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Education in the Philippines is managed and regulated by the Department of

Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education

and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). DepEd is responsible for the K12 basic
education; it exercises full and exclusive control over public schools and nominal
regulation over private schools, and it also enforces the national curriculum that has been
put in place since 2013. CHED and TESDA, on the other hand, are responsible for higher
education; CHED regulates the academically-oriented universities and colleges while
TESDA oversees the development of technical and vocational education institutions and
programs in the country.
From 1945 to 2011, basic education took ten years to completesix years of elementary
education and four years of high school education for children aged six up to fifteen.
However, after the implementation of the K12 Program of DepEd and subsequent
ratification of Kindergarten Education Act of 2012 and Enhanced Basic Education Act of
2013, the basic education today takes thirteen years to completeone year
of kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school and
two years of senior high school for children aged five up to seventeen.[3][4] As of 2016, the
implementation of Grade 11 has started.
Meanwhile, higher education requires even as little as two years (e.g. associate degree)
or much longer (e.g. bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctorate) to complete in
universities and colleges, and much shorter in technical and vocational
schools. University of the Philippines serves as the country's national university and
widely regarded as the top higher education institution in the Philippines. There is also a
large number of state universities and colleges and privately-run ones, and can either be
for-profit or not-for-profit and secular or religious.
The school year usually runs from June to March, although it may also end in April,
depending on when the Holy Week is. Republic Act 7797 states that a school year may
not exceed two hundred and twenty school days, and that it may only start classes
between the first Monday of June and last day of August. While K12 private schools are
free to assign the date of opening of classes anytime they want as long as it is within the
prescribed period, K12 public schools have to follow a stringent school calendar crafted
by DepEd regardless of circumstances.[5]

History Before the Philippines attained complete independence in 1946, the country's
education system was patterned on the systems of Spain and the United States
countries which colonized and governed the country for more than three hundred years.
However, after independence, the country's educational system has constantly
undergone reform.
Pre-colonial period
Further information: Ancient Philippine scripts and Baybayin
During the pre-colonial period, most children were provided with solely vocational training,
which was supervised by parents, tribal tutors or those assigned for specific, specialized
roles within their communities (for example, the babaylan).[6] In most communities,
stories, songs, poetry, dances, medicinal practices and advice regarding all sorts of
community life issues were passed from generation to generation mostly through oral
tradition.[7] Some communities utilised a writing system known as baybayin, whose use
was wide and varied, though there are other syllabaries used throughout the
Spanish period
Main article: Education in the Philippines during Spanish rule
Formal education was brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards, which was conducted
mostly by religious orders.[8] Upon learning the local languages and writing systems, they
began teaching Christianity, the Spanish language, and Spanish culture.[9] These
religious orders opened the first schools and universities as early as the 16th century.
Spanish missionaries established schools immediately after reaching the islands.
The Augustinians opened a parochial school in Cebu in 1565. The Franciscans, took to
the task of improving literacy in 1577, aside from the teaching of new industrial and
agricultural techniques. The Jesuits followed in 1581, as well as the Dominicans in 1587,
setting up a school in Bataan.[10] The church and the school cooperated to ensure that
Christian villages had schools for students to attend.[11]
Schools for boys and for girls were then opened. Colegios were opened for boys,
ostensibly the equivalent to present day senior high schools.[9] The Universidad de San
Ignacio, founded in Manila by the Jesuits in 1589 was the first colegio. Eventually, it was
incorporated into the University of Santo Tomas, College of Medicine and
Pharmacology following the suppression of the Jesuits. Girls had two types of schools -
the beaterio, a school meant to prepare them for the convent, and another, meant to
prepare them for secular womanhood.[9]

The Spanish also introduced printing presses to produce books in Spanish and Tagalog,
sometimes using baybayin.[12] The first book printed in the Philippines dates back to
1590. It was a Chinese language version of Doctrina
Christiana. Spanish and Tagalog versions, in both Latin script and the locally
used baybayin script, were later printed in 1593. In 1610, Tomas Pinpin, a Filipino printer,
writer and publisher, who is sometimes referred to as the "Patriarch of Filipino Printing",
wrote his famous "Librong Pagaaralan nang manga Tagalog nang Uicang Castilla", which
was meant to help Filipinos learn the Spanish language. The prologue read:

Let us therefore study, my countrymen, for although the art of learning is

somewhat difficult, yet if we are persevering, we shall soon improve our

Other Tagalogs like us did not take a year to learn the Spanish language when
using my book. This good result has given me satisfaction and encouraged me
to print my work, so that all may derive some profit from it.[13]

The Educational Decree of 1863 provided a free public education system in the
Philippines, managed by the government. The decree mandated the establishment of at
least one primary school for boys and one for girls in each town under the responsibility
of the municipal government, and the establishment of a normal school for male teachers
under the supervision of the Jesuits.[9] Primary education was also declared free and
available to every Filipino, regardless of race or social class. Contrary to what
the propaganda of the SpanishAmerican War tried to depict, they were not religious
schools; rather, they are schools that were established, supported, and maintained by the
Spanish government.[14]
After the implementation of the decree, the number of schools and students increased
steadily. In 1866, the total population of the Philippines was 4,411,261. The total number
of public schools for boys was 841, and the number of public schools for girls was 833.
The total number of children attending those schools was 135,098 for boys, and 95,260
for girls. In 1892, the number of schools had increased to 2,137, of which 1,087 were for
boys, and 1,050 for girls.[14] By 1898, enrollment in schools at all levels exceeded 200,000
Among those who benefited from the free public education system were a burgeoning
group of Filipino intellectuals: the Ilustrados ('enlightened ones'), some of whom
included Jos Rizal, Graciano Lpez Jaena, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Mariano Ponce,
and Antonio Lunaall of whom played vital roles in the Propaganda Movement that
ultimately inspired the founding of the Katipunan.[17]
First Republic
The defeat of Spain following the SpanishAmerican War led to the short-lived Philippine
Independence movement, which established the insurgent First Philippine Republic. The
schools maintained by Spain for more than three centuries were closed briefly, but were
reopened on August 29, 1898 by the Secretary of Interior. The Burgos Institute (the
country's first law school), the Academia Militar (the country's first military academy), and
the Literary University of the Philippines were established. Article 23 of the Malolos
Constitution mandated that public education would be free and obligatory in all schools
of the nation under the First Philippine Republic. However, the PhilippineAmerican
War hindered its progress.
American period
Main article: Education in the Philippines during the American rule
About a year after having secured Manila, the Americans were keen to open up seven
schools with army servicemen teaching with army command-selected books and
supplies.[18] In the same year, 1899, more schools were opened, this time, with 24
English-language teachers and 4500 students.[18]
A highly centralised, experimental public school system was installed in 1901 by
the Philippine Commission and legislated by Act No. 74. The law exposed a severe
shortage of qualified teachers, brought about by large enrollment numbers in schools. As
a result, the Philippine Commission authorized the Secretary of Public Instruction to bring
more than 1,000 teachers from the United States, who were called the Thomasites, to the
Philippines between 1901 and 1902. These teachers were scattered throughout the
islands to establish barangay schools. The same law established the Philippine Normal
School (now the Philippine Normal University) to train aspiring Filipino teachers.
The high school system was supported by provincial governments and included special
educational institutions, schools of arts and trades, an agricultural school, and commerce
and marine institutes, which were established in 1902 by the Philippine Commission.
Several other laws were passed throughout the period. In 1902, Act No. 372 authorised
the opening of provincial high schools.[19]
1908 marked the year when Act No. 1870 initiated the opening of the University of the
Philippines, now the country's national university.
The emergence of high school education in the Philippines, however, did not occur until
1910. It was borne out of rising numbers in enrollment, widespread economic depression,
and a growing demand by big businesses and technological advances in factories and
the emergence of electrification for skilled workers.[19] In order to meet this new job
demand, high schools were created and the curriculum focused on practical job skills that
would better prepare students for professional white collar or skilled blue collar work. This
proved to be beneficial for both the employer and the employee; the investment in human
capital caused employees to become more efficient, which lowered costs for the
employer, and skilled employees received a higher wage than those employees with just
primary educational attainment.
However, a steady increase in enrollment in schools appeared to have hindered any
revisions to then-implemented experimental educational system.[19] Act No. 1381, also
known as Gabaldon Law, was passed in 1907, which provided a fund of a million pesos
for construction of concrete school buildings and is one of many attempts by the
government to meet this demand. In line as well with the Filipinization policy of the
government, the Reorganization Act of 1916 provided that all department secretaries
except the Secretary of Public Instruction must be a natural-born Filipino.[20]
A series of revisions (in terms of content, length, and focus) to the curriculum began in
1924, the year the Monroe Survey Commission released its findings. After having
convened in the period from 1906 to 1918, what was simply an advisory committee on
textbooks was officiated in 1921 as the Board on Textbooks through Act No. 2957.[21] The
Board was faced with difficulties, however, even up to the 1940s, but because financial
problems hindered the possibility of newer adaptations of books.[21]
Third Republic
In 1947, after the United States relinquished all its authority over the
Philippines, President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94 which renamed
Department of Instruction into Department of Education. During this period, the regulation
and supervision of public and private schools belonged to the Bureau of Public and
Private Schools.
Fourth Republic
In 1972, the Department of Education became the Department of Education and Culture
(DECS) under Proclamation 1081, which was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos.
On September 24, 1972, by Presidential Decree No. 1, DECS was decentralized with
decision-making shared among its thirteen regional offices.[22]
Following a referendum of all barangays in the Philippines from January 1015, 1973,
President Marcos ratified the 1973 Constitution by Proclamation 1102 on January 17,
1973. The 1973 Constitution set out the three fundamental aims of education in the

to foster love of country;

to teach the duties of citizenship; and
to develop moral character, self-discipline, and scientific, technological and vocational
In 1978, by the Presidential Decree No. 1397, DECS became the Ministry of Education
and Culture.
The Education Act of 1982 provided for an integrated system of education covering both
formal and non-formal education at all levels. Section 29 of the act sought to upgrade
educational institutions' standards to achieve "quality education" through voluntary
accreditation for schools, colleges, and universities. Section 16 and Section 17 upgraded
the obligations and qualifications required for teachers and administrators. Section 41
provided for government financial assistance to private schools. [24] This act also created
the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.
Fifth Republic
A new constitution was ratified on February 2, 1987, and entered into force of February
11.[25] Section 3, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution contains the ten fundamental aims
of education in the Philippines.[26] Section 2(2), Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution made
elementary school compulsory for all children.
In 1987, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports became again the DECS under
Executive Order No. 117. The structure of DECS as embodied in the order remained
practically unchanged until 1994.
On May 26, 1988, the Congress of the Philippines enacted the Republic Act 6655 or the
Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988, which mandated free public secondary
education commencing in the school year 19881989.[27][27][28]
On February 3, 1992, the Congress enacted Republic Act 7323, which provided that
students aged 15 to 25 may be employed during their Christmas vacation and summer
vacation with a salary not lower than the minimum wagewith 60% of the wage paid by
the employer and 40% by the government.[27][29]
The Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) report of 1991 recommended
the division of DECS into three parts. On May 18, 1994, the Congress passed Republic
Act 7722 or the Higher Education Act of 1994, creating the Commission on Higher
Education (CHED), which assumed the functions of the Bureau of Higher Education and
supervised tertiary degree programs.[30] On August 25, 1994, the Congress passed
Republic Act 7796 or the Technical Education and Skills Development Act of 199, creating
the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which absorbed the
Bureau of Technical-Vocational Education as well as the National Manpower and Youth
Council, and began to supervise non-degree technical-vocational programs.[31] DECS
retained responsibility for all elementary and secondary education.[27] This threefold
division became known as the "trifocal system of education" in the Philippines.
In August 2001, Republic Act 9155, otherwise called the Governance of Basic Education
Act, was passed. This act changed the name of DECS to the current Department of
Education (DepEd) and redefined the role of field offices (regional offices, division offices,
district offices and schools). The act provided the overall framework for school
empowerment by strengthening the leadership roles of headmasters and fostering
transparency and local accountability for school administrations. The goal of basic
education was to provide the school age population and young adults with skills,
knowledge, and values to become caring, self-reliant, productive, and patriotic citizens.[20]
In 2005, the Philippines spent about US$138 per pupil, compared to US$3,728 in Japan,
US$1,582 in Singapore and US$852 in Thailand.
In 2006, the Education for All (EFA) 2015 National Action Plan was implemented. It states

The central goal is to provide basic competencies to everyone, and to achieve

functional literacy for all. Ensuring that every Filipino has the basic
competencies is equivalent to providing all Filipinos with the basic learning
needs, or enabling all Filipinos to be functionally literate.

In terms of secondary level education, all children aged twelve to fifteen, are sought to be
on track to completing the schooling cycle with satisfactory achievement levels at every
In January 2009, the Department of Education signed a memorandum of agreement with
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to seal $86 million
assistance to Philippine education, particularly the access to quality education in
theAutonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the Western and Central
Mindanao regions.[34]
Recent years
In 2010, then-Senator Benigno Aquino III expressed his desire to implement the K12
basic education cycle to increase the number of years of compulsory education to thirteen
years. According to him, this will "give everyone an equal chance to succeed" and "have
quality education and profitable jobs".[35] After further consultations and studies, the
government under President Aquino formally adopted the K642 basic education
systemone year of kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior
high school education and two years of senior high school education.[36] Kindergarten was
formally made compulsory by virtue of the Kindergarten Education Act of 2012, while the
further twelve years were officially put into law by virtue of the Enhanced Basic Education
Act of 2013. Although DepEd has already implemented the K12 Program since SY
20112012, it was still enacted into law to guarantee its continuity in the succeeding
The former system of basic education in the Philippines consists of one-year preschool
education, six-year elementary education and four-year high school education. Although
public preschool, elementary and high school education are provided free, only primary
education is stipulated as compulsory according to the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Pre-
primary education caters to children aged five. A child aged six may enter elementary
schools with, or without pre-primary education. Following on from primary education is
four-years of secondary education, which can theoretically be further divided into three
years of lower secondary and one year of upper secondary education. Ideally, a child
enters secondary education at the age of 12. After completing their secondary education,
students may progress to a technical education and skills development to earn a
certificate or a diploma within one to three years, depending on the skill. Students also
have the option to enrol in higher education programmes to earn a baccalaureate

Former educational system

(used from 1945 until June 5, 2011)

School Grade Other names Age

Kindergarten was not compulsory
Grade 1 67
Grade 2 Primary 78
Grade 3 89
Elementary school (Primary)
Grade 4 910
Grade 5 Intermediate 1011
Grade 6 1112
First Year Freshman 1213
Second Year Sophomore 1314
High school (Secondary)
Third Year Junior 1415
Fourth Year Senior 1516
The start of the twenty-first century's second decade saw a major improvement in the
Philippine education system.
In 2011, the Department of Education started to implement the new K-12 educational
system, which also included a new curriculum for all schools nationwide. The K-12
program has a so-called "phased implementation", which started in S.Y 2011-2012.
Enrollment figures

School year Kindergarten Elementary High school

2012-2013 1,773,505 ( ) 13,259,489 ( ) 5,641,898 ( )

2013-2014 2,213,973 ( 24.84%) 14,523,353 ( 9.53%) 7,127,475 ( 26.33%)

Formal Education
Formal education is the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded 'education
system', running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to
general academic studies, a variety of specialized programmes and institutions for full-
time technical and professional training. K-12 and tertiary education from colleges are
characterized as formal education. This does not include the informal education in the
Philippines learned from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in
his or her environment. Nor does this include non-formal education like the alternative
learning systems provided by DepEd and TESDA and other programs from educational
K-12 is a program that covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education to provide
sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare
graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and

The 12 years of compulsory education in the Philippines is divided into Kindergarten,

Primary Education, Junior High School, Senior High School.
Its general features include (1) Strengthening Early Childhood Education (Universal
Kindergarten), since the early years of a human being, from 0 to 6 years, are the most
critical period when the brain grows to at least 60-70 percent of adult size; (2) Making the
Curriculum Relevant to Learners (Contextualization and Enhancement) by making
lessons localized and relevant to Filipinos including discussions on Disaster Risk
Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and Information & Communication Technology
(ICT);(3) Ensuring Integrated and Seamless Learning (Spiral Progression) which means
that students will be taught from the simplest concepts to more complicated concepts
through grade levels; (4) Building Proficiency through Language (Mother Tongue-Based
Multilingual Education) hence the introduction of 12 Mother Tongue Languages as
mediums of instruction from grades 1-3 before the introduction of English; (5) Gearing Up
for the Future (Senior High School) wherein the seven learning areas and three tracks for
students to choose (See Curriculum) prepare them for senior high school, the two
years of specialized upper secondary education; and (6) Nurturing the Holistically
Developed Filipino (College and Livelihood Readiness, let Century Skills) so that every
graduate to be equipped with information, media and technology skills; learning and
innovation skills; effective communication skills; and life and career skills.[41]

Current education system used since June 6, 2011

What are the changes?

School Grades Age Did it Implementation status

Is it a Did it now Did the
have a
new become curriculum
grade? compulsory? change?

Kindergarten 5 No Yes Yes No Since 2011

Grade 1 6 No compulsory Yes No Since 2012

Grade 2 7 No compulsory Yes No Since 2013

school Retained
Grade 3 8 No compulsory Yes No Since 2014

Grade 4 9 No compulsory Yes No Since 2015

Grade 5 10 No compulsory Yes No Since 2016
Grade 6 11 No compulsory Yes No Starting 2017

Grade 7 12 Yes compulsory Yes Yes Since 2012

Grade 8 13 Yes compulsory Yes Yes Since 2013
Junior high
Grade 9 14 Yes compulsory Yes Yes Since 2014

Grade 10 15 Yes compulsory Yes Yes Since 2015

Grade 11 16 Yes Yes Yes Yes Since 2016

Senior high
Grade 12 17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Starting 2017

Some Implications of the Change in the System

Senior High School, an important feature of the new K-12 program, creates several
opportunities. Standard requirements will be applied to make sure graduates know
enough to be hirable. Senior High School students will now be able to apply for TESDA
Certificates of Competency (COCs) and National Certificates (NCs) to provide them with
better work opportunities. Partnerships with different companies will be offered for
technical and vocational courses. Senior High School students can also get work
experience while studying. Aside from these, entrepreneurship courses will now be
included. Instead of being employed, one can choose to start his or her own business
after graduating, or choose to further one's education by going to college.
Senior High School, as part of the K to 12 Basic Curriculum, was developed in line with
the curriculum of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) the governing body for
college and university education in the Philippines. This ensures that by the time one
graduates from Senior High School, one will have the standard knowledge, skills, and
competencies needed to go to college.
Because of the shift of the curriculum in K-12, the College General Education curriculum
will have fewer units. Subjects that have been taken up in Basic Education will be
removed from the College General Education curriculum. Details of the new GE
Curriculum may be found in CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, series of 2013.
Regarding teachers, there are common misconceptions that teachers will lose their jobs
because of the shift to the K-12. However, DepEd ensures that "no high school teachers
will be displaced."
The Department of Education (DepEd) is in constant coordination with CHED and DOLE
on the actual number of affected faculty from private higher education institutions (HEIs).
The worst-case scenario is that 39,000 HEI faculty will lose their jobs over 5 years. This
will only happen if none of the HEIs will put up their own Senior High Schools; however,
DepEd is currently processing over 1,000 Senior High School applications from private
DepEd is also hiring more than 30,000 new teachers in 2016 alone. The Department will
prioritize affected faculty who will apply as teachers or administrators in Senior High

In kindergarten, the pupils are mandated to learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes and
colors through games, songs, pictures and dances, but in their native language; thus
after Grade 1, every student can read on his/her native tongue.
The 12 original mother tongue languages that have been introduced for the 2012
2013 school year
are Bicolano, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Maguin
danaoan, Maranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Tausug and Waray-Waray.
7 more mother tongue languages have been introduced for the 20132014 school
year. These are Aklanon, Ibanag, Ivatan, Kinaray-
a, Sambal, Surigaonon and Yakan.
In Grade 1, the subject areas of English and Filipino are taught, with a focus on "oral
In Grade 4, the subject areas of English and Filipino are gradually introduced, but
now, as "languages of instruction".
The Science and Mathematics subjects are now modified to use the spiral
progression approach starting as early as Grade 1 which means that every lesson will
be taught in every grade level starting with the basic concepts to the more complex
concepts of that same lesson until Grade 10.
The high school from the former system will now be called junior high school,
while senior high school will be the 11th and 12th year of the new educational system.
It will serve as a specialized upper secondary education. In the senior high school,
students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school
capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student
will take in Grades 11 and 12. Senior high school subjects fall under either the core
curriculum or specific tracks.
Core curriculum learning areas
include languages, literature, communication, mathematics, philosophy, natural
sciences and social sciences.
There are three choices that are available to be chosen by the students or the
so-called "specific tracks". These are:

Academic, which includes four strands which are:

1. Accountancy, Business & Management (ABM)

2. Humanities & Social Sciences (HUMSS)
3. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
4. General Academic Strand (GAS)

Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, which specializes in vocational learning.

A student can obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she
passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and
Skills Development Authority. This certificate improves employability of
graduates in fields like agriculture, electronics, and trade.
Arts and Design, which is helping interested senior high school students in
the particular fields of journalism, media, and arts.
Sports, which is responsible for educating senior high school students in
the fields of sports and health.
Subjects Grade

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Langua o
ge Arts


2 1 Num
Subjects Grade

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0 1 2

2 urem

3 and


5 and
Subjects Grade

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0 1 2

1 mistr


3 Physi
e 3

Subjects Grade

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4 Panlipu


1 Music

6 2

3 Physi
Subjects Grade

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School h
Nam Na
# #
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Techno Fishe
logy 1
and Arts
7 e
kasyon 2
anan at
abuhay Indus
an (for 3 trial
Grades Arts
Subjects Grade

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4 and
5) Infor
n and


Program implementation in public schools is being done in phases starting SY

20122013. Grade 1 entrants in SY 20122013 are the first batch to fully undergo
the program, and current 1st year Junior High School students (or Grade 7) are
the first to undergo the enhanced secondary education program. To facilitate the
transition from the existing 10-year basic education to 12 years, DepEd is also
implementing the SHS and SHS Modeling.
K-12's implementation began in 2011 when kindergarten was rolled out nationwide. It
continued by fully implementing the system for grades 1-7 during the school year
2012-2013, for grade 11 during 2016, and for grade 12 on 2017.
There are four "phases" during the implementation of the new system. These are:

Phase I: Laying the Foundations. Its goal is to finally implement the

universal kindergarten, and the "development of the (entire) program".
Phase II: Modeling and Migration. Its goal is to promote the enactment of the basic
education law, to finally start of the phased implementation of the new curriculum
for Grades 1 to 4 and 7 to 10, and for the modeling of thesenior high school.
Phase III: Complete Migration. Its goal is to finally implement the Grades 11 and
12 or the senior high school, and to signal the end of migration to the new
educational system.
Phase IV: Completion of the Reform. Its goal is to complete the implementation of
the K12 education system
In terms of preparing the resources, specifically classrooms, teacher items, textbooks,
seats, and water and sanitation improvements, the following table shows the
accomplished material from 2010 to 2014 and those planned for 2015.

2010 2010 TO 2014


41,728 classrooms for

86,478 constructed Kinder to Grade 12
Classrooms 66,800 classrooms as of
February 2015 30,000 of which are for
Senior High School
(Grades 11 and 12)

128,105 teachers hired

Teacher 39,066 additional teacher
145,827 as of December 31,
Items items
80,197 completed
23,414 ongoing
Water and 13,586 programmed for
135,847 construction 43,536
Sanitation 2015
ongoing procurement as
of May 2014

1:1 student-textbook
69.5 million additional
Textbooks 61.7M ratio since December
learning materials
1,547,531 additional new
seatsThe Department of
Education's justifications in
this change, in
implementing 13 years of
basic education, is that the
Philippines is the last
country in Asia and one of
only three countries
1:1 student-school seat
worldwide with a 10-year
Seats 2,573,212 ratio since December
pre-university cycle
(Angola and Djibouti are
the other two), and that 13-
year program is found to
be the best period for
learning under basic
education. It is also the
recognized standard for
students and professionals

Private schools craft their transition plans based on: (1) current/previous entry
ages for Grade 1 and final year of Kinder, (2) duration of program, and most
importantly, (3) content of curriculum offered.
The Department of Education's justifications in this change, in implementing 13 years
of basic education, is that the Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only
three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle (Angola and Djibouti are
the other two), and that the 13-year program is found to be the best period for learning
under basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and
professionals globally.[41]
Elementary Education[edit]
Signage showing the different shifts for students attending the H. Bautista
Elementary School in Marikina, Metro Manila. Starting in the 201011 school year,
different year levels are given different class hours and are scheduled to go to
school in different shifts to compensate for the lack of school buildings, teachers,
and materials.
Elementary school, sometimes called primary school or grade
school (Filipino: paaralang elementarya, sometimes mababang paaralan), is the first
part of the educational system, and it includes Kindergarten and the first six years of
compulsory education (Grades 16).

Upper Uma Elementary School, Pasil Valley, Upper Kalinga, viewed from Ag-
gama track, July 2008. Note distance from road (centre left).
In public schools, the core/major subjects that were introduced starting in
Kindergarten and Grade 1 include mathematics, Filipino, and Araling Panlipunan (this
subject is synonymous to social studies).English is only introduced after the second
semester of Grade 1. Science is only introduced starting Grade 3. Other major
subjects then include music, arts, physical education, and health (abbreviated as
MAPEH), TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education) for Grade 6, EPP (Edukasyong
Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan) for Grades 4 and 5, Mother Tongue (until Grade 3)
and Values Education. In private schools, subjects in public schools are also included
with the additional subjects including:computer education. In Christian and Catholic
schools, religious education is also part of the curriculum. International schools also
have their own subjects in their own language and culture.
Only access from roadside (mid centre) to Upper Uma Elementary
School Kalinga (behind) is via this one-hour mud climb. Viewed December 2008.
From Kindergarten-Grade 3, students will be taught using their mother tongue,
meaning the regional languages of the Philippines will be used in some subjects
(except Filipino and English) as a medium of instruction. It may be incorporated as a
separate subject. But from Grade 4, Filipino and English as a medium of instruction
will then be used.
On December 2007, the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced
that Spanish is to make a return as a mandatory subject in all Filipino schools starting
in 2008, but this didn't come into effect.[42][43]
DepEd Bilingual Policy is for the medium of instruction to be Filipino for: Filipino,
Araling Panlipunan, Edukasyong Pangkatawan, Kalusugan at Musika; and English
for: English, Science and Technology, Home Economics and Livelihood
Education.[44] Article XIV, Section 7 of the 1987 Philippine constitution mandates
that regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall
serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.[45] As a result, the language actually
used in teaching is often a polyglot of Filipino and English with the regional language
as the foundation, or rarely the local language. Filipino is based on Tagalog, so in
Tagalog areas (including Manila), Filipino is the foundational language used.
International English language schools use English as the foundational language.
Chinese schools add two language subjects, such as Min Nan Chineseand Mandarin
Chinese and may use English or Chinese as the foundational language. The
constitution mandates that Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and
optional basis. Following on this, a few private schools mainly catering to the elite
include Spanish in their curriculum. Arabic is taught in Islamic schools.[45]
In July 2009, the Department of Education moved to overcome the foreign language
issue by ordering all elementary schools to move towards initial mother-tongue based
instruction (grades 13). The order allows two alternative three-year bridging plans.
Depending on the bridging plan adopted, the Filipino and English languages are to be
phased in as the language of instruction for other subjects beginning in the third and
fourth grades.[46]
Until 2004, primary students traditionally took the National Elementary Achievement
Test (NEAT) administered by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports
(DECS). It was intended as a measure of a school's competence, and not as a
predictor of student aptitude or success in secondary school. Hence, the scores
obtained by students in the NEAT were not used as a basis for their admission into
secondary school. During 2004, when DECS was officially converted into the
Department of Education, the NEAT was changed to the National Achievement
Test (NAT) by the Department of Education. Both the public and private elementary
schools take this exam to measure a school's competency. As of 2006, only private
schools have entrance examinations for secondary schools.
The Department of Education expects over 13.1 million elementary students to be
enrolled in public elementary schools for school year 20092010.[47]
Though elementary schooling is compulsory, as of 2010 it was reported that 27.82%
of Filipino elementary-aged children either never attend or never complete elementary
schooling,[48] usually due to the absence of any school in their area, education being
offered in a language that is foreign to them, or financial distress.
Secondary education[edit]

PSHS Main Campus. There is a disparity between rural and urban education
facilities in the Philippines.
Secondary school in the Philippines, more commonly known as "high school" (Filipino:
paaralang sekundarya, sometimes mataas na paaralan), consists of 4 lower levels
and 2 upper levels. It formerly consisted of only four levels with each level partially
compartmentalized, focusing on a particular theme or content. Because of the K-12
curriculum, the high school system now has six years divided into 2 parts. The lower
exploratory high school system is now called "Junior High School" (Grades 7-10) while
the upper specialized high school system is now called "Senior High School" (Grades
11 and 12).
Secondary students used to sit for the National Secondary Achievement Test (NSAT),
which was based on the American SAT, and was administered by the Department of
Education. Like its primary school counterpart, NSAT was phased out after major
reorganizations in the education department. Its successors, the National Career
Assessment Examination (NCAE) and National Achievement Test (NAT) were
administered to third- and fourth-year students respectively, before the
implementation of the K-12 system. The National Career Assessment Examination
(NCAE) is now being administered for Grade 9 and the National Achievement
Test (NAT) is being administered at Grade 6, 10, and 12. Neither the NSAT nor NAT
have been used as a basis for being offered admission to higher education institutions,
partly because pupils sit them at almost the end of their secondary education. Instead,
higher education institutions, both public and private, administer their own College
Entrance Examinations (CEE) (subjects covered will depend on the institutions).
Vocational colleges usually do not have entrance examinations, simply accepting the
Form 138 record of studies from high school, and enrollment payment.
Junior High School[edit]
Students graduating from the elementary level automatically enroll in junior high,
which covers four years from grades 7 to 10. This level is now compulsory and free
to all students attending public schools.
There are two main types of high school: the general secondary school, which enroll
more than 90 percent of all junior high school students, and the vocational secondary
school. In addition, there are also science secondary schools for students who have
demonstrated a particular gift in science at the primary level as well as special
secondary schools and special curricular programs.
Admission to public school is automatic for those who have completed six years of
elementary school. Some private secondary schools have competitive entrance
requirements based on an entrance examination. Entrance to science schools, art
schools, and schools with special curricular programs is also by competitive
examination sometimes including interviews, and auditions.
The Department of Education specifies a compulsory curriculum for all junior high
school students, public and private. Grade 7 has five core subjects: Mathematics 7,
Science 7, English 7:Philippine Literature, Filipino 7:Panitikang Panlalalwigan
(Regional Literature), and Araling Asyano (Asian Studies) as part of Araling
Panlipunan (Social Studies) 7. The Grade 8 curriculum has Mathematics 8, Science
8, English 8:Afro-Asian Literature, Filipino 8:Panitikang Pambansa (Philippine
National Literature), and Kasaysayan ng Daigdig (World History) as part of Araling
Panlipunan 8. Grade 9 has Mathematics 9, Science 9, English 9:British and American
Literature, Filipino 9: Panitikang Saling-wikang Asyano (Asian Translated Literature),
and Ekonomiks (Economics) as part of Araling Panlipunan 9. The Grade 10
curriculum has Mathematics 10, Science 10, English 10:World Literature, Filipino 10:
Panitikang Saling-wika ng Daigdig (World Translated Literature), and (Mga
Kontemporanyong Isyu) Contemporary Issues as part of Araling Panlipunan 10. Other
subjects in all levels of junior high school include MAPEH, a collective subject
comprising Music, Art, Physical Education and Health), Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao
or Values Education and TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education).
In other public schools or private secondary schools offers specialized curricular
programs for students with gifts and or talents as well as aptitude in fields of: sciences
and mathematics, sports, the arts, journalism, foreign language, or technical-
vocational education. These are under the DepEd with the latter in partnership with
TESDA. These special programs for special schools are: Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics Program(STEM, formerly called ESEP); Special
Program in Sports (SPS); Special Program in the Arts (SPA); Special Program in
Journalism (SPJ); Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL); and Technical-
Vocational-Livelihood Program (TVL). These programs offers comprehensive
secondary education in a particular academic or career pathway field. Because of
being career-pathway oriented, special and advanced subjects are offered in replace
of TLE subject and sometimes includes even more time and subjects for specialized
learning and training.
In selective schools, various languages may be offered as electives like in a SPFL
program, as well as other subjects such as computer programming and literary writing
like in STEM schools or Laboratory High Schools. Chinese schools have language
and cultural electives. International Schools offers electives or subjects like writing,
culture, history, language, art, or a special subject unique to the school. Preparatory
schools like technical vocational schools or schools with TVL Program usually add
some business, entrepreneurship, and accountancy courses. Special science high
schools like those of PSHS System (administered by DOST) and RSHS
System (administered byDepEd) have biology, chemistry, and physics at every level
and or exclusive and advanced science and math subjects as well as subjects in
technology, pre-engineering, and research. These science schools are more
exclusive and with higher standards compared to general high school's STEM
Program. PSHS or RSHS students may transfer to a STEM program school but not
the way around. PSHS students may also transfer to a RSHS and vice versa only for
incoming sophomore year. Both PSHS and RSHS students must maintain an average
grade especially in their advanced sciences and math subjects on a quarterly basis
or else will loose the chance of continuing education in these schools, therefore, will
make students transfer to a STEM Program school or a general high school. This
systems makes sure the quality and exclusiveness of science high schools. In special
government-run art school such as Philippine High School for the Arts, which is
administered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in coordination with Department
of Education, and as well as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts offers
a much specialized and exclusive curricular program than general high school's SPA
Program. Like the PSHS and RSHS to STEM schools system, students from PHSA
should maintain grades in their art field of specialization or will transfer to an SPA
school or a general high school. But SPA students can enroll in PHSA only for
incoming sophomores passing exclusive test, auditions, and interviews, and not from
general high schools but from SPA school only. Both schools of Philippine Science
High School System and the Philippine High School for the Arts are administered by
government agencies apart from DepEd but still is in coordination with it. These
schools offers scholarship for students with high aptitude and talents in science fields
or the art fields granting those who passes rigorous and exclusive tests with many
special benefits like free board and lodging, free books, a monthly stipend, and
classes taught by experts, masters, and active practitioners of their respective fields
among others.
Vocational School[edit]
Formal technical and vocational education starts at secondary education, with a two-
year curriculum, which grants access to vocational tertiary education. [35] However,
there is also non-formal technical and vocational education provided as alternative
learning programs.
Vocational schools offer a higher concentration of technical and vocational subjects
in addition to the core academic subjects studied by students at general high schools.
These schools tend to offer technical and vocational instruction in one of five main
fields: agriculture, fisheries, trade-technical, home industry, and non-traditional
courses while offering a host of specializations. During the first two years, students
study a general vocational area, from the five main fields mentioned. During the third
and fourth years they specialize in a discipline or vocation within that area. Programs
contain a mixture of theory and practice.[49]
Upon completion of grade 10 and junior high, students can obtain Certificates of
Competency (COC) or the vocationally oriented National Certificate Level I (NC I).
After finishing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12 of senior high
school, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she
passes the competency-based assessment administered by the Technical Education
and Skills Development Authority(TESDA).[49]
Senior High School[edit]
The new high school curriculum includes core classes and specialization classes
based on student choice of specialization. Students may choose a specialization
based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. Classes or courses are divided into
two: Core Curriculum Subjects and Track Subjects. There are seven learning areas
under the core curriculum. These are languages, literature, communication,
mathematics, philosophy, natural sciences, and social sciences. These will make up
15 core courses with the same contents and competencies but with allowed
contextualization based on school's location despite of specializations of tracks and
strands. Track subjects will be further divided into Applied or Contextualized Subjects
and the Specialization Subjects. There would be 7 Applied Subjects with
competencies common to tracks and strands or specializations but with different
contents based on specialization, and there would be 9 Specialization Subjects with
unique contents and competencies under a track or strand.

SHS will be offered free in public schools and there will be a voucher program in
place for public junior high school completers as well as ESC beneficiaries of
private high schools should they choose to take SHS in private institutions. This
means that the burden of expenses for the additional two years need not be
completely shouldered by parents.
For their specialization classes, students choose from four tracks: Academic;
technical-vocational-livelihood; Sports; and the Arts and Design. The Academic track
includes five strands of specializations: Accountancy and Business Management
(ABM) which will prepare students for college courses in the business-related careers
such as accountancy, business management, finance, economics, marketing, sales,
human resource management, business operations, entrepreneurship, etc.;
Humanities and Social Sciences (HumSS) which will prepare students to college
courses in the fields of humanities like language arts, literature, history, philosophy,
religious studies, and the liberal arts as well as in the field of social sciences and
applied social sciences like anthropology, economics, political science, psychology,
sociology, geography, counseling, social work, journalism and communications, etc.;
Science and Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) which will prepare
students for collge courses in the fields of natural and physical sciences, applied
sciences, allied medicine, computer studies, architecture, engineering, mathematics,
etc.; General Academic (GA) is a generic strand for students who are not yet sure of
what to study in college or what track and strand to take with much like liberal arts
subjects like electives from humanities and social sciences, applied business and
science courses, and a freedom to choose electives from any track or strand offered
by the school; and the new Pre-Baccalaureate Maritime Strand which is an academic
maritime field preparatory strand with pre-engineering courses lie pre-calculus,
calculus, and physics as well as one chemistry and introductory maritime courses,
preparing students who wishes to pursue higher education in a maritime-related
The Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) track includes current five specializations
from which TESDA-based courses can be chosen: Home Economics, Agri-Fishery
Arts, Industrial Arts, Information and Communications Technology, and the new field
of TVL Maritime (a technical-vocational-livelihood counterpart of the Pre-
Baccalaureate Maritime of Academic Track). A mixture of specialization courses from
these four fields can also be done, depending on the curricular program and offerings
offered by schools who offers TVL track.[51]
Sports track will prepare students with sports science, sports-related, physical
education-related, health-related, and movement-related courses which will let them
explore and specialize in fields like sports fundamental coaching, student-athlete
development, sports officiating and activity management, recreational and fitness or
sports leadership. This will be with courses in safety and first aid, fitness testing and
basic exercise programming, psychosocial aspects of sports and exercise, and
human movement. Students will have an immersion or practicum in a sports, fitness,
exercise, or recreation specialization of one will be in-campus practicum and one will
be off-campus apprenticeship. This track will prepare students with careers in sports
athletics, fitness, exercise, recreational leadership, sports event management,
coaching, and physical therapy.[52]
Arts and Design Track will prepare student for the creative industries in various
creative and artistic fields such as but not limited to: music, dance, creative writing
and literature, visual arts, media arts, broadcast arts, film and cinema, applied arts,
architecture and design, theater, entertainment, etc. Students will be trained with
lectures and immersions in arts appreciation and production and the performing arts.
They will also learn and be prepared with physical and personal development which
will help them with physical, personal, and health factors in the arts fields as an
introduction to workplaces; integration of elements and principles of art which will
deepen their understanding about art elements and principles and their applications;
building cultural and national identity in arts which will help them appreciate cultural
icons and traditional or indigenous materials, techniques, and practices in their art
field. Students also will be immersed to an art field of their choice: music, theater,
literary art, visual art, or media art under apprenticeship with practitioner/s of the field
and will culminate showcasing their skills and talents in either a performing arts
performance, a visual and media art exhibit, or a literary art production. [53]
The government projects some 1.2 to 1.6 million students will enter senior high school
in the 2016-17 academic year.
Senior High School "completes" basic education by making sure that the high school
graduate is equipped for work, entrepreneurship, or higher education. This is a step
up from the 10-year cycle where high school graduates still need further education
(and expenses) to be ready for the world. There are 334 private schools with Senior
High School permits beginning in SY 2014 or 2015. Last March 31, 2015, provisional
permits have been issued to 1,122 private schools that will offer Senior High School
in 2016.
Senior High School will be offered free in public schools and there will be a voucher
program in place for public junior high school completers as well as ESC beneficiaries
of private high schools should they choose to take Senior High School in private
institutions. This means that the burden of expenses for the additional two years need
not be completely shouldered by parents. All grade 10 completers from a public Junior
High School who wish to enroll in a private or non-DepEd Senior High School
automatically get a voucher.
Tertiary education[edit]
Main article: Higher education in the Philippines
All tertiary education matters are outside of the jurisdiction of DepEd, which is in
charge of primary and secondary education, but is instead governed by the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). As of 2013, there are over 2,229 higher
education institutions (HEIs) in the country which can be divided into public and
private institutions. There are 656 public higher education institutions which account
for 28.53% of all HEIs. While 1,643 private institutions account for 71.47% of all HEIs.
Public HEI's are further divided into state universities and colleges (SUCs), local
colleges and universities (LUCs), special HEIs, and government schools. State
universities and colleges are administered and financed by the government as
determined by the Philippine Congress. LUC's are established by the local
government units that govern the area of the LUC. The local government establish
these institutions through a process and number of ordinances and resolutions, and
are also in charge of handling the financing of these schools. Special HEI's are
institutions that offer courses and programs that are related to public service.
Examples of these include the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Philippine National
Police Academy (PNPA), Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), etc. These
institutions are controlled and administered through the use of specific laws that were
created for them. Finally, government schools are public secondary and post-
secondary technical-vocational education institutions that offer higher education
Private HEI's are established, and governed by special provisions by a Corporation
Code, and can be divided into sectarian and non-sectarian. Non-sectarian are
characterized by being owned and operated by private entities that have no affiliation
with religious organizations; while sectarian HEI's are non-profit institutions that are
owned and operated by a religious organization. Of the 1,643 institutions, 79% are
non-sectarian, and 21% are sectarian.[54]
According to the last CHED published statistics on its website, there were 7,766
foreign nationals studying in various higher education institutions in the Philippines as
of 2011-2012. Koreans were the top foreign nationals studying in the country with
1,572. The rest were Iranian, Chinese, American and Indian. [55]
Types of Schools Adhering to Compulsory Education and Senior High
There are other types of schools, aside from the general public school, such as private
schools, preparatory schools, international schools, laboratory high schools,
and science high schools. Several foreign ethnic groups, including Chinese,
British, Singaporeans,Americans, Koreans, and Japanese operate their own schools.
Science high schools[edit]
The Philippine Science High School System is a specialized public system that
operates as an attached agency of the Philippine Department of Science and
Technology. There are a total of nine regional campuses, with the main campus
located in Quezon City. Students are admitted on a selective basis, based on the
results of the PSHS System National Competitive Examination.
As well as following the general secondary curriculum, there are advanced classes in
science and mathematics. The PSHSS system offers an integrated junior high and
senior high six-year curriculum.
Students who successfully completed a minimum of four years of secondary
education under the pre-2011 system were awarded a Diploma (Katibayan) and, in
addition, the secondary school Certificate of Graduation (Katunayan) from the
Department of Education. Students are also awarded a Permanent Record, or Form
137-A, listing all classes taken and grades earned. Under the new K-12 system, the
permanent record will be issued after the completion of senior high school.[49]
Chinese schools[edit]
Main article: List of Chinese schools in the Philippines
Chinese schools add two additional subjects to the core curriculum, Chinese
communication arts and literature. Some also add Chinese history, philosophy and
culture, and Chinese mathematics. Still, other Chinese schools called cultural
schools, offer Confucian classics and Chinese art as part of their curriculum. Religion
also plays an important part in the curriculum. American evangelists founded some
Chinese schools. Some Chinese schools have Catholic roots.
Islamic schools[edit]
In 2004, the Department of Education adopted DO 51, putting in place the teaching
of Arabic Language and Islamic Values for (mainly) Muslim children in the public
schools. The same order authorized the implementation of
the Standard Madrasa Curriculum (SMC)in the private madaris(Arabic for schools,
the singular form is Madrasa).
While there has been recognized Islamic schoolsi.e., Ibn Siena Integrated School
(Marawi), Sarang Bangun LC (Zamboanga), and Southwestern Mindanao Islamic
Institute (Jolo)their Islamic studies curriculum varies. With the Department of
Education-authorized SMC, the subject offering is uniform across these private
Since 2005, the AusAID-funded Department of Education project Basic Education
Assistance for Mindanao[37] (BEAM) has assisted a group of private madaris seeking
government permit to operate (PTO) and implement the SMC. To date, there are 30
of these private madaris scattered throughout Regions XI, XII and the ARMM.
The SMC is a combination of the RBEC subjects (English, Filipino, Science, Math,
and Makabayan) and the teaching of Arabic and Islamic studies subjects.
For school year 20102011, there are forty-seven (47) madaris in the ARMM alone.

Alternative Learning Systems[edit]

The alternative learning systems in the Philippines caters to the needs of the following:
elementary and secondary school dropouts, kids that are older than the normal age
for a specific grade level (this may be a 12 year old in grade 4), unemployed adults
that havent finished their education degree, indigenous people, people with
disabilities or are mentally challenged, and inmates. It is possible to have both informal
and formal references for these alternative learning systems because these are apart
from the formal teaching institutions. Although similarly to the formal teaching
institutions, there will be a diagnostic test for everyone that will participate in order to
gauge the level they are in in terms of the skills needed per grade level. If there are
people that do not have the basic skills such as reading and writing there will be an
additional program that will help them first learn the basics before taking the diagnostic
test. There will be a specific number of hours that is required of the student in order
for him/her to be able to finish the program. There will be a final assessment to test
the comprehensive knowledge of the student. If the students passes he/she will be
given a certificate that is signed by the secretary of the department of education
allowing the student to apply for college degrees, work, formal training programs, and
can re-enroll in elementary/secondary education in formal teaching institutions.
There are other avenues of alternative learning in the Philippines such as the Radio-
Based Instruction (RBI) Program. This is designed to give the lectures through a radio
transmission making it easier for people to access wherever they are. The goal is for
the listeners to receive the same amount of education that people that sit in classroom
Non-formal technical and vocational education is assumed by institutions usually
accredited and approved by TESDA: center-based programs, community-based
programs and enterprise-based training, or the Alternative Learning System
(ALS).[56] The Institutions may be government operated, often by provincial
government, or private. They may offer programs ranging in duration from a couple of
weeks to two-year diploma courses. Programs can be technology courses like
automotive technology, computer technology, and electronic technology; service
courses such as caregiver, nursing aide, hotel and restaurant management; and
trades courses such as electrician, plumber, welder, automotive mechanic, diesel
mechanic, heavy vehicle operator & practical nursing. Upon graduating from most of
these courses, students may take an examination from TESDA to obtain the relevant
certificate or diploma.
In the country, there are a number of people particularly kids that do not receive proper
education from formal education institutions because of various reasons. These
reasons usually pertain to financial problems.

Issues regarding the Educational System[edit]

When it comes to influence, the educational system of the Philippines has been
affected immensely by the country's colonial history including the Spanish period,
American period, and Japanese rule and occupation. Although having been
significantly influenced by all its colonizers with regard to the educational system, the
most influential and deep-rooted contributions arose during the American occupation
(1898); it was during this aforementioned period that 1. English was introduced as the
primary language of instruction and 2. A public education system was first established
- a system specifically patterned after the United States school system and further
administered by the newly established Department of Instruction. Similar to the United
States of America, the Philippines has had an extensive and extremely inclusive
system of education including features such as higher education.
The present Philippine Educational system firstly covers six years of compulsory
education (from grades 1 to 6), divided informally into two levels - both composed of
three years. The first level is known as the Primary Level and the second level is
known as the Intermediate Level.
However, although the Philippine educational system has extensively been a model
for other Southeast Asian countries, in recent years such a matter has no longer stood
true, and such a system has been deteriorated - such a fact is especially evident and
true in the country's more secluded poverty-stricken regions.
Nationwide the Philippines faces several issues when it comes to the educational
Quality of Education[edit]
First of which, is the quality of education. In the year 2014, the National Achievement
Test (NAT) and the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) results show
that there had been a decline in the quality of Philippine education at the elementary
and secondary levels. The students performance in both the 2014 NAT and NCAE
were excessively below the target mean score. Having said this, the poor quality of
the Philippine educational system is manifested in the comparison of completion rates
between highly urbanized city of Metro Manila, which is also happens to be not only
the country's capital but the largest metropolitan area in the Philippines and other
places in the country such as Mindanao and Eastern Visayas. Although Manila is able
to boast a primary school completion rate of approximately 100 percent, other areas
of the nation, such as Eastern Visayas and Mindanao, hold primary school completion
rate of only 30 percent or even less. This kind of statistic is no surprise to the education
system in the Philippine context, students who hail from Philippine urban areas have
the financial capacity to complete at the very least their primary school education.
Budget for Education[edit]
The second issue that the Philippine educational system faces is the budget for
education. Although it has been mandated by the Philippine Constitution for the
government to allocate the highest proportion of its government to education, the
Philippines remains to have one of the lowest budget allocations to education among
ASEAN countries.
Affordability of Education[edit]
The third prevalent issue the Philippine educational system continuously encounters
is the affordability of education (or lack thereof). A big disparity in educational
achievements is evident across various social groups. Socioeconomically
disadvantaged students otherwise known as students who are members of high and
low-income poverty-stricken families, have immensely higher drop-out rates in the
elementary level. Additionally, most freshmen students at the tertiary level come from
relatively well-off families.
Drop-out Rate (Out-of-school youth)[edit]
France Castro, secretary of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), stated that there
is a graved need to address the alarming number of out-of-school youth in the country.
The Philippines overall has 1.4 million children who are out-of-school, according to
UNESCO's data, and is additionally the only ASEAN country that is included in the
top 5 countries with the highest number of out-of-school youth. In 2012, the
Department of Education showed data of a 6.38% drop-out rate in primary school and
a 7.82% drop-out rate in secondary school. Castro further stated that "the increasing
number of out-of-school children is being caused by poverty. The price increases in
prices of oil, electricity, rice, water, and other basic commodities are further pushing
the poor into dire poverty." Subsequently as more families become poorer, the number
of students enrolled in public schools increases, especially in the high school level. In
2013, the Department of Education estimated that there are 38, 503 elementary
schools alongside 7,470 high schools.[57]
There is a large mismatch between educational training and actual jobs. This stands
to be a major issue at the tertiary level and it is furthermore the cause of the
continuation of a substantial amount of educated yet unemployed or underemployed
people. According to Dean Salvador Belaro Jr., the Cornell-educated Congressman
representing 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list in the House of Representatives, the number
of educated unemployed reaches around 600,000 per year. He refers to said condition
as the "education gap".
Brain Drain[edit]
Brain Drain is a persistent problem evident in the educational system of the Philippines
due to the modern phenomenon of globalization,[58] with the number of Overseas
Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at any time during the period April to
September 2014 was estimated at 2.3 million.[59] This ongoing mass emigration
subsequently inducts an unparalleled brain drain alongside grave economic
implications. Additionally, Philippine society hitherto is footing the bill for the education
of millions who successively spend their more productive years abroad. Thus, the
already poor educational system of the Philippines indirectly subsidizes the opulent
economies who host the OFWs.
Social Divide[edit]
There exists a problematic and distinct social cleavage with regard to educational
opportunities in the country. Most modern societies have encountered an equalizing
effect on the subject of education. This aforementioned divide in the social system
has made education become part of the institutional mechanism that creates a
division between the poor and the rich.[54]
Lack of Facilities and Teacher Shortage in Public Schools[edit]
There are large-scale shortages of facilities across Philippine public schools - these
include classrooms, teachers, desks and chairs, textbooks, and audio-video
materials. According to 2003 Department of Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel
Luz, reportedly over 17 million students are enrolled in Philippine public schools, and
at an annual population growth rate of 2.3 per cent, about 1.7 million babies are born
every year which means that in a few years time, more individuals will assert
ownership over their share of the (limited) educational provisions. [54] To sum it up,
there are too many students and too little resources. Albeit the claims the government
makes on increasing the allocated budget for education, there is a prevalent difficulty
the public school system faces with regard to shortages. Furthermore, state
universities and colleges gradually raise tuition so as to have a means of purchasing
facilities, thus making tertiary education difficult to access or more often than not,
inaccessible to the poor. However, it is worth taking note of what the Aquino
administration has done in its five years of governance with regard to classroom-
building - the number of classrooms built from 2005 to the first half of the year 2010
has tripled. Additionally, the number of classrooms that were put up from the year
2010 to February 2015 was recorded to be at 86,478, significantly exceeding the
17,305 classrooms that were built from 2005 to 2010 and adequate enough to
counterbalance the 66,800 classroom deficit in the year 2010.
In President Aquino's fourth state of the nation address (SONA), he spoke of the
government's achievement of zero backlog in facilities such as classrooms, desks and
chairs, and textbooks which has addressed the gap in the shortages of teachers, what
with 56,085 new teachers for the 61, 510 teaching items in the year 2013. However,
the data gathered by the Department of Education shows that during the opening of
classes (June 2013), the shortages in classrooms was pegged at 19, 579, 60 million
shortages when it came to textbooks, 2.5 million shortages with regard to chairs, and
80, 937 shortages of water and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, 770 schools in Metro
Manila, Cebu, and Davao were considered overcrowded. The Department of
Education also released data stating that 91% of the 61, 510 shortages in teachers
was filled up alongside appointments (5, 425 to be specific) are being processed.[57]
Issues regarding the K-12[edit]
There is dispute with regard to the quality of education provided by the system. In the
year 2014, the National Achievement Test (NAT) and the National Career
Assessment Examination (NCAE) results show that there had been a decline in the
quality of Philippine education at the elementary and secondary levels. The students
performance in both the 2014 NAT and NCAE were excessively below the target
mean score. Having said this, the poor quality of the Philippine educational system is
manifested in the comparison of completion rates between highly urbanized city of
Metro Manila, which is also happens to be not only the country's capital but the largest
metropolitan area in the Philippines and other places in the country such as Mindanao
and Eastern Visayas. Although Manila is able to boast a primary school completion
rate of approximately 100 percent, other areas of the nation, such as Eastern Visayas
and Mindanao, hold primary school completion rate of only 30 percent or even less.
This kind of statistic is no surprise to the education system in the Philippine context,
students who hail from Philippine urban areas have the financial capacity to complete
at the very least their primary school education.
The second issue that the Philippine educational system faces is the budget for
education. Although it has been mandated by the Philippine Constitution for the
government to allocate the highest proportion of its government to education, the
Philippines remains to have one of the lowest budget allocations to education among
ASEAN countries. The third prevalent issue the Philippine educational system
continuously encounters is the affordability of education (or lack thereof). A big
disparity in educational achievements is evident across various social groups.
Socioeconomically disadvantaged students otherwise known as students who are
members of high and low-income poverty-stricken families, have immensely higher
drop-out rates in the elementary level. Additionally, most freshmen students at the
tertiary level come from relatively well-off families. Lastly, there is a large proportion
of mismatch, wherein there exists a massive proportion of mismatch between training
and actual jobs. This stands to be a major issue at the tertiary level and it is
furthermore the cause of the continuation of a substantial amount of educated yet
unemployed or underemployed people.