Philippine Education
List of Best Schools
Ateneo de Manila University

De La Salle University

University of Santo Tomas

University of Philippines

Education in the Philippines has undergone several stages of development from the pre-Spanish times to the present. 

As early as in pre-Magellanic times, education was informal, unstructured, and devoid of methods.  Children were provided more vocational training and less academic by their parents and in the houses of tribal tutos.

The pre-Spanish system of education underwent major changes during the Spanish colonization.  The tribal tutors were replaced by the Spanish Missionaries.  Education was religion-oriented.  It was for the elite, especially in the early years of Spanish colonization.  Access to education by the Filipinos was later liberalized through the enactment of the Educational Decree of 1863 which provided for the stablishment of at least one primary school for boys and 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.  Primary instruction was free and the teaching of Spanish was compulsory.  Education during that period was inadequate, suppressed, and controlled.

The defeat of Spain by American forces paved the way for Aguinaldo's Republic under a Revolutionary Government.  The schools maintained by Spain for more than three centuries were closed for the time being but were reopened on August 29, 1898 by the Secretary of Interior.  The Burgos Institute in Malolos, the Military Academy of Malolos, and the Literary University of the Philippines were established.  A system of free and compulsory elementary education was established by the Malolos Constitution.

An adequate secularized and free public school system during the first decade of American rule was established upon the recommendation of the Schurman Commission. Free primary instruction that trained the people for the duties of citizenship and avocation was enforced by the Taft Commission per instructions of President McKinley.  Chaplains and non-commissioned officers were assigned to teach using English as the medium of instruction.

The focus of teaching was changed again under the Japanese regime--the teaching of Tagalog, Philippine History, and Character Education was reserved for Filipinos.  Love of work and dignity of labor was emphasized.  In August 2001, the Governance of Basic Education Act was passed with goals to provide the school age population and young adults with skills, knowledge, and values to become caring, self-reliant, productive and patriotic citizens.

Number of Schools

There are approximately 51,000 educational institutions, public and private, at all levels of education in the Philippines providing instruction to over 20,000,000 students.

Academic Year

The Philippine academic year consists of 200 working days which begins on the first week of June through the middle of March.  Most universities school calendar year begins in June and ends in March and semesters are five (5) months long.  Thus, a school year consists of two (2) semesters (June - October and November-March).


Education is offered through formal and non-formal systems.  The educational ladder has a 6+4+4 structure--six years of elementary education, four years of secondary, and four years of higher education for a degree program.

Education between the ages of 7 and 12 is compulsory.  For this reason, public schools (tuition free) are available for everyone from 1st to 6th grade.  Pre-school education is optional, some private organizations and some public schools offer nursery and kindergarten classes.  Some private exclusive schools offer seven years of elementary education, while others require pre-school or kindergarten education for admission.

There are two types of secondary school according to curricular offerings: the general high school and vocational high school.  General high schools offer the four-year general academic secondary curriculum while vocational high schools offer the same secondary curriculum with additional vocational courses.  A regional science high school is established in each of the courntry's regions.  Science high schools offer an enriched Science, Mathematics, and English curriculum in addition to requirements of the New Secondary Education Curriculum (NESC), which was established in 1992-93.

Education at the higher level is comprised of degree and non-degree programs.  Postsecondary or technical/vocational courses are non-creditable to degree programs and these cover one month to three years of schooling. 

The higher education or degree programs normally require at least four years of schooling.  The primary admission requirement for entry to higher education in the Philippines is a high school diploma.  Most colleges and universities have their own entrance examinations which students must complete in order to be admitted.  Most degree programs require completion of 135-160 semester units to graduate, although some four-year programs require as few as 120 or as many as 200 units.

At the undergraduate level, two degrees are awarded: two-year associate degrees and four-to five-year bachelor's degrees.  Upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree program, students may be eligible to continue their studies at the master's or doctoral level.  Master's programs are generally two-to three-years in duration and doctoral degrees a further three- to four-years.

Language of Instruction

In the schools, English is the main language of instruction with the exception of the Filipino courses. 

Teacher Education

Teachers in public and private schools must have earned at least a bachelor's degree in elementary education.  Secondary school teachers are expected to have earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education with specialization (major or minors) in secondary school subjects.  Both degrees must be earned in approved teacher education courses at recognized institutions.

All teaching degree programs are four years in lenght.  Non-education graduates may complete an 18-unit Certificate of Professional Education program in order to qualify as primary or secondary teachers.  After completion of these programs, the students are required to take the Philippine Board of Examination for Teachers to qualify them to teach both in elementary and secondary levels.
Catholic Schools
Adamson University
Assumption College
Ateneo de Davao University
Ateneo de Manila University
Colegio de San Lorenzo
De La Salle University
Holy Angels University
La Salle, Greenhills
Lourdes College, Cagayan
Mary Hill Academy, Lucena
St. Anthony's College
St. Benedict College
St. John Bosco Academy
St. Louis University
St. Paul's College
St. Theresa's College
University of San Carlos
Xavier University
International Schools
Brent International School
British School Manila
Cebu International School
De La Salle Santiago Zobel
European International
Faith Academy
French School/German School
Harvest Christian School
Indang British School
International British Acad.
International School, MLA
Mindanao International Sch.
Southville International
Thames Int. Business School
Language Schools
Goethe-Institut Manila
San Pedro College
Distance Education
University of the Philippines Open University

CAP College

Cebu Distance Learning

Central Luzon University

The Philippine Women's Univ

St Paul College Online
Department of Education

Commission on Higher Ed


Philippine Constitution

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