Philippine Studies Group

Education is beautification of the inner world and the outer world

Classes begin in Philippines as education crisis worsens

croMillions of elementary and high school students in the Philippines began classes in the first week of June with the public education system in shambles. There were widespread reports of classroom overcrowding, teacher shortages and a severe lack of textbooks and teaching materials.

The start of classes ushered in the second year of President Benigno S. Aquino Jr.’s much-touted ‘K to 12 Law’ (Republic Act 10533), which has standardized one year of kindergarten across the country and added two years of senior high school, which previously ended at grade 10. College general education courses are being offloaded onto the inbound senior grades of high school. The new curriculum is being rolled out in stages, with full implementation expected by 2016.

Years of underfunding by successive administrations have left the public school system incapable of providing children with a basic education. Aquino, like his predecessors, continues to carry out a socially destructive austerity agenda to meet the demands of international finance capital to cut budget deficits and public debt.

Although the Aquino administration has played up its boosting of education spending to 232 billion pesos ($US5.4 billion), an increase of 44 percent from 2010,

Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program

reformaUALITY education is viewed as any country’s pillar of success.

Restructuring the Philippines’s basic educational system through the K to 12 Program is a tough but strategic move by the government to ensure that it produces competent graduates who can serve as the backbone for a highly skilled and employable work force.

ntroduced in 2011 by the Department of Education (DepEd), headed by Secretary Armin Luistro, FSJ, the K to 12 Program made kindergarten a prerequisite to basic education. It lengthened basic schooling to include a two-year senior high school and offered technical and vocational courses to students not planning to go to college, thus giving them more chances of getting employed in blue-collar work.

The program replaced the 10-year basic education curriculum, which consisted of six years in grade school and four years in high school that concentrated on the English language and Filipino, the sciences, arithmetic and mathematics, and the social sciences.

It also incorporated these basic lessons to include basic science and technology, engineering, mathematics, accountancy, business and management, humanities and social sciences, and general academic courses such as technical-vocational-livelihood, arts and design, and sports.

The implementation of the program has aroused fear among

Philippines’ education crisis far from over -UNESCO

uniscoMANILA, Philippines – The United Nations’ education arm observed how several educational targets for the Philippines are far from being reached even under President Benigno Aquino III.

In financing the sector, a UNESCO representative said in an e-mail exchange with that the Philippine government has not prioritized education as much as it ought to.

While education spending increased from 1999 to 2011 from 13.9 percent to 15 percent, it has not yet reached the target suggested 20 percent of national budget.

Moreover, education is not a significant contributor to the country’s gross national product.

“The share of national income invested in education, which equalled the subregional average in 1999, had fallen behind by 2009 at 2.7 percent of GNP, compared with an average of 3.2 percent for East Asia,” UNESCO said.

Worst out-of-school numbers

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The Philippines also has 1.46 million huge out-of-school population and the number has hardly been improved between 2000 and 2011.

“The Philippines is still in the top ten countries with the highest out of school population … By contrast, Indonesia managed to reduce its out-of-school population by 84

Instructions for Authors for publishing in Research in Pedagogy Journal

Research in Pedagogy Journal is published 2 times per year by the Preschool Teacher Training College “Mihailo Palov”, Vrsac and the Serbian Academy for Education, Belgrade. The Journal considers all manuscripts on condition they are the property (copyright) of the submitting author(s) and that copyright will be transferred to Research in Pedagogy Journal and the Preschool teacher Training College “Mihailo Palov” Vrsac if the paper is accepted for publication.

The Journal Research in Pedagogy gives priority to empirical and applicable research, that is, research that is capable of being used in real educational settings. Studies in all settings for education, i.e. informal, primary, secondary, higher, adult, permanent, and vocational, are regarded as of equal importance. All papers which appear in the Journal Research in Pedagogy have been thoroughly peer-reviewed.


 Research in Pedagogy Journal is published in the English language, therefore the authors are asked to send the paper in the English language; please refrain from using letters which do not exist in the English alphabet in the body of the paper and in the bibliography. All of the references need to be written in the Latin script without the usage of any letters which do not exist in the English alphabet. Manuscript

The Problems with an Education in the Philippines

Well, I’ve already said quite a bit about the media, I know. However, I think it’s time we got to discuss the possible solutions to the rapidly degenerating literacy rate of the Philippines. First and foremost, just like Rizal, I think that education is indeed key to the success of any country. If we really want to lift ourselves up from being the laughing stock banana republic of Southeast Asia, then I think it’s time we tried to focus on the things that can help improve our knowledge and provide the right kind of lifestyle for the common Filipino citizen.

Unfortunately, just like the media, Philippine education seems to have its own set bizarre and unwanted issues that prevent it from being of greater help to the Filipino people:


Well, I’m sure that most of you are more than a little familiar with this one. I, for one, am not all that surprised about it either. Well, just so most of you know, it’s been stated that majority of the taxes we pay supposedly goes to the department of education. If that is indeed the case, why are there so many students in the Philippines who are

What’s wrong with the education system of the Philippines?

While I believe that the Filipino education system that I experienced (in private schools*) is not bad per se, here are the factors that need improvement:
  1. Compared to other countries, the Philippines may not have the budget to move to a more research-oriented academic culture (like the US) from just lecture-oriented (like Russia). Of course, the top universities constantly produce quality research output.
  2. While the “Big Four” universities (i.e., University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University-Manila, University of Santo Tomas) have world-class academic standards, there is still a big gap between the top universities and the other schools (particularly the public schools). What are the best schools in the Philippines?
  3. Not attracting enough foreign students. To be fair, some medical programs have attracted foreigners, particularly from the Middle East, but the Philippines is not yet known as the destination in Southeast Asia. The Big 4 universities have tried to encourage foreign exchange by adjusting their academic calendars (starting 2015) to make it compatible for foreign exchange programs with neighboring countries. I hope that the entire country will eventually follow this.
  4. Potential decline of quality English. Why do Filipinos speak

Corporatised education in the Philippines: Pearson, Ayala Corporation and the emergence of Affordable Private Education Centers (APEC)

This paper examines how, why, and with what consequences, corporate-led privatisations in Philippine education are taking shape, through an analysis of Affordable Private Education Centers (APEC). APEC is a for-profit chain of low-fee private schools (LFPS) established through a joint venture between two major multinational corporations, Pearson Plc and the Ayala Group. With the implementation of the new “K-12” system the Department of Education (DepED) plans to grow public-private partnerships and the education services industry in the Philippines so that private enterprise can expand private high school provision and help absorb excess demand. APEC, and its shareholders, plan to capitalise on this situation through its corporately owned and managed chain of for-profit high schools that aim to serve “economically disadvantaged” Filipino youth who are charged nominally “low-fees.”

The edu-business model implemented by APEC involves a number of cost-cutting techniques designed to minimise production costs, while increasing rates of profitability, which have had undesirable effects on teaching and learning. APEC also aims to (re)produce the human labour required by Ayala and other multinational companies by aligning its educational services with the labour needs of industry. By “reverse-engineering” its curriculum, APEC intends to produce graduates of a particular disposition with specific skills,

Philippines government ‘must do better’ to rebuild education

MANILA, 6 June 2014 (IRIN) – As some students in areas hit by the Philippines’s devastating Typhoon Haiyan troop back to school this month, the government’s efforts in rebuilding the education service has been met with concerns that, seven-months on, access to learning remains a challenge for far too many children.

The category 5 super typhoon that ravaged the central islands of the Philippines in November 2013 damaged some 2,500 schools and affected an estimated 1.4 million school-aged children. More than 500 day care centres were completely damaged and more than 2,000 suffered partial damage.

Government and aid agencies took advantage of the dry summer months of March and April to fast-track classroom maintenance. But, “classroom repairs are still a major problem,” Manan Kotak, an education specialist for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told IRIN.

As of 14 May more than 4,200 temporary learning spaces – tents or temporary structures made of corrugated metal and wood – had been established and over 515,000 children and teachers had received teaching and educational materials to replace those lost in the storm.

Department of Education (DepEd) officials reported 90 percent of students are enrolled in school,

Philippines: National Program Support for Basic Education


From one of the most highly-educated developing countries in the world in the1980s, the Philippines’ educational outcomes had fallen short of potential.Results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2003 placed the country in the lowest 10 percent of participating countries in Grades 4 and 8. Internal testing by the Department of Education or DepEd showed that only 40 percent of 4th Grade students had mastered 3rd Grade, and 30 percent of first-year high school students had mastered 6th Grade competencies in English, math and science.

Reforms failed to resolve chronic shortages in textbooks and school buildings, and a revised curriculum and new instructional policies did not produce desired outcomes as real government spending on basic education failed to catch up with population growth and inflation.  However, between 2005-2013, public education spending almost tripled which had positive effects on education outcomes.


The National Program Support for Basic Education (NPSBE) played an important catalytic role in implementing the government’s Basic Education Reform Agenda (BESRA) over a six-year period (2006-2012). The project was the first Bank operation in the country that adopted a national program support approach which built the foundation for policy and

Lola Carmen: The teacher who time forgot

TARLAC, Philippines – World Teacher’s Day has come and gone. Surely, there are many stories of teachers out there – inspirational ones that hope to uplift our spirit.

But this one is different. It is about a soul who has dedicated her whole life teaching kids and just in her twilight she is left with nothing.

Carmelita Pantaleon is 91 years old, a retired public school teacher. Everyone in her community at Brgy. Poblacion, Anao, Tarlac calls her Lola Carmen.

At the age of three, Lola Carmen lost her father. Her mother made ends meet by making blankets and mosquito nets and managing a small piggery at the same time taking care of her other three sisters and a brother, who have all passed away.

With the help of her sister, she was able to study high school at the Far Eastern University in Manila, but when the war broke out she had to return to the province for her safety. In 1946, after the war ended, she returned to Manila to finish her secondary education.

In college, Lola Carmen finished a two-year Elementary Teaching Course at the Philippine Normal School. “Gusto kong

Philippine Basic Education

A Report Card for the States

The second grading period ends today at Fairfax County schools. Tomorrow, students are not going to school as their teachers prepare report cards for the grading period. These cards attempt to summarize how a student has performed in school. Report cards are meant to evaluate, but more importantly, these marks are ways by which a teacher communicates with students and parents: This is how you are so far in school (for the student), or this is how your child is performing in school (for the parent). The Network for Public Education (NPE) has done something similar. However, in this case, NPE is evaluating the performance of each of the states in the US on public education. The grades are not at all flattering. The best grade is a C, most common is D, and there are a significant number receiving an F

Obviously, when grades are provided, especially when they are bad, it is only normal to ask how one has arrived at these marks. NPE uses the following categories:

  • No High Stakes Testing
  • Professionalization of Teaching
  • Resistance to Privatization
  • School Finance
  • Spend Taxpayer Resources Wisely
  • Chance for Success

High stakes testing means students’

DepEd probing complaint vs Pasig school principal

An official of the Department of Education (DepEd) has confirmed that a three-man committee has begun investigating the complaint filed by teachers against the principal of the Rizal High School (RHS) in Pasig City over the collection of supposedly unauthorized school fees.

Marivic Leaño, DepEd Pasig assistant schools division superintendent officer in charge, said in an interview the other day that the grievance committee hearing the complaint against Virginia Membrebe was set to release its findings within the month.

Earlier, members of the Rizal High School Teachers Association (RHSTA) called for Membrebe’s ouster for allegedly violating Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Teachers.

In particular, the group accused her of putting them in a “sticky situation” when she made them “collecting agents” of the P150 fee for students reviewing for the National Achievement Test (NAT). According to RHSTA president Glenn Guardiano, this was in direct violation of the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers.

Asked what the fee was for, Guardiano told the Inquirer that they did not have any idea. He said that it took them two years to speak up against Membrebe—the school principal for almost four years now—because they were “obedient and had hoped that one day, the

Philippines creates opportunities in overhaul of K-12 education system

The Philippines is undergoing a major overhaul to bring it in line with education systems worldwide, starting with the K-12 sector. This change to domestic education policy has far-reaching consequences and is important for international educational institutions to consider when looking for potential new student recruitment markets.

With the new 12-year curriculum in place, future Filipino students will be ready and better equipped to join overseas universities at the undergraduate level. And with a K-12 student population of 20.67 million, which will only increase over the next 20 years (see ICEF Monitor’s article “New 2035 enrolment forecasts place East Asia and the Pacific in the lead“), the Philippines is shaping up to be an attractive recruitment destination.

Changes to basic education

The K-12 Basic Education Program aims to provide every Filipino child with the education s/he needs to compete in a global context.

In May, President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines signed into law a basic education curriculum that will see a mandatory kindergarten year and two additional senior high school years added to what was a 10-year education curriculum to make basic education 12 years. The programme has been adopted not only in schools in the Philippines, but also in Filipino schools abroad

‘Education for All’ ending; PH fails to meet targets

MANILA, Philippines – The 15-year Education for All (EFA) global movement is drawing to a close this year, and the verdict is out.

Only a third of the 164 governments that pledged to achieve universal primary education and five other goals by 2015 have done so, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unes­­co) in the report Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challengesreleased this week.

By its own admission, the Philippines isn’t among those that have made the mark.

In a report it submitted to Unesco in time for the World Education Forumscheduled in Incheon, South Korea next month,the Philippine government acknowledged that the strides it has made in achieving in several EFA goals have “been too slow to make it to target by 2015.”

The Philippine Education for All (EFA) 2015 Review report identified gaps in:

  • Grade 1 entrants with some form of early childhood care and development experience: 18 percentage points
  • Kindergarten net enrolment rate: 23 points
  • Elementary net enrolment rate: 5 points
  • High school net enrolment rate: 35 points
  • Completion rate to finish basic education: 25 points
  • Eradication of basic illiteracy: 4 points
  • Eradication of functional illiteracy: 14 points

The Philippine report also expressed concern over boys being at a disadvantage, from getting into school,

Education and Safety in the Philippines

Education System

The education system of the Philippines is modeled largely after the American education system, reflecting the influence the US has had on this country. In total, there is 12 years compulsory schooling in the Philippines: Primary school from first to sixth grade, secondary school from seventh to tenth grade, and higher secondary in grades eleven and twelve.

Higher education institutions are usually private or run by the church. As schooling is compulsory in the Philippines, the literacy rate is quite high throughout the population. Unfortunately, many children quit school after sixth grade.

Quality of Education

State schools are often characterized by big classes, a severe lack of teaching material, and poorly paid teachers. There are many regional differences when it comes to the number of children who finish school. Whereas most students in Manila graduate, less than half do so in Mindanao or Eastern Vasayas. The test scores of Filipino children are below international standards as well.

With its funding, the government has mostly focused on the primary education sector and has failed to fund all of the education system properly. To improve the situation, the government has now promised significant changes,

Education in the Philippines

The Philippine education system has been heavily influenced by its colonial history, which has included periods of Spanish, American and Japanese rule and occupation. The United States has left the largest imprint on the education system, with many academics at the nation’s universities having received their training at U.S. universities.

Another hallmark of the U.S. influence on the Philippine education system has been a relatively inclusive system of higher education, to which access has traditionally been widely available (comparative to other Southeast Asian nations). However, at the primary and secondary school levels, access and completion rates have been declining significantly in recent years.

By 1970, the Philippines had achieved universal primary enrollment. Early success in basic education, however, has been masked by a long-term deterioration in quality, and the national figures obscure wide regional differences. In Manila, close to 100 percent of students finish primary school, whereas in Mindanao and Eastern Visayas less than 30 percent of students finish.

According to United Nations data, the Philippines was the only country in the Southeast Asian region for which the youth literacy rate decreased between 1990 and 2004, from 97.3 percent to 95.1 percent (United Nations, The Millennium

What tutoring public school kids has taught me

My knees feel weak. My palms, sweaty. The coffee I drank just a few minutes ago tastes stale in my mouth already. I start to feel nauseous out of severe nervousness.

This is me on my first day as a tutor for public school children. I am not exaggerating.

For people like me who aren’t good with children, few things are quite as nerve-wracking as the prospect of being in a room full of them for two hours. Being the adult in charge of their education, that’s just frightening.

Kids are over energetic, hard to control, quick to bore, and most times, too observant for their own good. How do you even get them to like you? I had absolutely no idea yet I still found myself at the A-HA! Learning Center (A-HA) on that first Monday morning, about to do something I had never done before.

At A-HA! Learning Center, public school students from all levels of elementary and high school come for free supplementary tutoring. The kids and teenagers come from the community surrounding the center in Rizal Village in Makati and from the families living in Makati cemeteries.

Since it’s a small-scale non-governmental organization powered by volunteers, slots for students are limited

Advice to OFWs: Study online, get degrees

MANILA, Philippines – Seeking to improve overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) living standards, a lawmaker encouraged migrant workers who only finished high school or college undergraduate levels to complete their higher education through Open Distance Learning (ODL).

“We’ve established ODL precisely to help every Filipino, especially OFWs, working students, and persons with disabilities, realize their hopes and dreams of acquiring higher education,” said Pasig City representative Roman Romulo, who sits as chairman of the House committee on high and technical education.

The statement came after President Benigno Aquino III signed into law the Open Distance Learning Law (RA 10650) on December 9.

ODL makes education and instruction to students who cannot be physically present in a classroom easier. It provides “access to education when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both,” the law states.

Romulo added: “What is great about ODL is that you can obtain a bachelor’s degree from any Philippine university, regardless of your location – while you are employed as a service crew of McDonald’s in Kuwait, a domestic helper in Riyadh, or a hotel bellhop in Abu Dhabi.”

Philippine diaspora

According to latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), around 5,000 Filipinos leave

State of PH education hinders bid for inclusive growth

PAMPANGA, Philippines – While hailed as one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the Philippines’ state of education continues to lag behind and is hindering the country’s goal of inclusive growth.

“Our education needs more discipline and depth, so our frame of thought would be fixed,” said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura Del Rosario, chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), told reporters on Saturday, February 7.

Following a series of closed-door discussions, Del Rosario was asked about the greatest barrier to the Philippines’ bid for achieving inclusive growth.

Growth should be fair, balanced, inclusive, innovative, and secured, according to APEC’s terms and standards.

In the case of the Philippines – chair and host of APEC 2015 – its education lacks innovation.

“In other countries, they integrate science in education, because they know that will push to develop their thinking skills and their ability to form conclusions,” said Del Rosario.

In 2014, the World Bank said the Philippines needs to spend an additional 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) on education and health to increase labor productivity and competitiveness of Filipino workers.

As a boost, the Philippine government has

Albay lawmaker questions lack of classrooms for K to 12

LIGAO CITY, Philippines – An Albay lawmaker is apprehensive over the possible high number of school dropouts in the province with the implementation of the K to 12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd) this school year.

Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Gonzalez said that classrooms that can accommodate senior high school are not ready, and many students will be displaced due to far locations of schools, badly affecting the poor families here.

“The K to 12 program of DepEd is good [except] that they’re not ready and equipped with needed classrooms to accommodate and serve the students, specifically in the countryside,” Gonzalez said.

DepEd is pushing for K to 12 despite an almost 70,000-backlog in classrooms in the opening of classes beginning Monday, June 1, for elementary and secondary levels.

The legislator is doing an accounting of students belonging to impoverished families as he is planning to subsidize their transportation requirements to avoid school dropouts.

“Based on our assessment, only few schools can cater to the senior high school. Worst is that they’re out of the way. Students will be spending a lot on transportation alone, not to include their food

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