Learn more about the education system in the Philippines.


We examine educational opportunities in the Philippines through the background, facts, figures, and how the education system functions.

The Philippines recently underwent a major overhaul of their education system, which extended the basic education program between 10 and 13 years old to make it more comparable to the educational system of other Asian countries. This has meant that young graduates from the Philippines are increasingly competitive in the job market, both here and abroad. In this article, we take an overview of education in the Philippines, from pre-colonial days until the present.

A brief overview of the Philippines education system

When the Spanish came to the Philippines in 1521, there was not much formal education available. Parents taught their children how to procure food while their parents taught children to complete household chores.

A Spanish influence

The formalization of education was introduced through the introduction of the Spanish Spaniards and mestizos (mixed Filipinos and Spanish), and the wealthy Filipinos were the most favored, which led to a gap in education across the Philippines. Most native Filipinos were excluded from the most prestigious education institutions because the colonists believed that high-quality education could undermine their power over the populace. The day’s curriculum included studying Christian beliefs, Spanish language and history, math and geography, agriculture as well as etiquette, and singing. Girls were also taught to sew.

Following the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Americans gained control of the Philippines. English was accepted as the school language, and the schools were more secularized.

The centralized public school system was set up in 1901 with teachers brought into the USA to fill the absence of teachers in the home. The education of children aged seven and up was made compulsory, and school supplies were made available to students at no cost.

During WWII

When the Japanese were in the Philippines in 1942, during the Second World War, they tried to stop using English and adopt Japanese as the primary medium of instruction. However, school enrollment was not as high since families believed their children would be safer in their homes during this period.

The Japanese also created their own Department of Instruction, which became The Department of Education in 1947. The Japanese quit the Philippines at the end of 1946, and in 1947 the Philippines eventually gained full independence 1947.

The modern Philippines

The education system that is in place today in the Philippines is most similar to that of the American model. English is still the main method of instruction. However, the bilingual teaching of maths literature and science (in English and Tagalog) was implemented during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos in 1974.

The creation of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 1994 indicated the shift of government priorities on vocational education. There were courses in functional areas like car repairs and restaurants.

Information about education in the Philippines

Three agencies manage the various degrees in the Philippines education system. The Department of Education (DepEd) is responsible for elementary (pre-university) training. The Commission on Higher Education manages higher education and graduate programs, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) manages technical-vocational courses and middle education.

The majority of problems that plague the Philippines’ education system are due to an insufficient funding source, including low salaries for teachers, a lack of classrooms, and a lack of infrastructure like laboratories. Furthermore, there is a deficiency of equality in education across regions. The policy of the government tends to favor schools close to Manila,

However that the education system in the Philippines is considered to be an example of being amongst the least advanced in Asia, the rates of basic education completion and higher education participation, as well as adult literacy, are similar.

As with many other countries in the developing world, One of the biggest issues in the Philippine education system is the brain drain – the exodus of highly skilled teachers, students, and graduates to other places.

How is the system of education in the Philippines function?

The education system for pre-university students in the Philippines is called the K to 12 program (also called K-12), which covers 13 years of schooling, beginning in kindergarten and ending in Grade 12. It was implemented six years between 2011 and 2017 to improve the Philippines’ education system, following other countries worldwide.

In the past, the Philippines had a ten-year basic education program. It was the first nation in Asia to have it. The lessons are taught in the local language of the region.

It was during the K-12 reforms that also led to the creation of a parallel education system, dubbed”the Alternative Learning System, or ALS. ALS can be used as a substitute for traditional education when children cannot complete the formal education required for basic education.

ALS adopts an approach that is more informal to education, promoting students to study on their own and allowing flexible learning times dependent on the availability of students. Instruction is generally conducted at community (barangay) centers, in libraries, or at homes,

Education is fundamental in the Philippines

The most important aspect of the reforms to K-12 was the inclusion of a year of kindergarten education for all children in the Philippines that is completed before the start of elementary school. The elementary schools in the Philippines are divided into grades 1 through 6.

Senior and junior high schools

Junior high schools in the Philippines includes students from grades 7 to 10. High school for seniors (SHS) in the Philippines is for grades 11-12. It was established in the year 2016. It was part of the K-12 program.

Alongside the introductory course, students can choose to focus on one of four areas. The four tracks are Academic (including business ),

To assist in choosing the right learning pathway, Students take tests to identify their strengths and areas of interest. This includes an aptitude test as well as a test for career assessments and other activities that assist students in choosing the area of study they want to specialize in. The options available differ based on the resources available in the field as well as the needs of students.

The Senior High School program was developed to help bridge the gap between work and school: Local businesses partner with schools to provide vocational and technical courses, and students get job experience while studying.

It is important to note that the SHS curriculum also contains classes in entrepreneurship, which allow students to consider creating their own company after graduation rather than attending college.

Higher education in the Philippines

Philippine higher education generally lasts about four to five years or eight years in areas like the law or medicine.

Brian Santiago

What Is Post-Secondary Education

Previous article


Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Education