Education in the Philippines

Education in the Philippines

Education in the Philippines has a similar system to that of the United States. Filipino children enter public school at about age four, starting from Nursery up to Kindergarten. At about seven years of age, children enter a 'primary school' (6 to 7 years). This is followed by secondary school (4 years). Students then sit for the College Entrance Examinations (CEE), after which they enter collegiate school (3 to 5 years). Other types of schools do exist, such as Private schools, Preparatory schools, International schools, Laboratory High Schools and Science High Schools. Also, several nationalities, such as the Chinese, , Americans, and the Japanese also have their own schools.

The school year in the Philippines starts in June of one year and ends in March of the next, with a two-month summer break for April and May, one week of semestral break (the last week of October), and a week or two of Christmas break.

In 2005, the Philippines spent only about US$138 per pupil compared to US$1,582 in Singapore, US$3,728 in Japan, and US$852 in Thailand. [ Saving Philippine education. Accessed Aug. 19, 2008.] ]

Primary school

Primary school is also called Elementary school. It consists of six levels, with some schools adding an additional level (level 7). The levels are grouped into two primary subdivisions, "Primary-level", which includes the first three levels, and "Intermediate-level", which includes the last three levels.

Primary education in the Philippines covers a wide curriculum. The core subjects (major subjects) include Mathematics, Sciences, English, Filipino (the Filipino language), and "Makabayan" (Social Studies, Livelihood Education, Values). Other subjects include Music, Arts, and Physical Education. Starting at the third level, Science becomes an integral part of the core subjects. On December 2007, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced that Spanish is to make a return as a mandatory subject in all Filipino schools starting in 2008. [] [] In private schools, the subjects include Mathematics, English, Science, Social Studies, Basic Computer, Filipino, Music, Arts and Technology, Home Economics, Health, Physical Education, and in Catholic schools, Religion or Christian Living. International schools and Chinese schools have additional subjects, especially in their language and culture.

The teaching medium in the vast majority of all local schools is English. Filipino is considered only as a second language, and is used only in the "Makabayan", and Filipino subjects. Outside of Manila, other languages such as Cebuano, Bicolano, and Waray, are also used in the teaching of "Makabayan". International schools generally use English in all subjects. Chinese schools add two language subjects, such as Min Nan Chinese and Mandarin Chinese. A few private schools mainly catering to the elite include Spanish in their curriculum. Meanwhile, Arabic is used in Islamic schools. All primary-level students generally graduate with a knowledge of two or three languages.

Primary students traditionally sit for 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 the student in the NEAT is not used as a basis in his or her admission into Secondary school. During 2004, when DECS was officially converted into the Department of Education (DepEd), and also, as a result of some reorganization, the NEAT was abolished. As of 2006, only private schools have entrance examinations for Secondary school.

The National Elementary Achievement Test (NEAT) was changed to National Achievement Test (NAT) by the Department of Education (DepEd). Both the public and private elementary schools take this exam to measure a school's competency

econdary school

Secondary education in the Philippines is largely based on the American schooling system. It consists of four levels. Secondary schooling is compartmentalized, meaning, each level focuses on a particular 'theme or content'. Secondary school is often called simply as 'High school', and as such, this will be the prevailing word in this section.

The first year of High school includes five core subjects, namely, Algebra I, Integrated Science, English I, Filipino I, and Philippine History I. The second year of High school includes Algebra II, Biology, English II, Filipino II, and Asian History. The third year of High school includes Geometry, Chemistry, American Literature, Filipino III, and World History and Geography, and the fourth year of High school has Calculus, Trigonometry, Physics, World Literature, Filipino IV, and Economics. Other minor subjects include Health, Advanced Computer, Music, Arts, Technology and Home Economics, and Physical Education.

In exclusive schools, various languages are offered as Electives, together with Computer programming, Literary writing, as well as other subjects. Chinese schools add language and cultural subjects. Preparatory schools usually add some Business and Accountancy courses, while Science high schools have Biology, Chemistry, ad Physics on every level.

Secondary students traditionally sit for the National Secondary Achievement Test (NSAT), which is originally tailored as a counterpart of the American SAT, and is administered by the Department of Education (DepEd). Like its primary school counterpart, it was eventually phased-out after major reorganizations in the said department. As of now, there is no government-sponsored entrance examination for Tertiary schools, and all schools, public or private, administer their own College Entrance Examinations (CEE).

After finishing secondary education, students have a choice of either continuing their education by taking two or three years of vocational courses, or going to college or university.

Technical and Vocational School

Technical/ Vocational school is school offering courses practically to enhance skills. Schools and their curriculum were accredited and approved by TESDA. They offer short program or two year - course on technology courses like automotive technology, electronic technology, nursing aide, hotel and restaurant management, computer technology, drafting ,etc. Upon graduation of these courses, students take a licensure examination from TESDA to obtain a certificate or diploma.

Tertiary school

Tertiary schooling in the Philippines is more cosmopolitan, with thousands of international students enrolling here, the vast majority of which come from United States, South Korea, India, Pakistan, and other European countries like Sweden and Italy. The number of American nationals applying for tertiary educationFact|date=November 2007 may be because the Philippines itself has a large population of Americans. Most Korean students are transients, studying for the first two or three years in the Philippines to have a working knowledge of English, and then transferring abroad to the United States for degrees, but many still complete their tertiary education in the country.


Tertiary schools in the Philippines are either colleges or universities, and they are generally classified either as public or private. Colleges are tertiary institutions that typically offer one or a few specialized courses, for example, in the sciences or in liberal arts, whereas Universities are tertiary institutions housing several constituent colleges or institutes, each offering academic degree programs of a particular type (i.e., college of commerce, college of law, college of dentistry, college of education, etc.).

Public tertiary schools

Public universities are all non-sectarian entities, and are further classified as State University and College (SUC) or Local College and University (LCU)."Fact|date=August 2008 SUCs are fully funded by the national government as determined by the Philippine Congress. The University of the Philippines, being the "national university," [ "About UP"] , University of the Philippines System Website. Accessed April 27, 2007.] [ Republic Act 9500 "An Act to Strengthen the University of the Philippines as the National University"] . Retrieved May 20, 2008.] enjoys the biggest chunk of the budget among the 456 state colleges and universities. LCUs, on the other hand, are run by local government units. The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila is first and largest among the LCUs.cite web
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Private tertiary schools

Private colleges and universities may either be "sectarian" or "non-sectarian" entities. Most private schools are Catholic like the Adamson University (Vincentian), Ateneo de Manila University (Jesuits), and the University of Santo Tomas (Dominican). However, there are also non-Catholic institutions such as New Era University (Iglesia Ni Cristo) and Silliman University (Protestant). Non-sectarian private schools, on the other hand, are corporations licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some of them are also registered in the Philippine Stock Exchange. [ CEU stocks. Accessed Aug. 10, 2008.] ]


All tertiary institutions, also called "higher education institutions" are licensed, controlled, and supervised by the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines. Records from CHED showed that the country has 1,380 private and state-run colleges and universities with about 2.46 million students as of 2005. [ Need for quality education. Accessed August 18, 2008.] ]

Volunteer accreditating agencies in the private sector such as the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities' Commission On Accreditation (PACUCOA), and the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities Accrediting Association Inc. (ACSCU-AAI) operate under the umbrella of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP). For their part, the government-supported institutions have banded themselves to a National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies (NNQAA) composed of the Accrediting Association of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP) and the Association of Local Colleges and Universities-Commission On Accreditation (ALCU-COA). AACCUP is the only active member of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies for Higher Education, (INQAAHE) and remains the only accrediting agency in the country which sits at the Board on the Asia Pacific Quality Network. [ A new era for higher education accreditation in RP. Accessed August 19, 2008.] ]

Under CHED's Revised Policies and Guidelines on Voluntary Accreditation in Aid of Quality and Excellence and Higher Education, there are four levels of accreditation, with Level IV being the highest. [ CHED Memorandum Order 1-2005] ] There are only two universities which have been granted this status, namely the Ateneo de Manila University [Ateneo de Manila University Institutional Bulletin, published in 2007.] [Ateneo de Manila University 2006, 2007, 2008 Executive Planners] [The Guidon, October 2005 Issue.] and De La Salle University-Manila [] .

Autonomous status

Autonomous status allows universities to design their own curricula, offer new programs and put up branches or satellite campuses without having to secure permits, confer honorary degrees, and carry out operations without much interference from CHED.

Catholic universities like the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University, state universities such as the University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila have been granted autonomy from CHED.

Deregulated status

Deregulated status enjoy the same privilege as autonomy except that they must still secure permits for new programs and campuses.

Some universities that were previously under the full supervision of CHED has recently been deregulated. Most of the deregulated universities can be found in Metro Manila such as the Far Eastern University, Adamson University and University of the East.

Reputable colleges and universities

The Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University-Manila, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas are the only Philippine universities that had been included in league tables such as the now-defunct Asiaweek university rankings (which last ranked universities in 1999 and 2000) [ "Asiaweek 2000 rankings"] , Accessed Aug. 8, 2008.] [ Asiaweek 1999 rankings. Accessed Aug. 8, 2008.] ] , and the THES - QS World University Rankings in 2006 and 2007. THES-QS World University Rankings] In the 2007 THES-QS rankings, only UP and the Ateneo remained in the THES-QS rankings' top 500. [ GMA NEWS.TV, RP universities get low rankings; La Salle, UST dropped out of Top 500] ] On the other hand, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Academic Ranking of World Universities does not have Philippine universities in the top 500. In 2006, the University of the Philippines, through its University President Emerlinda Román, has expressed that it does not want to participate in the THES Ranking, but was included in 2007 with an incomplete academic profile.Leticia Peñano-Ho, [ "Who Should Tell Us Who We Are?"] , University of the Philippines System Website. Accessed May 6, 2007.] Other Philippine educational institutions like PLM have also expressed criticism, citing that these rankings say nothing or very little about whether students are actually learning at particular colleges or universities.Fact|date=August 2008

Other reputable universities include the Adamson University, Centro Escolar University, Far Eastern University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Philippine Normal University, New Era University, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), and the University of the East in Metro Manila, University of the Cordilleras and Saint Louis University both in Baguio City, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas in Cavite, University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Central Philippine University and University of San Agustin in Iloilo City, University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Silliman University in Dumaguete, the Ateneo de Davao University, Mindanao State University, and Xavier University (Cagayan de Oro) in Mindanao. Other reputable colleges include Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Mapúa Institute of Technology, and San Beda College. Noteworthy women's colleges include Assumption College (Philippines), Miriam College, and St. Scholastica's College.

Chinese schools

Chinese schools add two additional subjects to the core curriculum, "Hôa-gí" (Chinese grammar and literature) and "Tiĉng-hàp" (Chinese communication). Some add two more, namely, Chinese History and Chinese Culture. Still, other Chinese schools called "cultural schools", offer Confucian classics and Chinese history as part of their curriculum. Notable Chinese schools include Makati Hope Christian School located along Don Chino Roces Avenue (formerly known as Pasong Tamo Extension) in Makati; Saint Jude Catholic School and St. Peter the Apostle School,Chinese Catholic schools near Malacañang; Philippine Cultural High School, Chiang Kai Shek College, St. Stephen's High School,Hope Christian High School and Uno High School,tertiary institutions in Binondo; Manila; Jubilee Christian Academy, Grace Christian High School, Immaculate Conception Academy, and Xavier School, both primary and secondary schools in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Islamic schools

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 so-called "Standard Madrasah Curriculum (SMC)" in the private "madaris" (Arabic for schools, the singular form is Madrasah).

While there has been recognized Islamic schools, i.e. Ibn Siena Integrated School (Marawi), Sarang Bangun LC (Zamboanga) and SMIE (Jolo), their Islamic studies varies.With the DepEd-authorized SMC, the subject offering is uniform across these private Madaris.

Since 2005, the AusAID-funded DepEd-project [ Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao] (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.

* Region XI - Pilot Integrated Madrasah (Davao Oriental), [ Al-Munawwara Islamic School] (Davao City)

* Region XII - WAMY Academy (Gensan), Kumayl LC (Koronadal), Darul Uloom (Tamontaka, Cotabato City), Al-Nahdah Academy (Campo Muslim, Cotabato City), SKC Madrasah Abubakar (Bagua, Cotabato City) and Sultan Kudarat Academy (Sinsuat Ave, Cotabato City)

* ARMM (Marawi City) - Jamiato Janoubel Filibbien, Jamiato Marawi al-Islamia, Khadijah Pilot Madrasah, Princess Jawaher IS

* ARMM (Lanao del Sur) - Ma'had Montashir (Masiu), Ma'had Aziziah and Sha'rawi LC (Butig), Madrasah Falah al-Khayrie (Lumba Bayabao), Ma'had Lanao (Malabang), As-Salihein Integrated School (Tamparan),others.

* ARMM (Maguindanao Valley) - Ibn Taymiyyah Academy (Shariff Kabunsuan), Ma'had Maguindanao (Ampatuan), Madrasah Datu Tahir (Mamasapano), Ma'had Rahmanie Al-Islamie (Sharif Aguak). Through the philanthopy of Governor Datu Andal Ampatuan and his family, Ma'had Rahmanie is being re-designed and re-constructed to position it to become the premier institution of integrated learning in the ARMM. When the whole infrastructure development is done, it will be renamed Shariff Aguak Ibn Ampatuan Memorial Academy.

* ARMM (Island Provinces) - Ma'had Da'wah (Lamitan City), Kulliyato Talipao (Talipao, Sulu), CHILD Madrasah (Bongao, Tawi-Tawi). The CHILD Madrasah is a special project and laboratory school of the MSU-TCTO College of Islamic and Arabic Studies (CIAS).

Regional Science High Schools

ee also

*Legal education in the Philippines
*Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
*Medical education in the Philippines
*List of colleges and universities in the Philippines


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