical judgement, tolerance, conservation, social application of science, law observance, economic literacy, political citizenship, world citizenship and belief in the principles of democracy. 4. Education for vocational efficiency To develop in the people: - Habits of industry and thrift - To equip them with the necessary skill and knowledge which would enable them to learn an honest livelihood and contribute to the economic well- being of the country - It has been demonstrated that: a. Education is the most important handmaiden of prosperity and progress. b. The elementary education was famous for its efficiency in handicrafts and in home garden projects. c. The high school proper was evolving from an emerging system of education. d. The approaching political independence made economic outlook grim, and increasing intellectual unemployment made critics vocal. e. The existing agricultural and trade schools were improved.

The Educational Act of 1940, Commonwealth Acts 586

Aim to ensure that all elementary school children will become literate, useful, and upright patriotic citizens. Embody the objectives of the Philippine Constitution Emphasis on Character Education and citizenship training

Reference: www. Slide share. Net/ melgazar www.the PH.D Curriculum and Instruction Group Manual by Sarah Villanueva, Christy Lopez, Orlino Caoagan Sr., Leonardo Opulencia, Fely Rose Nacario, Jerica Liza Baculod, Maria Majan Esteban