Education in the Philippines Education in the Philippines Department of Education Commission on Higher Education Secretary of Education Armin Luistro Chairwoman of Higher Patricia B. Licuanan Education National education budget (2011 - 2012) Budget PH₱192,087,000,000 General Details Primary Languages English, Filipino System Type National 21 January 1901 Enrollment (2011 - 2012) Total 25,700,000 (Primary and secondary only)
A photograph of a tarpaulin showing the different shifts for students in H. BautistaElementary School in Marikina, Metro Manila. Starting in the 2010-11 school year,different year levels are given different class hours and are scheduled to go to school indifferent shifts to compensate the lack of school buildings, teachers and materials.Historically, in the past, the Philippines was a pioneer in many aspects regardingeducation in Asia. The oldest universities, colleges,vocational schools and the firstmodern public education system in Asia were created during the colonial periods. In1899 one author said when Spain was replaced by the United States as the colonialpower, Filipinos were among the most educated subjects in all of Asia. However,Philippine education is no longer the leader in Asia, and is slipping further behind mostAsian countries as is shown by its failure to educate about one third of its elementary-aged population.During the period of governance by the United States, Education in thePhilippines changed radically, modeled on the system ofeducation in the UnitedStates of the time. After gaining independence in 1946, changes in the US system wereno longer automatically reflected in the Philippines, which has since moved in variousdirections of its own.Filipino children may enter public school at about age four, starting from nursery upto kindergarten. At about seven years of age, children enter elementary school for six orseven years. This is followed by secondary school, also called as high school, for fouryears. Students may then sit for College Entrance Examinations (CEE), after which theymay enter tertiary institutions for three to five years.There are other types of schools such as private schools, preparatoryschools, International schools, laboratory high schools andscience high schools.Several foreign ethnic groups, including Chinese, British, Americans, Koreans,and Japanese operate their own schools.Though elementary schooling is compulsory, latest official figures show 27.82% ofFilipino elementary-aged children either never attend or never complete elementaryschooling, 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. In July 2009 DepEdacted to overcome the foreign language problem by ordering all elementary schools tomove towards mother-tongue based learning initially. The order allows two alternativethree-year bridging plans. Depending on the bridging plan adopted, the Filipino andEnglish languages are to be phased in as the language of instruction for other subjectsbeginning in the third and fourth grades.Secondary schooling is of four years duration. Although secondary schooling iscompulsory, some Philippine news media have reported that since the 2000s, manyFilipino students who began studying at private high schools, are forced to transfer topublic high schools because of increasing cost of living and private school fees andfinancial distress. Many public elementary/high schools in the country are alreadyovercrowded.The school year in the Philippines starts in June of one year and ends in March of thenext, with a two-month break during April and May, a one week semester break duringthe last week of October), and a week or two of Christmas break.In 2005, the Philippines spent about US$138 per pupil compared to US$1,582in Singapore, US$3,728 in Japan, and US$852 inThailand.History and developmentEarlier timesFurther information: Ancient Philippine scriptsIn pre-Spanish times, education was informal unstructured in some areas. Childrenwere provided more vocational training and less academics (3 Rs) by their parents andin the houses of tribal tutors. When the Spanish arrived in Manila, though, they were
surprised to find a population with a literacy rate using a system of writing knownas baybayin which was higher than the literacy rate of Madrid.Spanish periodMain article: Philippines education during Spanish ruleUnder the Spanish, education of indigenous population was initially left to religiousorders, with primary education being overseen by parish friars who generally toleratedthe teaching of only religious topics. The friars, recognizing the value of a literateindigenous population, built printing presses to produce material in Baybayin. Thefriars, made tremendous efforts to educate the native population learning the locallanguages and the Baybayinscript to better communicate with the locals. The Spanishmissionaries established schools immediately on reaching the islands and whereverthey penetrated, church and school went together. There was no Christian villagewithout its school and all young people attended.The Augustinians opened a school in Cebú in 1565. The Franciscans in 1577immediately took to the task of teaching the natives how to read and write, besidesindustrial and agricultural techniques. The Jesuits in 1581 also mainly concentrated onteaching the young. They were followed by theDominicans in 1587, who started aschool in their first mission at Bataan.The Chinese language version of the Doctrina Christiana (Christian Doctrine) wasthe first book printed in the Philippines in about 1590 to 1592. A version in Spanish, andin Tagalog, in both Latin script and the commonly used Baybayin script of the ManilaTagalogs of the time was printed in 1593.In 1610 Tomas Pinpin a Filipino printer, writer and publisher, who is sometimes referredas the "Patriarch of Filipino Printing", wrote his famous "Librong Pagaaralan nang mgaTagalog nang Wicang Castila", that was meant to help Filipinos learn the Spanishlanguage. The prologue read:“ "Let us therefore study, my country men, for although the art of learning is somewhat difficult, yet if we are persevering, we shall soon improve our knowledge. 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." ”In 1590, the Universidad de San Ignacio was founded in Manila by the Jesuits, and afterthe suppression of the Jesuits was incorporated into theUniversity of Santo Tomás asthe College of Medicine and Pharmacy. In 1640, the Universidad de San Felipe de
Austria was established in Manila. It is the first government or public university in thePhilippines. The University of San Ildefonso was founded in Cebú by the Society ofJesus in August 1, 1595 but was closed down after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1769.On April 28, 1611, the University of Santo Tomás was founded inManila as the Colegiode Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario.By the end of the 16th century, several religious orders had established charity hospitalsall over the archipelago and provided the bulk of this public service. These hospitalsalso became the setting for rudimentary scientific research work on pharmacy andmedicine.The Jesuits also founded the Colegio de San José (1601) and took over themanagement in what became Escuela Municipal (1859, later renamed Ateneo Municipalde Manila in 1865). The Dominicans on their part had the Colegio de San Juan deLetrán (1620) in ManilaAccess to education by all Filipinos was later implemented through the enactment ofthe Educational Decree of 1863 which provided for the establishment of at least oneprimary school for boys and girls in each town under the responsibility of the municipalgovernment; and the establishment of a normal school for male teachers under thesupervision of the Jesuits. Primary instruction was free and available to every Filipinoregardless of race or social class. Contrary to what the Propaganda of the Spanish–American War tried to depict, they were not religious schools, but schools established,supported and maintained by the Spanish Government. And free and the teaching ofSpanish was compulsory. In 1866, the total population of the Philippines was only4,411,261. The total public schools was 841 for boys and 833 for girls and the totalnumber of children attending these schools was 135,098 for boys and 95,260 for girls.In 1892, the number of schools had increased to 2,137, 1,087 of which were for boysand 1,050 for girls.By 1898, enrollment in schools at all levels exceeded 200,000students.As a result of the implementation of public education, a new social class of educatedFilipinos arose, that came to be known as the Ilustrados. This new enlightened class ofFilipinos would later lead the Philippine independence movement, using the Spanishlanguage as their main communication method. Among the Ilustrados who had alsostudied in Spain were José Rizal, Graciano López Jaena, Marcelo H. del Pilar, MarianoPonce or Antonio Luna, who were to lead later the cause of Filipino self-governmentand independence.First RepublicThe defeat of Spain by American forces paved the way for Aguinaldos Republic under aRevolutionary 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 theSecretary 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 andcompulsory elementary education was established by the Malolos Constitution.American periodAn adequate secularized and free public school system was established during the firstdecade of American rule upon the recommendation of the Schurman Commission. Freeprimary instruction that trained the people for the duties of citizenship and avocationwas enforced by the Taft Commission per instructions of President William McKinley.Chaplains and non-commissioned officers were assigned to teach using English as themedium of instruction.A highly centralized public school system was installed in 1901 by the PhilippineCommission by virtue of Act No. 74. The implementation of this Act created a heavyshortage of teachers so the Philippine Commission authorized the Secretary of PublicInstruction to bring to the Philippines more than 1,000 teachers from the United Statescalled the Thomasites between 1901 to 1902. These teachers were scatteredthroughout the islands to establish barangay schools. The same law established thePhilippine Normal School (now the Philippine Normal University) to train Filipinoteachers for the public schools.The high school system supported by provincial governments, special educationalinstitutions, school of arts and trades, an agricultural school, and commerce and marineinstitutes were established in 1902 by the Philippine Commission. In 1908, thePhilippine Legislature approved Act No. 1870 which created the University of thePhilippines. The Reorganization Act of 1916 provided the Filipinization of all departmentsecretaries except the Secretary of Public Instruction.Two decades later, enrollment in elementary schools was about 1 million from a total of150,000 students in 1901.After World War IIIn 1947, by virtue of Executive Order No. 94, the Department of Instruction waschanged to "Department of Education." During this period, the regulation andsupervision of public and private schools belonged to the Bureau of Public and PrivateSchools.Marcos eraIn 1972, the Department of Education became the Department of Education andCulture by Proclamation 1081.
Following a referendum of all barangays in the Philippines from 10–15 January 1973, on17 January 1973 President Marcos ratified the 1973 Constitution by Proclamation 1102.The 1973 Constitution set out the three fundamental aims of education in thePhilippines, to: foster love of country; teach the duties of citizenship; and develop moral character, self discipline, and scientific, technological and vocational efficiency.[On 24 September 1972, by PD No 1, the Department of Education, Culture and Sportswas decentralized with decision-making shared among thirteen regional offices.In 1978, by PD No 1397, the Department of Education and Culture became the Ministryof Education and Culture.The Education Act of 1982 provided for an integrated system of education covering bothformal and nonformal education at all levels. Section 29 of the Act sought to upgradeeducation institutions standards to achieve quality education, through voluntaryaccreditation for schools, colleges, and universities. Sections 16 & 17 upgraded theobligations and qualifications required for teachers and administrators. Section 41provided for government financial assistance to private schools. The Act also createdthe Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.Fifth RepublicOn 2 February 1987, a new Constitution for the Philippines was ratified. Section 3,Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution contains the ten fundamental aims of education inthe PhilippinesIn 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 117, the Ministry of Education, Culture andSports, became the Department of Education, Culture and Sports . The structure ofDECS as embodied in EO No. 117 remained practically unchanged until 1994.On 26 May 1988 Congress enacted Republic Act 6655, the Free Public SecondaryEducation Act of 1988, which mandated free public secondary education commencingin the school year 1988-1989. On 26 May 1988 Congress enacted RA 6655 whichmade free public secondary education to become a reality.On 3 February 1992, Congress enacted Republic Act 7323, which provided thatstudents aged 15 to 25 may be employed during summer or Christmas vacation with asalary not lower than the minimum wage. 60% of the wage is to be paid by the employerand 40% by the government.
The Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) report of 1991 recommendedthe division of DECS into three parts. On 18 May 1994, Congress passed Republic Act7722, theHigher Education Act of 1994, creating the Commission on HigherEducation (CHED), which assumed the functions of the Bureau of Higher Education,and supervises tertiary degree programs. On 25 August 1994, Congresspassed Republic Act 7796, the Technical Education and Skills Development Act of1994, creating the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA),which absorbed the Bureau of Technical-Vocational Education plus the NationalManpower and Youth Council, and supervises non-degree technical-vocationalprograms DECS retained responsibility for all elementary and secondary education.This threefold division became known as the trifocal system of education in thePhilippines.The Trifocal educaTion sysTem of The PhiliPPinesIn August 2001, Republic Act 9155, otherwise called the Governance of BasicEducation Act, was passed transforming the name of the Department of Education,Culture and Sports (DECS) to the Department of Education (DepEd) and redefining therole of field offices (regional offices, division offices, district offices and schools). RA9155 provides the overall framework for (i) school head empowerment by strengtheningtheir leadership roles and (ii) school-based management within the context oftransparency and local accountability. The goal of basic education is to provide theschool age population and young adults with skills, knowledge, and values to becomecaring, self-reliant, productive and patriotic citizens.In January 2009, DepEd signed a memorandum of agreement with the United StatesAgency for International Development to seal $86 million assistance to Philippineeducation, particularly the access to quality education in the Autonomous Region inMuslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the Western and Central Mindanao regions.School gradesThe school year starts on the first week of June and ends on the last week of March(elementary and junior and senior high schools, while the college year is divided intotwo semesters: the first begins in the beginning of June and ends in October, while thesecond begins in November and ends in March. Level/Grade Typical age NotesPreschool
Not compulsary; usually doneVarious optional programs Under 6 in barangaysNursery 3-4 -Kindergarten 4-5 -Preparatory 5-6 Not compulsaryElementary school1st Grade 6–7 -2nd Grade 7–8 -3rd Grade 8–9 -4th Grade 9–10 -5th Grade 10–11 -6th Grade 11–12 - Only in some schools,7th Grade 12-13 equivalent to 1st YearJunior high school1st Year (Freshman) 12-13 -2nd Year (Sophomore) 13–14 -3rd Year (Junior) 14-15 -4th Year (Senior) 15-16 -Senior high school On process, already1st Year 16-17 implemented in some schools On process, already2nd Year 17-18 implemented in some schoolsPost-secondary education Ages vary (usually four years, referred to asTertiary Freshman, -education (College or University) Sophomore, Junior and Senior years)
Vocational education Ages vary -Graduate educationAdult educationPrimary schoolUpper Uma Elementary School, Pasil Valley, Upper Kalinga, viewed from Ag-gamatrack, July 2008. Note distance from road (centre left).Only access from roadside (mid centre) to Upper Uma ElementarySchoolKalinga (behind) is via this one hour mud climb. Viewed December 2008.Philippine Science High School, Main Campus, Quezon City. Note the disparitybetween rural and urban education facilities in the Philippines.
Primary school in the Philippines, more commonly known as "elementary school"(Filipino: paaralang elementarya, sometimes mababang paaralan) consists of six levels,with some schools adding an additional level (level 7). The levels are grouped into twoprimary subdivisions:primary-level, which includes the first three levels,and intermediate-level, which includes the last three or four levels.Primary education in the Philippines covers a wide curriculum. The core subjects (majorsubjects) include Mathematics, Sciences, the English and Filipino languages,and Makabayan (Social Studies, Livelihood Education, Values). Other subjects includeMusic, Arts, and Physical Education. Starting at the third level, Science becomes anintegral part of the core subjects. On December 2007, Philippine president GloriaMacapagal Arroyo announced that Spanish is to make a return as a mandatory subjectin all Filipino schools starting in 2008. That announcement has not yet come into effect.In private schools, 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. Internationalschools and Chinese schools have additional subjects, especially in their language andculture.DECS Bilingual Policy is for the medium of instruction to be Filipino for: Filipino, AralingPanlipunan, Edukasyong Pangkatawan, Kalusugan at Musika; and English for: English,Science and Technology, Home Economics and Livelihood Education. Article XIV,Section 7 of the 1987 Philippine constitution mandates that regional languages are theauxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media ofinstruction therein. As a result, the language actually used in teaching is often a polyglotof Filipino and English with the regional language as the foundation, or rarely the locallanguage. Filipino is based on Tagalog, so in Tagalog areas (including Manila), Filipinois the foundational language used. Philippine regional languages are also usedoutside Manila in the teaching of Makabayan. International English language schoolsuse English as the foundational language. Chinese schools add two language subjects,such as Min Nan Chinese and Mandarin Chinese and may use English or Chinese asthe foundational language. The constitution mandates that Spanish and Arabic shall bepromoted on a voluntary and optional basis. Following on this, a few private schoolsmainly catering to the elite include Spanish in their curriculum. Arabic is taught inIslamic schools. Primary-level students generally graduate with a knowledge of two orthree languages, although most primary school graduates in Manila cannot speakEnglish.Until 2004, primary students traditionally sat for the National Elementary AchievementTest (NEAT) administered by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS).It was intended as a measure of a schools competence, and not as a predictor of
student aptitude or success in Secondary school. Hence, the scores obtained bystudents in the NEAT were not used as a basis for their admission into Secondaryschool. During 2004, when DECS was officially converted into the Department ofEducation (DepEd), and also, as a result of some reorganization, the NEAT waschanged to National Achievement Test (NAT) by the Department of Education (DepEd).Both the public and private elementary schools take this exam to measure a schoolscompetency. As of 2006, only private schools have entrance examinations forSecondary school.The DepEd expects over 13.1 million elementary students to be enrolled in publicelementary schools for school year 2009-2010.Secondary educationSecondary school in the Philippines, more commonly known as "high school"(Filipino: paaralang sekundarya, sometimes mataas na paaralan), consists of four levelslargely based on the American schooling system as it was until the advent ofthe comprehensive high schools in the US in the middle of last century. The Philippinehigh school system has not moved much from where it was when the Philippinesachieved independence from the US in 1946. It still consists of only four levels witheach level partially compartmentalized, focusing on a particular theme or content.DepEd specifies a compulsory curriculum for all high schooling, public and private.The first year of high school has five core subjects, Algebra I, Integrated Science,English I, Filipino I, and Philippine History I. Second year has Algebra II, Biology,English II, Filipino II, and Asian History.Third year has Geometry, Chemistry, Filipino III,and World History and Geography. Fourth year has Calculus, Trigonometry, Physics,Filipino IV, Literature, and Economics. Minor subjects may include Health, Music, Arts,Technology and Home Economics, and Physical Education.In selective schools, various languages may be offered as electives, as well as othersubjects such as computer programming and literary writing. Chinese schools havelanguage and cultural electives. Preparatory schools usually add some business andaccountancy courses, while science high schools have biology, chemistry, and physicsat every level.Secondary students used to sit for the National Secondary Achievement Test (NSAT),which was based on the American SAT, and was administered by DepEd. Like itsprimary school counterpart, NSAT was phased-out after major reorganizations in theeducation department. Now there is no government-sponsored entrance examinationfor tertiary education. Higher education institutions, both public and private, administertheir own College Entrance Examinations (CEE). Vocational colleges usually do not
have entrance examinations, simply accepting the Form 138 record of studies from highschool, and enrolment payment.DepEd expects over 5.6 million students in to be enrolled in public secondary schoolsfor school year 2009-2010.The Department of Education proposes an additional two years of compulsoryeducation, that, is called K+12 program. This program has been criticized by parents ofstudents in kindergarten (that is expected to enter the grades 11 and 12) because itmay be expensive and only an impediment to the students. But the government wantedto continue this program amid of these complaints, because it will improve the quality ofeducation and improve the literacy rate in the country.Technical and vocational educationTechnical and vocational education is offered to enhance students practical skills atinstitutions usually accredited and approved by TESDA. Institutions may be governmentoperated, often by provincial government, or private. The vast majority are privatelyoperated and most call themselves colleges. They may offer programs ranging induration from a couple of weeks to two year diploma courses. Programs can betechnology courses like automotive technology, computer technology, and electronictechnology; service courses such as caregiver, nursing aide, hotel and restaurantmanagement; and trades courses such as electrician, plumber, welder, automotivemechanic, diesel mechanic, heavy vehicle operator. Upon graduating from most ofthese courses, students may take an examination from TESDA to obtain the relevantcertificate or diploma.Tertiary educationTertiary education in the Philippines is increasingly less cosmopolitan. From a height of5,284 foreign of students in 1995-1996 the number steadily declined to 2,323 in2000-2001, the last year CHED published numbers on its website.The Problem of rural educaTion in The PhiliPPines
In this journal, I have discussed the relationship between education, poverty alleviation,and economic development. The link is critical and the three are self-reinforcing.Education creates greater opportunities for the youth, who go on to work decent jobs incities like Bacolod, Manila, and Cebu. The children remitmoney back to the parents,who spend on home improvements and the tuition fees for the younger siblings.College-educated individuals are much less likely to end up impoverished (about 1 in44). Trade schools also create opportunities, with only one in 10 people with post-secondary degrees living below the poverty line. Unfortunately, the ratios dropprecipitously after that. One in three high school graduates and half of elementaryschool grads are impoverished. Here are the sobering education statistics:The long-term outlook for poverty reduction doesn’t look good either, unfortunately. Weall know that there is a very strong link between education (or lack of education) andpoverty—two-thirds of our poor families have household heads whose highesteducational attainment is at most Grade 6. Well, the education statistics (all from theNSCB ) tell a very sad tale: elementary school net participation rates (NPR)—theproportion of the number of enrollees 7-12 years old to population 7-12 years old—haveplummeted from 95 percent in school year (SY) 1997-98 to 74 percent in 2005-2006, ashave high school NPRs.Cohort survival rates (CSR) have also dropped: Out of every 100 children who enterGrade 1, only 63 will reach Grade 6, down from 69 children in 1997-1998. In highschool, CSR have dropped even more: from 71 to 55. Which means, of course, thatschool dropout rates have increased. Which is one of the reasons why, in 2005-2006,
for the first time in 35 years, total enrollment decreased in both elementary and highschool: although private school enrollment increased, public school enrollment wentdown more.The correlation is not difficult to see, but fixing the problem presents a challenge forseveral reasons. According to some observers, the Department of Education Cultureand Sports (DECS) in the Philippines is one of the most corrupt government entities inthe country. It has a budget equal to 12% of spending, but is riddled with graft fromprocurement (buying textbooks and other supplies), grease money, and bribes for justabout any sort of movement within the bureaucracy. The impact on the educationsystem is detrimental:Embezzlement, nepotism, influence peddling, fraud and other types of corruption alsoflourish. Corruption has become so institutionalized that payoffs have become thelubricant that makes the education bureaucracy run smoothly. The result: an entiregeneration of Filipino students robbed of their right to a good education.This corruption leads to poor allocation of resources. Teachers are underpaid andtreated poorly. In 2005, the Philippine government spent just $138 per student,compared to $852 in Thailand, another developing country in Southeast Asia. But graftand corruption are not the only issues. Poverty is a vicious cycle that leads trapsgenerations of families. Lunchtime at "The Environment-Friendly School"About 80% of the Filipino poor live in the rural areas of the country. These are townslocated deep in the mountains and the rice fields. The population density in the ruralparts of the country is low, and there is a corresponding deficiency in schools andclassrooms. Public school is free, but families still cannot afford to send their children
for a complicated network of reasons. In this editorial for the Pinoy Press, oneauthor delineates the key issue:With around 65 million Filipinos or about 80 percent of the population trying to surviveon P96 ($2) or less per day, how can a family afford the school uniforms, thetransportation to and from school, the expenses for school supplies and projects, themiscellaneous expenses, and the food for the studying sibling? More than this, with theworsening unemployment problem and poverty situation, each member of the family isbeing expected to contribute to the family income. Most, if not all, out-of-school childrenare on the streets begging, selling cigarettes, candies, garlands, and assorted foodstuffsor things, or doing odd jobs.Beyond the selling goods on the street, children in farming families are expected to workin the fields during harvest time. In agriculture-based communities where farming is theprimary livelihood, having children around to help with the work means more income forthe family. In a recent trip to Valladolid, someone told me that children are paid 15pesos for a day’s work in the blistering heat. They are pulled from school for two orthree months at a time and are irreparably disadvantaged compared with theirclassmates. So, they may have to repeat the grade, only to be pulled out of schoolagain next year.Transportation is another big problem. Kids walk 2-3 kilometers or more to and fromschool every day. They have to cross rivers and climb hills with their bookbags. Theones that can afford it take a tricycle, but that is a luxury. Schools are sometimes toofar for the most remote communities to practically access. So the families can’t afford topay and the children are pulled from school.
The walk to school.It seems like an intractable problem. Corruption in the education bureaucracy and alack of resources make delivering a high-quality education to all Filipinos a challenge.Microfinance is one way to help. With the assistance of microcredit loans, women canpay for the education of their children – to purchase uniforms, textbooks, lunches, andrides to school. Also, by creating another source of income other than farming, thechildren do not have to come help the family work the fields. When I talk to NWTFclients about their dreams, they unfailingly say they hope for their children to “finish theirstudies.” History has shown that it is an achievable goal. But real systemic changeneeds to come from above. As long as corruption and bureaucracy paralyzes thesystem, the goal of delivering a decent education to children – which pays dividends tothe country in the long run – will remain out of reach.For the rural poor, non-profits exist to help in the mission of education. While looking uppictures for this post, I came across a Filipino organization called theGamot Cogon(“Grass Roots”) Institute:The Gamot Cogon Institute (a non-stock, non-profit organization) is an Iloilo-basedcultural institution working to transform society through human development approachesincluding education and training. GCI also prototypes or demonstrates alternativeapproaches to education, agriculture, health, and full human development.
on 12-year basic educaTion: addiTional years,more Problems[The Kabataan (Youth) Partylist, led by Congressman Raymond Palatino, released thefollowing 5 reasons to oppose DepEd Secretary Armin Luistros backing of PresidentAquinos plan to increase the 10-year basic education cycle to 12. The proposal is alsoendorsed by former DepEd Secretary Juan Miguel Luz. -- JThe move to add one year in elementary and another year in high school will notanswer the country’s declining quality of education, the growing number of out-of-schoolyouth, nor will it lift the country’s employment rate.Below are five reasons to counteract former Department of Education (DepEd) Sec.Juan Miguel Luz’ ‘delusions of grandeur’.1. Additional two years would mean extra expense for parents of public schoolgoers, a majority of which belong to impoverished sectors.The new system would translate to added burden to parents who could barely sendtheir children to school. For a poverty-stricken country such as ours, the proposal to addtwo years to basic education is a question of survival.While public education is free, a student would still need an average of P20,000 perschool year (Kabataan Partylist computation) to cover transportation costs, food, schoolsupplies and other operational expenses whilst schooling. The government, on the otherhand, in 2009 allotted a meager P2,502 a year, or P6.85 per student per day, foreducation. This figure has not improved since.Moreover, based on the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FEIS), Filipinofamilies opt to spend more on food and other daily basic necessities over their children’seducation needs. Most Filipino families, unfortunately, are forced to make a choicebetween sending their children to school and spending their meager income on foodand other basic necessities in order to survive. Poverty and government neglect havemade education a luxury to many of our Filipino families.This would inevitably account for a higher dropout rate. Lower household spending onschooling, prompted by increasing prices of basic commodities, tuition and school feehikes and stagnant wage levels have set the trend for a yearly increase in dropouts andout-of-school youth.2. It is the government which would be ‘throwing money into the problem’.The proposal itself is very ideal, if not whimsical, for a country whose public spendingfor education is one of the lowest in the world.
The education sector’s share has dwindled, from 3.3 percent in 2001, 2.19 percent in2008 to 2.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. This pales incomparison to neighboring countries Malaysia (7.4 percent) and Thailand (4 percent). Itis also lower than the four percent average for all countries that were included in theWorld Education Indicators in 2006. The minimum prescribed standard for educationspending set by UNESCO is six (6) percent of a country’s GDP.The Philippines is also lagging behind its Asian counterparts in public expenditure oneducation as a percentage of total public spending.At all levels of education, the Philippines is only spending 17.2 percent compared toThailand’s 40 percent and Malaysia’s 28 percent. Translating this into expenditures perstudent, Philippine education spending is still way below its Asian competitors.The annual budget for education has also decreased steadily from 17.4 percent in 2001to 15 percent in 2010. As a result, every school opening has been greeted withperennial back-to-school woes such as classroom and textbook shortages, lack offacilities and underpaid teachers.In his State of the Nation Address, Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino announced histhrust of venturing into public-private partnerships in order to address the needs of theeducation sector. This, however, may yet be used as an excuse to further decrease andgradually totally pull out state subsidy for education.Certainly, adding two more years to basic education will not resolve the declining qualityof education in that it does not at all address the root cause of poor governmentspending and mis-prioritization. How then can the government afford to subsidizeadditional two years when subsidy for the present cycle has been found lacking? Ifprivatization is the Aquino administration’s answer, could it still guarantee free access tobasic education, especially to our less fortunate students?3. It will not resolve the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth.Another rationale is that adding two years to basic education would increase chances ofour youth for employment, even sans a college diploma.The DepEd says that an additional two years in basic education is aimed at improvingthe technical-vocational skills of our youth through subjects such as arts, aquacultureand agriculture, among others. The new education cycle, it said, would let studentsgraduate at the age of 18 and ensure that they land a job here or abroad, makingstudents employable even without finishing college.This is another fallacy, and hopefully not a deliberate ploy to create a wrong impressionand false sense of hope among our youth.
The Philippines, which has a predominantly young population, also has the highestoverall unemployment rates in East Asia and the Pacific Region. It also has the highestrates on unemployment among the youth, according to a 2003 study by the World Bank.Young Filipinos are twice as likely to be unemployed than those in older age groups.This condition was further worsened when the economic recession kicked in because ofmassive retrenchment and lay-offs.Young workers are at a disadvantage given their lack of experience vis a vis the lack ofjob opportunities. Every year for the last decade, at least 300,000 new graduates areadded to the labor force, and consequently, a majority of them figure in the increasingunemployment statistics.In January 2008, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported that 50percent of the unemployed 2.7 million belonged to age groups 15 to 24. Of these, 461,000 or 35 percent were able to graduate from college, while an estimated 700,000unemployed youth either finished high school or at least reached undergraduate collegelevels.Needless to say, let us please not mislead our youth into believing that a 12-year basiceducation cycle would “assure” them of job opportunities. How can the governmentavow this when this year alone 400,000 new COLLEGE graduates fell into the “idle”labor force? To really address youth unemployment, there is a need to overhaul not thebasic education cycle but the country’s economic and labor policies.4. It is designed to reinforce cheap semi-skilled labor for foreign needs.Over the years, the government has promoted migration and jobs abroad in the guise ofproviding jobs and “greener pastures” to our young labor force. Roughly 10.7 percent ofthe total Filipino labor migrant population now consists of young workers, most of themsemi-skilled and unskilled workers who offer their services in exchange for cheapwages.The economy’s lack of development resulting in job loss at home is due mainly to thegovernment’s failure to address poverty and joblessness. Migration has invariablyresulted in the brain drain of our young skilled workers and professionals. Thedeparture, for instance, of our young nurses, teachers and doctors to work ascaregivers, medical assistants and domestic helpers has caused the disruption of ourvery own economy. Time and again we whine of the deterioration of the quality of oureducation and health systems, but ironically, our very own economic policies are drivingaway the best of the best of our skilled workers and professionals.The current proposal adopted by neoliberal pro-globalization die-hards aim to meetstandards for “global competitiveness” and demands of the “international labor marketfor semiskilled labor.” Simply put, this measure intends to strengthen the colonial
orientation of Philippine education, serve the cheap labor needs of foreign capital andbusinesses. Our education system must be a Filipno education and must serve theneeds of our nation and people.5. The genuine solution is for the promotion of an educational system that wouldtruly address the needs of the Filipino youth and Philippine society in general.Education is the foundation upon which we shall build our country. It serves as themeans to bring about the desired change in society, to develop a generation of virtuousindividuals and thus contribute to the development of good human beings. Oureducational system will determine the kind of nation we will become in the future.Unless the government reverses its present education policies and works for theestablishment of an educational system that truly addresses and caters to the needs ofthe Filipino youth and Philippine society, the changes it would implement are notnecessarily the changes we genuinely need.Instead of adding years, the government must focus on measures aimed at increasingstate spending on education to six (6) percent of the GDP, stopping unjust tuition andother fee increases in all levels, promoting a nationalist curriculum, upholdingdemocratic rights of students, improving teachers’ welfare, and improve science,research and technology development.It must also promote transparency and sanctions against corruption cases in educationprograms and review existing policies and institutions of education.PhiliPPines: Teachers, sTudenTs To holdsummiT on educaTion reforms
Students of the University of the Philippines last year held a strike againstPresident Aquinos "budget cuts". Photo by LFS.ph.With school year 2010-2011 soon to wind down and the Philippines braces for the nextone, stakeholders led by educators and students are set to sit down in a People’sSummit on Education Reforms on Feb. 11 in Manila.The summit will be held at the Philippine Normal University, the country’s top producerof teachers, and will be hosted by PNU’s faculty union and the student alliance PNU.Spearheading the summit are the ACT Teachers Partylist and the Kabataan (Youth)Partylist.It is timely as Filipino teachers and students are bracing for a tumultuous new schoolyear this June, and happens as administrators hold “consultations” on proposed tuitionfee increases.President Benigno Aquino’s Education Secretary Armin Luistro, former president of theprivate and exclusive De La Salle University, has batted for his own brand of reforms,including “universal kindergarten”.Teachers welcomed the move as a step forward to raise the quality of education butexpressed doubt whether the current resources of government would be enough to takecare of the faculty, classrooms and teaching tools needed for the kids who have startedto enroll for the free kindergarten in public schools.Last year, faculty, students and staff of the Philippines’ state college and universitiescame out to the streets in strikes against President Aquino’s decision to reduce the2011 budget for public tertiary education. The “budget cuts” were so big, administratorsof the state colleges and universities, and Members of Congress, supported theprotests.Since 1982 when the dictator Ferdinand Marcos signed Batas Pambansa 232 signedthe Education Act into law, the private sector has been given a leading role in Philippineeducation via the deregulation of tuition and other school fees.Although the law provides teachers a permanent share in tuition fee increases, mostFilipino teachers remain the least paid professionals in the country.Under the regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Philippines reduced the number ofstate colleges and universities, even as enrolment continues to go up.