The Old Philippine Education System

Primary education in the Philippines is a mandatory requirement in the old education system in the Philippines under the new legislation. It requires students to begin school at the age of five and complete schooling until they reach grade 12, usually at the age of eighteen. A primary school in the Philippines is mandatory for all Filipino children and typically lasts six years. Each year, students are promoted from one grade to the next. Each grade has its own academic requirements and students must pass cumulative grades for each year to advance to the next.

See also: New Education System in the Philippines | A Brief Overview and Summary of the Philippine Educational System

Basic education system

The Basic education system in the Philippines focuses on the study of the mother tongue. The curriculum starts at an early age and children are taught in their mother tongue until they complete Grade 3. Then, students will switch to learning English or Filipino. As a result, there are fewer subjects to be studied in the elementary school system.

There are also alternative learning systems. These programs are separate from the formal teaching system and cater to school dropouts, older kids in grade levels, and unemployed adults without education degrees. These schools also serve indigenous people and individuals with mental and physical challenges. The students who go through such schools must undergo diagnostic tests to determine their readiness for the program.

The MEC has organized training programs for teachers, principals, and other educational personnel. It has also established a Basic Education Resource Center. These centers also conduct demonstrative seminars to disseminate best practices. New textbooks and curricular materials were introduced in primary, junior high, and senior high schools in 2004 and 2006.

See also: Affordability of Education in the Philippines | Quality of Education in the Philippines

The Basic education system in the Philippines is managed by the government and the education commission. The education commission is a two-tier government that administers basic education. It is responsible for overseeing education at the municipal, town, and district levels. The government is also responsible for school development and reform. Currently, basic education expenditure is primarily paid by the district and county governments, but transfer payments provide additional financial assistance to districts with deficits.

Currently, the basic education system in the Philippines is being transformed to internationalize it. Senior high schools with modern boarding facilities will offer educational services to foreign students and actively engage in international exchanges. In addition, four senior high schools have established international divisions, and one has set up an international cooperation unit. They are systematically studying the curricula of developed countries in order to enhance their bilingual teaching and learning capabilities.

Elementary school

The old Philippine education system began with the Educational Decree of 1863, which established a free public education system run by the government. It mandated the establishment of primary schools in every town, a normal school for male teachers run by Jesuits, and free elementary education for all Filipinos. The Spanish-American War and propaganda later mischaracterized these schools as religious schools.

Before the introduction of the new system, elementary education in the Philippines included six years of formal schooling, or grades one to six. The first six years of schooling are compulsory, and the last four years are optional. The basic education cycle is now nine years long, with the compulsory study of Pilipino, a national language.

Old Philippine Education System

While there were many improvements in the education system, there were significant gaps in quality. In the 1970s, the quality of education became a major concern, and a national literacy survey showed large disparities between urban and rural areas. In the Western Mindanao Region, for example, the literacy rate was only 65 percent. In Central Luzon and Metro Manila, literacy rates were higher. A survey of elementary school graduates found that many respondents had not taken all of the coursework and were severely deficient in reading and mathematics.

The Philippine government plays a key role in education. It must provide adequate learning materials, recognize the welfare of teachers, and address the problem of poverty in schools. If we want to improve the quality of education, we must first address poverty. The Philippines is still one of the poorest countries in Asia, and this needs to change.

Filipinos place great importance on education, and education is viewed as one of the most important avenues for social and economic mobility. The American ideal of a democratic society has permeated the Filipino psyche. Historically, many middle-class parents opted to put their children through public elementary schools, even at a high cost. Even in the 1980s, the quality of Philippine education was still uneven, with some students in rural areas receiving poor test scores.

In the years after the establishment of free public elementary schools, the number of public schools and students steadily increased. In 1866, the Philippines had a population of 4,411,261 and eighty-one public schools. In 1867, there were 135,098 boys and 95,260 girls attending the schools. By 1892, the number of public schools had increased to 2,137, and the number of students had topped 200,000.


The Philippines has a relatively strong university education system. A vast majority of Filipino students matriculate in bachelor-level programs. A smaller percentage of students enroll in pre-bachelor programs. However, enrollments in graduate and doctoral programs are low. In the last academic year, 7,766 foreign students enrolled in university programs in the Philippines.

The country’s university education system was heavily influenced by the U.S. educational system, and many of the benchmark credentials are very similar. In addition, most higher education institutions in the Philippines follow a semester system, with academic years from June to March. In addition, English is widely spoken in higher education institutions.

The Philippine education system has undergone major changes since the country entered the 21st century. Several reforms have resulted, and the budget for higher education increased by 45 percent between 2016 and 2017. These changes include the construction of 86,478 new classrooms and the hiring of over 128,000 new teachers.

Public universities are usually free, and private schools charge minimal fees. Many Filipino parents choose to send their kids to private schools for higher education. These schools typically offer higher education and a more personalized experience for their students. In private schools, the student-teacher ratio is much lower (one to 40), and the curriculum is more diverse. Furthermore, private schools often use their own independent resources.

In the Philippines, there are a variety of public and private high schools. In addition to the public schools, there are also technical and vocational schools. There are also special government schools that offer scholarships to students with outstanding talent or aptitude. These schools also offer special benefits for their students, such as free board and monthly stipends. Some of these schools also offer classes taught by experts in certain fields.

Doctoral degrees are the highest degrees available in the Philippines. These programs typically involve a dissertation and coursework, although some are pure research. The most common doctorate is the Doctor of Philosophy, but there are also professional doctorates like the Doctor of Education. A typical doctoral program lasts at least three years, and many students take more than that to complete the program.

Non-formal education

Non-formal education takes place outside of the conventional classroom. This type of education involves well-structured educational programs but with no standardized curricula. It is also a participatory system, involving the public and private sectors, and it is based on a learner-centered model.

Non-formal education in the Philippines is an alternative learning system (ALS) that provides learners with a practical alternative to formal instruction. The ALS program consists of classes held at various public and private venues and is taught by government-paid instructors and non-government organizations. Traditionally, non-formal education has been focused on skills training and livelihood.

The goal of the Non-Formal Education (NFE) Program in the Philippines is to decrease illiteracy among out-of-school youth and adults. The program offers certification in a variety of fields and aims to improve participants’ standards of living. Non-formal education also aims to help participants become more independent, increase their income, and increase their level of education.

The government has recognized the importance of non-formal education in the Philippines, which has led to the creation of the Bureau of Non-Formal Education (BNE). The BNE has a wide range of programs, including vocational training and life skills, as well as social and cultural development. The “school on the street” initiative by Childhope Philippines is a good example of this type of program. It utilizes mobile vans equipped with audiovisual equipment to teach street children. Moreover, street educators provide guidance and support.

There are two types of HEIs in the Philippines: private and non-sectarian. The former is owned by private entities, while the latter is owned by a religious organization. In 2011, there were 7,766 foreign students studying at various higher education institutes in the Philippines. The most common nationalities were Korean with 1,572, followed by Chinese, Iranian, and American nationals.

Since 1986, basic education for all Filipino children has become the national goal. Since then, several programs have been launched to provide assistance for elementary and primary education. Non-Formal Education has become a viable alternative to the formal school system, particularly for rural poor parents.

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