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Philippines – Education and Schools

The quality of education in the Philippines

Education in the Philippines has been improving in recent years, but there are still significant disparities in quality and access, particularly in rural areas and among disadvantaged populations. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings, the Philippines ranks in the lower half of countries in the world for education quality.

Age of compulsory education in the Philippines

Education is compulsory in the Philippines for children between the ages of 6 and 12. However, most children start school at the age of 5, and many continue their education until the age of 18 to complete secondary education.

Types of schools in the Philippines

There are several types of schools in the Philippines, each with its own educational philosophy and focus. The breakdown of schools by age is as follows:

Preschool Education

Preschool education in the Philippines is for children between the ages of 3 and 5. There are several types of preschool programs available, including public preschools, private preschools, and community preschools.

Primary Education


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Primary education in the Philippines is for children between the ages of 6 and 12. There are several types of primary schools available, including public schools, private schools, and community schools.

Secondary Education

Secondary education in the Philippines is for students between the ages of 12 and 18. There are several types of secondary schools available, including:

  • Academic high schools: These schools offer a broad range of academic subjects and prepare students for higher education.
  • Technical-vocational high schools: These schools provide vocational training in a variety of fields, such as electronics, mechanics, and agriculture.
  • Special high schools: These schools cater to students with specific interests or talents, such as the arts or sports.

Syllabus and qualifications

Schools in the Philippines follow a national curriculum that is set by the Department of Education. The curriculum includes several core subjects, such as English, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as optional subjects, such as foreign languages and physical education.

At the end of secondary school, students take a national exam called the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT), which assesses their knowledge and skills in various subjects. The PEPT qualifications are widely recognized and accepted by universities and employers in the Philippines.

School hours and holidays

School hours in the Philippines typically run from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm for primary schools and 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for secondary schools, although they may vary depending on the school. There are two-week breaks in October and December, as well as a two-month summer vacation from March to May.

Enrollment and competition

To enroll in a school in the Philippines, parents must provide proof of residency, such as a passport or ID card, as well as a birth certificate or passport for their child. There may be some competition for enrollment in popular schools or schools in areas with high demand, particularly in urban areas.

International schools

There are several international schools in the Philippines that cater to expats and international students. These schools offer education in English or other languages and follow international curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate or the American Curriculum. Some notable international schools in the Philippines include:

  • Brent International School Manila: A school in Manila that offers education from preschool to secondary school, following the International Baccalaureate programme.
  • International School Manila: A school in Taguig City that offers education from preschool to secondary school, following the American Curriculum.
  • British School Manila: A school in Taguig City that offers education from preschool to secondary school, following the British National Curriculum.

Higher education options

The Philippines has several universities and institutes of higher education that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields, such as business, law, medicine, and engineering. Some of the top universities in the Philippines include the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University.

To enroll in higher education in the Philippines, students must have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. Some programs may have additional requirements, such as language proficiency tests or entrance exams.

In addition to universities, the Philippines also has several technical-vocational schools and colleges that offer training in trades such as carpentry, welding, and culinary arts.

Education in the Philippines has been improving in recent years, but there are still significant disparities in quality and access, particularly in rural areas and among disadvantaged populations. Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 12, and there are several types of schools available for different age groups and educational goals. The national curriculum provides a framework for teaching and learning, and students take national exams at the end of secondary school to qualify for higher education. The Philippines also has several international schools and universities for expats and international students.


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