Philippine Education System: Importance of Education Through the Years

  • Words 1356
  • Pages 3
Download PDF

There is always the question, why is education important? Of course, we all have our own ideas to this but I particularly liked the answer of Doumbia (2013). He said, “Education gives us a knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something better.” It is important to note that no matter what, education is here to give us information. Even during the early stages of education, it was always inputting information to others. In the Philippine setting, education has come a long way. In this essay I will tackle the evolution of the Philippine education system, it’s important points, the argument of an appropriate education system for the Filipinos and my own take on the Philippine’s educational system.

Education started way before the colonization of the Spaniards. The type of education being taught was based on beliefs and traditions of the community. This means that education was considered to be informal and unstructured. Pre-colonial Filipinos were being taught using the Alibata, which was their native alphabet. The Alibata is composed of 17 symbols that represent the letters of the alphabet. The considered educators in this era were the Babaylan and the Katalonan who are deeply respected. They are considered to be gifted with wisdom to run their society. Education was valued by everyone in the community. The fathers in the community taught their sons the art of hunting and other means in maintaining a livelihood. While on the other hand, mothers were in charge of teaching their daughters the different chores. Meanwhile, in the Muslim community, the teachers were called Imam or Ulema rather than the so-called Katalonans. Children were also taught to read and write using the Koran, which is their holy book, rather than the Alibata.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

Moving on to the Spanish Period, the educational system changed drastically. The informal system during the Pre-colonial period changed to being a formal institution. The Augustinians built the first Christian school in Cebu in the year 1565. They opened the primary to tertiary level education in order to teach boys and girls Christian doctrines. The Spanish were ordered to educate natives how to read, write and learn in Spanish. But they had a difficult time for many reasons. First, since the Philippines was an archipelago, the number of Spaniards did not accommodate us. Second, the Philippines is composed of different tribes that have their own languages, customs, and traditions. Lastly, because of the geography of our country. This made the friar’s plans to change—they would learn the language first in order for them to use the language to be able to evangelize the natives. The emergence of the public school system also happened during the Spanish period. There is still inequality that is present. Women were denied of their rights for education because of the patriarchal beliefs. Also in this period, the Dominicans built the University of Santo Tomas.

During the American Period, many changes were observed. The schools that were built by the Spaniards were recycled but the Americans still built new ones in the cities that provided agricultural, business, normal and vocational studies. Unlike the Spaniards, the American’s motive was to spread their cultural values and to be spread the English language to the Filipino people. Thomasites were those who are in charge of teaching. Every child starting from the age of seven was obliged to register to school and were given free school supplies. The levels of education were changed during this period. They were divided into three: elementary, secondary and college level. Scholars where given the chance to continue their studies abroad and were tasked to work or teach in government offices after their studies. Many schools were established during the American period, namely National University, Philippine Normal School, University of the Philippines and many more. The Commonwealth provided the free education in publics schools. Education for adults were also present during the American period.

The Japanese Occupation began in the year of 1941. But before schools could re-open again, the Commission of Education, Health and Public Welfare was established in June 1942. There were also guidelines in re-opening schools. Enriching the Filipino culture and stop patronizing western countries, recognizing the Philippines as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, forgetting the English language to adopt Nippongo and many more. The teaching of Tagalog, Philippine History and Character education were greatly observed.

In the present day, it is clear the we have adopted the American Period in most parts. English has been the medium that is being used in schools. Schools are also still categorized in public and private schools. The levels of education is still prevalent today. The many changes that can be seen is that education is finally open for everyone. Regardless of age, race, religion or gender. We have also implemented the K12 education system during the school year 2012-2013.

As said by Abueva (2018), we Filipinos are known to be competitive with respect to the international community. The past curriculum hindered us in becoming more competitive. It is believed that the K12 education plan will be the key to the nation’s development. K12 is an education system under the Department of Education that aims to enhance learner’s basic skills, produce more competent citizens, and prepare graduates for lifelong learning and employment (K12 Philippines, 2015). The “K” refers to Kindergarten while the “12” refers to the 12 succeeding years of education.

There are three (3) main reasons as to why K12 should be implemented as stated by Abueva (2018). First, there will be sufficient instructional time since students will have more time for subject-related tasks, this then makes them more prepared in every subject area. Second, students will be more skilled and will have competent labor force. Upon graduation of the senior high school students they are already employable. Third, the graduates of this curriculum will be automatically recognized as professionals abroad because the K12 curriculum follows the standard which is practiced by almost all nations.

In my belief, the K12 curriculum has good intentions since the world is a competitive battlefield. Many people from different countries fight for slots in jobs. I do believe that the past curriculum hindered some of us to be able to work internationally. In an interview with Sun Star Bacolod in the year 2012, Senator Edgardo Angara said that nursing graduates who work abroad are only capable of being nursing aides while engineers are considered under qualified because of the shorter education taken in the Philippines. The K12 is able to make us globally competitive with the rest of the world and therefore can meet the needs of our citizens.

It is hard to come up with my own opinion since there is still no solid evidence of it working. It is still in the works. Just like what I said, K12 has good intentions. I just believe that there were not enough preparations for the curriculum. An article by Matus (2016) talks about how the Alliance for Concerned Teachers in Region 7 opposed the K12 because the schools in their region are not equipped with enough teachers and classrooms to fully implement it. The province need 1,038 classrooms in order to accommodate the 28,000 incoming senior high students. This just proves how unprepared our government was when implementing the K12 curriculum.

The K12 education system has had many criticisms. I believe that the K12 will be needed for our citizens to be able to apply abroad and be considered as competent. I believe that the K12 will be needed for students who wish to enter the work force at the age of 18. I believe that the K12 will help us to gain a competitive edge among the other countries. I believe that the K12 has good intentions but was poorly implemented. There should have been more studies and more preparation time before it was done. Teachers, equipment, classrooms and funds were needed in order for the K12 to be a success but our government has failed to give that. We just have to wait and see for the results of the first batch of graduates in of the K12 curriculum for us to fully criticize the education system.


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.