An Overview of Philippine Education

The significant progress of education in the Philippines has change over time. These changes in Philippine education have advantages and disadvantages based on the performance and contribution of government, students and teachers to excel on their own field of interest. Going back to Philippine history in relation to Philippine education, the Spanish colonial government on 1863 implemented the free and compulsory education for boys and girls in primary level. During that period, the system of education was very tough and strict. When the Americans came to the Philippines and won the victory against Spanish invaders, the school institutions that were built by Spanish government was completely gone and it led the way to Americans to establish a new system of education. Through the initiative of the Secretary of Interior, new school institutions were built and recognized and offered a free and compulsory education. The admission of enroleessignificantly increased during 1901 headed by the Philippine Commission and by the help of the Secretary of Public Instruction, the American teachers known as the Thomasites went to the Philippines to teach English. The Americans had in stored a principle to many Filipinos on the importance of education. After the Philippine independence, the Philippine government established schools in rural areas which gave an opportunity to some young individuals who are eager to learn. Most Filipinos through the influence of their national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, greatly give value in education which they believe as a gateway to success.

Aside from this positive background in the formation of Philippine education, the institution also had a struggle on the quality of education during 1970’s and 1980’s. This was a major issue of the government based on studies wherein there was a big significant difference between urban and rural areas in terms of acquiringquality education. Based on the survey conducted in mid-1970’s, many respondents had below average performance in reading, computations, mathematics and language especially in Mindanao which is a rural area compared to Luzon and Visayas regions which are civilized cities. Poverty is also a hindrance since children who belonged to poor families cannot afford to go to school after their elementary education. Other problems occurred during that year namely the low performance of teachers, low salary, lack of classrooms and lack of language skills among students. On 1990, the Philippines wasable to resolve and improve their educational system by the responsible governance of officers and the sponsorship from Catholic and Protestant churches.The following year, scholarship program was made known to less fortunate students. The University of the Philippines created the so called “socialized tuition” plan which helped poor students to avail the free tuition fees with additional allowance. The Department of Education (DepEd) was responsible to provide quality education to public and private institutions in the country which offered six years in primary education, four years in secondary and four years in tertiary education. Vocational courses was also made known to their country in leadership of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which is opened to all high school graduates to take short courses in the span of two years.

Indeed, the Philippine education has come a long way but still, issues seemed to occur in present situation. During a forum conducted in year 2011, the Philippines was on the seventh place in terms of quality education. In specific areas of economy, educational system and internet access, the Philippines was not able to level up with other South East Asian countries which made the country behind. Some young adults still cannot pursue their college education although many new school institutions were established in modern times. And if ever students will reach their tertiary education and get their college diploma, the country still face a major problem in unemployment and some students got employed which is not compatible to their chosen field and which is beyond their capability.

C. Mendoza