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History of the Philippine Educational System

Education in the Philippines evolved from early settlers to the present. Education in the country is in great importance because it is the primary avenue for upward social and economic mobility. Philippine educational system has a very deep history from the past in which it has undergone several stage of development going to the present system of education. Education from Ancient Early Filipinos The education of pre-Spanish time in the Philippines was informal and unstructured. The fathers taught their sons how to look for food and other means of livelihood. The mothers taught their girls to do the household chores. This education basically prepared their children to became good husband and wives. Early Filipino ancestors valued education very much. Filipino men and women knows how to read and write using their own native alphabet called alibata. The alibata was composed of 17 symbols representing the letters of the alphabet. Among these seventeen symbols were three vowels and fourteen consonants. Educational System During Spanish Period The educational system of the Philippines during the Spanish times was formal. The Religious congregations paved the way in establishing schools from the primary level to the tertiary level of education. The schools focused on the Christian Doctrines. There was a separate school for boys and girls. The wealthy Filipinos or the Ilustrados were accommodated in the schools. Colonial education brought more non-beneficial effects to the Filipinos. Educational Decree 1863 The first educational system for students in the country was established by virtue of the Education Decree of 1863. In furtherance, the decree required the government to provide school institutions for boys and girls in every town. As a consequence, the Spanish schools started accepting Filipino students. It was during this time when the intellectual Filipinos emerged. The Normal School was also established which gave men the opportunity to study a three-year teacher education for the primary level. * Education during the Spanish Regime and Its Colonial Effects to the Filipinos Educational System During American Period Like the Spaniards, the Americans brought many changes in their 45 years of reign in the country. Until now, these American influences can still be seen in our lifestyle or way of life. The Commonwealth provided free education in public schools all over the country, in accordance with the 1935 constitution. Education also emphasized nationalism so the students were taught about the life of the Filipino heroes. Vocational education and some household activities like sewing, cooking, and farming were also given importance. Good manners and discipline were also taught to the students. The institute of Private Education was established in order to observe private schools. In 1941, the total number of students studying in the 400 private schools in the country reached 10,000. There was also the existence of "Adult Education" in order to give formal education even to adults. * American government gave importance to Education Changes in Education During the Japanese Occupation The government made some changes in the system of education in February, 1942. These changes were: y To stop depending on western countries like the U.S., and Great Britain. Promote and enrich the Filipino culture. y To recognize that the Philippines is a part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere so that the Philippines and Japan will have good relations. y To be aware of materialism to raise the morality of the Filipinos. y To learn and adopt Nippongo and to stop using the English language. y To spread elementary and vocational education.

To develop love for work.

Educational System in the Present Period Philippine education is patterned after the American system, with English as the medium of instruction. Schools are classified into public (government) or private (non-government). The general pattern of formal education follows four stages: Pre-primary level (nursery, kindergarten and preparatory) offered in most private schools; six years of primary education, followed by four years of secondary education. College education usually takes four, sometimes five and in some cases as in medical and law schools, as long as eight years. Graduate schooling is an additional two or more years. Classes in Philippine schools start in June and end in March. Colleges and universities follow the semestral calendar from June-October and November-March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs similar to those of the mother country. An overall literacy rate was estimated at 95.9 percent for the total population in 2003, 96 % for males and 95.8 % for females

Education during the Spanish Regime and Its Colonial Effects to the Filipinos
The friars controlled the educational system during the Spanish times. They owned different schools, ranging from the primary level to the tertiary levels of education. The missionaries took charge in teaching, controlling and maintaining the rules and regulations imposed to the students. These missionaries emphasized the teachings of the Catholic religion starting from the primary level to the tertiary level of education. The students in the primary level were taught the Christian Doctrines, the reading of Spanish books and a little of the natives' language. Science and Mathematics were not very much taught to the students even in the universities. Aside from the Christian Doctrines taught, Latin was also taught to the students instead of Spanish. The schools before were exclusive for the Spaniards. The Filipinos were only able to enter the schoo.1 in the late 19th century. The schools also limited their accommodations to the sons of wealthy Filipino families in 1863. Although the schools were already open for Filipinos, the friars still believed that the Filipinos would not be able to match their skills and that the only way for the Filipinos to learn fast was to impose upon them strict discipline which means applying corporal punishment. Schools Built By the Spaniards The schools for boys and girls were separated. The first established schools were exclusive for the boys. The Augustinians built the first school in the Philippines situated in Cebu in 1565. College was equivalent to a university during the Spanish regime. The student graduated with the degree in Bachelor of Arts (Bachiller en Artes). The first college school for the boys was the "Colegio de San Ignacio" which was established by the Jesuits in Manila in 1589. They also established the "Colegio de San Idelfonso" in Cebu in 1595. In 1601, "Colegio de San Jose" was established. Meanwhile, in 1589, the "Escuela Pia" was entrusted by the government to the Jesuits. Later, this was called Ateneo de Municipal which is now the famous Ateneo de Manila University. The Dominicans also made a name as they established one of the best universities in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, that was opened in 1611. In 1630, the Dominicans established another university, the "San Juan de Letran" for the orphaned boys. "Colegio de Santa Potenciana" was the first school and college for girls. This was opened in 1589. Following the birth of the first school for women, Colegio de Santa Isabel opened in 1632. The religious congregations also established schools for the girls called "beaterio". The so-called "beaterio" was meant for orphaned girls who could not afford to educate themselves. The subjects taught were housekeeping, cooking, sewing and embroidery-making, and others intended for good housekeeping. Effects of Colonial Education in the Philippines

The effect of education to the Filipinos was only compelled to the friars' influences from their lessons based on the Christian Doctrines or teachings. Indeed, the friars were effective in evangelizing the Catholic religion to the Filipinos. One major failure of the educational system of the religious congregations was the withholding of the Filipinos to learn other bodies of knowledge. Besides limiting education to the teaching of Spanish, Latin, and the Filipino languages, the teaching of Religion was also given emphasis. Thus, the teaching of Mathematics and Science were neglected. In entirety, education during the Spanish regime was privileged only to Spanish students. The supposed Philippine education was only a means to remain in the Philippines as colonizers. For this reason, the Filipinos became followers to the Spaniards in their own country. Even auspicious Filipinos became cronies, to the extent that even their life styles were patterned from the Spaniards. Meanwhile, several educated Filipinos referred to as ilustrados began movements directed towards change in the system of government in the Philippines. Despite their wealth and education, the ilustrados were still considered by the Spaniards to be inferior. One of the goals of the ilustrado was to be in the same level with the proud Spaniards. The growing number of ilustrados in the Philippines maybe considered one of the major effects of education by the Spaniards in the Philippines.

American government gave importance to Education in the Philippines


Education became very important for the Filipinos. This was something that the Americans gave importance to, The spread of democracy and formation of good citizens including the rights and responsibilities of the people were the focus of American education in the country. Education allowed the Americans to spread or share their culture, particularly the English language, to the Filipinos. The American government wanted to give everyone the chance to study so they built public schools for the Filipinos. Volunteer Filipino soldiers became the first teachers of the Filipinos. Part of their mission was to build classrooms in every place where they were assigned. The Filipino soldiers stopped teaching only when a group of teachers from the U.S. came to the Philippines in June 1901. They came aboard the ship "Sheridan." In August 1901, 600 teachers called "Thomasites" arrived. Their name came from the ship they traveled on, the S.S. Thomas. This group became successful in their mission. Every child from age 7 was required to register in schools located in their own town or province. The students were given free school materials. There were three levels of education during the American period. The "elementary" level consisted of four primary years and 3 intermediate years. The "secondary" or high school level consisted of four years; and the third was the "college" or tertiary level. Many elementary and secondary schools were opened in cities and provinces. Normal, vocational, agricultural, and business schools were also opened. There were also colleges during the American period. Some of these colleges are: Philippine Normal School in 1901 (now a university); National University (1901);,University of Manila (1914); Philippine Women University (1919); and Far Eastern University (1933). Examples of vocational schools are: the Philippine Nautical School, Philippine School of Arts and Trades and the Central Luzon Agriculture School. The University of the Philippines was also founded in 1908. Religion was not included in the curriculum of the schools. The Americans also gave recognition to those students who excelled academically. They were sent to the U.S. to continue their studies and to become expert in their desired fields or professions. They were called "scholars" because the government covered all their expenses. In return, they were to teach or work in government offices after they finished their studies. There were successful Filipino scholars like Judge Jose Abad Santos, Francisco Benitez, Dr. Honoria Sison and Francisco Delgado. The government was not only concerned with the welfare of the youth. Formal education was also provided to those who were of age. Schools were also built in non-Catholic areas like Sulu, Mindanao, and the Mountain Provinces. Attention was given to vocational and health practice. The knowledge of the Filipinos in reading and writing were very high during the American period.