A Comparative Study of the Philippine System of Education with focus on Curriculum Development CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This study focused on the comparative study analyzing the education system in the Philippine Context using the Historical method approaches this study focus on the modern education system problem based on the history of the educational curriculum development as it compare of the recent years as to the implementation

A Comparative Study of the Philippine System of Education with focus on Curriculum Development


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This study focused on the comparative study analyzing the education system in the Philippine Context using the Historical method approaches this study focus on the modern education system problem based on the history of the educational curriculum development as it compare of the recent years as to the implementation, the result/outcome, problems, issues facing the challenges, proposed solutions, suggestions, was this new curriculum respond or answer the prevalent jobless in the country? Does it cater and relevant the needs and interest of the learners? Does the 21st century learner compete the local, national as well as the global competition? Does the new curriculum affect the economic, socio political and cultural status or aspect of the populace? The transition process from the old to the new curriculum as to the progress and success the adoption and influences. The implication of the new law imposing the modification of the new curriculum and how does it differ and reconcile the provisions concerning education stated in the Philippine 1987 Constitution specifically in Article XIV Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture and Sports and of the provisions of RA 10533 AN ACT ENHANCING THE PHILIPPINE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM STRENGTHENING ITS CURRICULUM AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF YEARS FOR BASIC EDUCATION, APPROPIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AS FOR OTHER PURPOSES as implemented in May 15, 2013. How the history of the Philippine curriculum develops and evolve and transform through centuries since it was stared on the Pre-Colonial period, Spanish Period, The first Republic, American Period, The third Republic, Fourth Republic, Fifth Republic and the most recent the latter was the basis of the evolution of the curriculum development. The chronological order or time line of the history of the curriculum development affects and influence of the recent one. K12 was the new curriculum implemented in the Philippines educational system.


To give an overview of the curriculum development and its innovation in the Philippines historically the curriculum in the Philippines started during the PRE- COLONIAL period most children were provided solely with vocational training, which was supervised by parents, tribal tutors or those assigned for specific task they perform story reading, stories, songs, poetry, dances, and advices regarding all sorts of community life issues were passed from generation to generation mostly through oral tradition some communities utilized a writing system known as Baybayin, which was used in wide range throughout the archipelago.
During the SPANISH period, Spaniards established the system of formal education in the Philippines, which was conducted mostly by religious orders. Upon learning the local languages and writing systems, they began teaching Christianity, the Spanish language, and Spanish culture. These religious order opened the first schools and universities as early as the 16th century. Spanish missionaries established schools immediately after reaching the islands. The Augustinians opened a parochial school in Cebu in 1565. The Franciscans, took to the task of improving literacy in 1577. The Jesuits followed in 1581, as well as the Dominicans in 1587, setting up a school in Bataan. The church and the school cooperated to ensure that Christian villages had schools for students to attend. Schools for boys and for girls were then opened. Colleges were opened for boys, ostensibly the equivalent to present day as senior high schools. The Universidad de San Ignacio, founded in Manila by the Jesuits in 1589 was the first colleges eventually, Girls had two types of schools – the Beaterio, a school meant to prepare them for the convent meant for the other for the student secular womanhood.
When the PRE SPANISH- AMERICAN war were the Educational Decree of 1863 was crafted and it provided a free public education system in the Philippines, managed by the government. The decree mandated the establishment of at least one primary school for boys and one for girls in each town under the responsibility of the municipal government, and the establishment of a normal school for male teachers under the supervision of the Jesuits. Primary education was also declared free and available to every Filipino, regardless of race or social class. Contrary to what the propaganda of the Spanish–American War tried to depict, they were not religious schools; rather, they are schools that were established, supported, and maintained by the Spanish government. After the implementation of the decree, the number of schools and students increased rapidly. In 1866, the total population of the Philippines was 4,411,261. The total number of public schools for boys was 841, and the number of public schools for girls was 833. The total number of children attending those schools was 135,098 for boys, and 95,260 for girls. In 1892, the number of schools had increased to 2,137, of which 1,087 were for boys, and 1,050 for girls. By 1898, enrollment in schools at all levels exceeded 200,000 students. Among those who benefited from the free public education system were a burgeoning group of Filipino intellectuals: the Ilustrados (‘enlightened ones’).
It was in the period of FIRST REPUBLIC the defeat of Spain following the Spanish–American War led to the short-lived Philippine Independence movement, which established the insurgent of the Philippine Republic. The schools maintained by Spain for more than three centuries were closed briefly, but were reopened on August 29, 1898 by the Secretary of Interior. The Burgos Institute (the country’s first law school), the Academia Military (the country’s first military academy), and the Literary University of the Philippines were established. Article 23 of the Malolos Constitution mandated that public education would be free and obligatory in all schools of the nation under the First Philippine Republic. However, the war hindered its progress.
The education in the Philippines during AMERICAN period about a year after having secured Manila, the Americans were keen to open up seven schools with army servicemen teaching with army command-selected books and supplies in the same year, 1899, more schools were opened, this time, with 24 English-language teachers and 4500 students in that system, basic education consisted of 6 years elementary and 4 years secondary schooling which, until recently, prepared students for tertiary level instruction for them to earn a degree that would secure them a job later on in life. A highly centralized, experimental public school system was installed in 1901 by the Philippine Commission and legislated by Act No. 74. The law exposed a severe shortage of qualified teachers, brought about by large enrollment numbers in schools. As a result, the Philippine Commission authorized the Secretary of Public Instruction to bring more than 1,000 teachers from the United States, who were called the Thomasine’s, to the Philippines between 1901 and 1902. These teachers were scattered throughout the islands to establish barangay schools. The same law established the Philippine Normal School (now the Philippine Normal University) to train aspiring Filipino teachers .The high school system was supported by provincial governments and included special educational institutions, schools of arts and trades, an agricultural school, and commerce and marine institutes, which were established in 1902 by the Commission. Several other laws were passed throughout the period. In 1902, Act No. 372 authorized the opening of provincial high schools 1908 marked the year when Act No. 1870 initiated the opening of the University of the Philippines, now the country’s national university. The emergence of high school education in the Philippines, however, did not occur until 1910. It was borne out of rising numbers in enrollment, widespread economic depression, and a growing demand by big businesses and technological advances in factories and the emergence of electrification for skilled workers. In order to meet this new job demand, high schools were created and the curriculum focused on practical job skills that would better prepare students for professional white collar or skilled blue collar work. This proved to be beneficial for both the employer and the employee; the investment in human capital caused employees to become more efficient, which lowered costs for the employer, and skilled employees received a higher wage than those employees with just primary educational attainment. However, a steady increase in enrollment in schools appeared to have hindered different aspects so new law, was passed in 1907, which provided a fund of a million pesos for construction of concrete school buildings and is one of many attempts by the government to meet this demand. In line as well with the Filipino policy of the government, the Reorganization Act of 1916 provided that all department secretaries accept the Secretary of Public Instruction must be a natural-born Filipino a series of revisions (in terms of content, length, and focus) to the curriculum began in 1924, the year the Monroe Survey Commission released its findings. After having convened in the period from 1906 to 1918, what was simply an advisory committee on textbooks was officiated in 1921 as the Board on Textbooks through Act No. 2957The Board was faced with difficulties, however, even up to the 1940s, but because financial problems hindered the possibility of newer adaptations of books.
THE THIRD REPUBLIC In 1947, after the United States relinquished all its authority over the Philippines, President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94 which renamed Department of Instruction into Department of Education. During this period, the regulation and supervision of public and private schools belonged to the Bureau of Public and Private Schools.
THE FOURTH REPUBLIC In 1972, the Department of Education became the Department of Education and Culture (DECS) under Proclamation 1081, which was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos. On September 24, 1972, by Presidential Decree No. 1, DECS was decentralized with decision-making shared among its thirteen regional offices. Following a referendum of all barangays in the Philippines from January 10–15, 1973, President Marcos ratified the 1973 Constitution by Proclamation 1102 on January 17, 1973. The 1973 Constitution set out the three fundamental aims of education in the Philippines:
• to foster love of country;
• to teach the duties of citizenship; and
• to develop moral character, self-discipline, and scientific, technological and vocational efficiency

In 1978, by the Presidential Decree No. 1397, DECS became the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Education Act of 1982 provided for an integrated system of education covering both formal and non-formal education at all levels. Section 29 of the act sought to upgrade educational institutions’ standards to achieve “quality education” through voluntary accreditation for schools, colleges, and universities. Section 16 and Section 17 upgraded the obligations and qualifications required for teachers and administrators. Section 41 provided for government financial assistance to private schools. This act also created the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.

FIFTH REPUBLIC A new constitution was ratified on February 2, 1987, and entered into force of February 11Section 3, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution contains the ten fundamental aims of education in the Philippines Section 2(2), Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution made elementary school compulsory for all children. In 1987, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports became again the DECS under Executive Order No. 117. The structure of DECS as embodied in the order remained practically unchanged until 1994. On May 26, 1988, the Congress of the Philippines enacted the Republic Act 6655 or the Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988, which mandated free public secondary education commencing in the school year 1988–1989. On February 3, 1992, the Congress enacted Republic Act 7323, which provided that students aged 15 to 25 may be employed during their Christmas vacation and summer vacation with a salary not lower than the minimum wage—with 60% of the wage paid by the employer and 40% by the government. The Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) report of 1991 recommended the division of DECS into three parts. On May 18, 1994, the Congress passed Republic Act 7722 or the Higher Education Act of 1994, creating the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), which assumed the functions of the Bureau of Higher Education and supervised tertiary degree programs on August 25, 1994, the Congress passed Republic Act 7796 or the Technical Education and Skills Development Act of 199, creating the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which absorbed the Bureau of Technical-Vocational Education as well as the National Manpower and Youth Council, and began to supervise non-degree technical-vocational programs. DECS retained responsibility for all elementary and secondary education. This threefold division became known as the “trifocal system of education” in the Philippines.
In August 2001, Republic Act 9155, otherwise called the Governance of Basic Education Act, was passed. This act changed the name of DECS to the current Department of Education (DEPED) and redefined the role of field offices (regional offices, division offices, district offices and schools). The act provided the overall framework for school empowerment by strengthening the leadership roles of headmasters and fostering transparency and local accountability for school administrations. The goal of basic education was to provide the school age population and young adults with skills, knowledge, and values to become caring, self-reliant, productive, and patriotic citizens. In 2005, the Philippines spent about US$138 per pupil. In 2006, the Education for All (EFA) 2015 National Action Plan was implemented. It states:
” The central goal is to provide basic competencies to everyone, and to achieve functional literacy for all. Ensuring that every Filipino has the basic competencies is equivalent to providing all Filipinos with the basic learning needs, or enabling all Filipinos to be functionally literate. ”
In terms of secondary level education, all children aged twelve to fifteen, are sought to be on track to completing the schooling cycle with satisfactory achievement levels at every year. In January 2009, the Department of Education signed a memorandum of agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to seal $86 million assistance to Philippine education, particularly the access to quality education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the Western and Central Mindanao regions.
RECENT YEARS In 2010, then-Senator Benigno Aquino III the proponent of the K12 program expressed his desire to implement the K–12 basic education cycle to increase the number of years of compulsory education to thirteen years. According to him, this will “give everyone an equal chance to succeed” and “have quality education and profitable jobs” After further consultations and studies, the government under President Aquino formally adopted the K–6–4–2 basic education system—one year of kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school education and two years of senior high school education Kindergarten was formally made compulsory by virtue of the Kindergarten Education Act of 2012, while the further twelve years were officially put into law by virtue of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013. Although Department of Education has already implemented the K–12 Program since SY 2011–2012, it was still enacted into law to guarantee its continuity in the succeeding years. Using the Historical method approaches this study focus on the modern education system problem based on the history of the educational curriculum aims to trace out the in-depth roots of the education curriculum development from previous and of the recent years as to the implementation, the result/outcome, problems, issues facing the challenges, language as medium of instruction, proposed solutions, suggestions, budget from the government educational institution. Was this new curriculum respond or answer the prevalent jobless in the country. Does it cater and relevant the needs and interest of the learners? Does the 21st century learner compete the local, national as well as the global competition? Does the new curriculum affect the economic, socio political and cultural status of the populace? The transition process from the old to the new curriculum how it was adopted?
The huge transformation of the Philippine education is the implementation of the K12 Program by the Department of Education it was enacted and become law on May 20, 2013. Republic Act 10533 “AN ACT ENHANCING THE PHILIPPINE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM STRENGTHENING ITS CURRICULUM AND INCREASING THE NUMBER YEARS FOR BASIC EDUCATION, APPROPIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”. Otherwise known as THE ENHANCE BASIC EDUCATION ACT OF 2013. The overview of the stated that it is the state policy to establish maintain and support , complete, adequate and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and the country at large. That every graduate of basic education shall be empowered individuals who has learned. Through a program that is rooted on sound educational principles and geared towards excellence, the foundation of learning throughout life, the competence to engage in work and be productive, the ability to co-exist in fruitful harmony with local and global communities, the capability to engage in autonomous, creative and critical thinking, and capacity and willingness to transform others and one’s self. For this purpose the state shall create a functional basic education system that will develop productive and responsible citizens, equipped with essential competencies, skills and values for both lifelong learning and employment. In order to achieve this goal the state shall give;
a. Give every student an opportunity to receive quality education that is globally competitive based on pedagogically sound curriculum that is at par with international standard.
b. Broaden the goals of high school education for college preparation, vocational and technical career opportunities as well as creative arts, sports and entrepreneurial employment in a rapidly changing the increasing globalized environment.
c. Make education learner- oriented and responsive to the needs, cognitive and cultural capacity, the circumstances and cultural diversity of learners, school communities through appropriate languages of teaching and learning, including mother tongue as a learning resources.
This paper tackles on the comparative study analyzing the education system in the Philippines focused on Curriculum development using the historical method approach which aims to analyze the problems, issues methodology of the Philippine educational system context. Which involves examining past events to draw conclusions and make predictions about the future. Formulate ideas, gather data and analyze the sources of data.
The former system of basic education in the Philippines which is the RBEC curriculum consists of one-year preschool education, six-year elementary education and four-year high school education. Although public preschool, elementary and high school education are provided free, only primary education is stipulated as compulsory according to the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Pre-primary education caters to children aged five. A child aged six may enter elementary schools with, or without pre-primary education. Following on from primary education is four-years of secondary education, a child enters secondary education at the age of 12. After completing their secondary education, students may progress has an option to take technical education and skills development to earn a certificate or a diploma within one to two years, depending on the skills they took up. Students also have the option to enroll in higher education program to earn a baccalaureate degree. Formal education is the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded ‘education system’, running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialized programs and institutions for full-time technical and professional training. K-12 and tertiary education from colleges are characterized as formal education. This does not include the informal education in the Philippines learned from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment. Nor does this include non-formal education like the alternative learning systems provided by DEPED and TESDA and other programs from educational institutions.
Major changes in the Philippine education system. In 2011, the Department of Education started to implement the new K-12 educational system, which also included a new curriculum for all schools nationwide. The K-12 program has a so-called “phased implementation”, which started in S.Y 2011-2012.
In 2017, a law was promulgated mandating the government through all state universities and colleges to provide free tertiary education for all Filipino citizens the mandate does not include private schools. K-12 is a program that covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. The 12 years of compulsory education in the Philippines is divided into Kindergarten, Primary Education, Junior High School, and Senior High School.

Its general features include:
(1) Strengthening Early Childhood Education (Universal Kindergarten), since the early years of a human being, from 0 to 6 years, are the most critical period when the brain grows to at least 60-70 percent of adult size;

(2) Making the Curriculum Relevant to Learners (Contextualization and Enhancement) by making lessons localized and relevant to Filipinos including discussions on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT);

(3) Ensuring Integrated and Seamless Learning (Spiral Progression) which means that students will be taught from the simplest concepts to more complicated concepts through grade levels;

(4) Building Proficiency through Language (Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education) hence the introduction of 12 Mother Tongue Languages as mediums of instruction from grades 1-3 before the introduction of English;

(5) Gearing Up for the Future (Senior High School) wherein the seven learning areas and three tracks for students to choose (See Curriculum) prepare them for senior high school, the two years of specialized upper secondary education; and

(6) Nurturing the Holistically Developed Filipino (College and Livelihood Readiness, 21st Century Skills) so that every graduate to be equipped with information, media and technology skills; learning and innovation skills; effective communication skills; and life and career skills.
K12 CURRICULUM begin at kindergarten, the pupils are mandated to learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors through games, songs, pictures and dances, but in their native language; thus after Grade 1, every student can read on his/her native tongue.
The 12 original mother tongue languages that have been introduced for the 2012–2013 school year are Bicolano, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Tausug and Waray-Waray. 7 more mother tongue languages have been introduced for the 2013–2014 school year. These are Aklanon, Ibanag, Ivatan, Kinaray-a, Sambal, Surigaonon and Yakan. In Grade 1, the subject areas of English and Filipino are taught, with a focus on “oral fluency”. In Grade 4, the subject areas of English and Filipino are gradually introduced, but now, as “languages of instruction”. The Science and Mathematics subjects are now modified to use the spiral progression approach starting as early as Grade 1 which means that every lesson will be taught in every grade level starting with the basic concepts to the more complex concepts of that same lesson until Grade 10.
The high school from the former system will now be called junior high school, while senior high school will be the 11th and 12th year of the new educational system. It will serve as a specialized upper secondary education. In the senior high school, students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. Senior high school subjects fall under either the core curriculum or specific tracks.
Core curriculum include languages, literature, communication, mathematics, philosophy, natural sciences and social sciences.
There are four choices that are available to be chosen by the students — or the so-called “specific tracks”. These are Academic, which includes four strands which are:
1. Accountancy, Business & Management (ABM) – for those interested in pursuing college or university education in fields of accountancy, business management, business administration, office management, economics, or entrepreneurship.
2. Humanities & Social Sciences (HUMSS) – for those interested in pursuing college or university education in fields of languages, mass communication and journalism, literature, philosophy, history, education, liberal arts, and the rest of humanities and social sciences.
3. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)- for those interested in pursuing college or university education in fields of basic and applied sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, laboratory sciences, nutrition and allied medicine, mathematics, and engineering.
4. General Academic Strand (GAS) – for those interested in pursuing college or university education but are not sure of what field to pursue as a career.
Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, which specializes in technical and vocational learning. A student can obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. This certificate improves employability of graduates in fields of:
1. Home Economics like tourism, culinary art, cosmetology, clothing, handicraft, housekeeping, etc.
2. Industrial Arts like automotive services, carpentry and construction, masonry, plumbing, machining, electricity and electronics, etc.
3. Agricultural and Fishery Arts like agriculture, animal production, horticulture, food processing, aquaculture, fish capture, landscaping, etc.
4. Information and Communications Technology like animation, illustration, technical drafting, and medical transcription, programming, and computer services.
• Arts and Design, which is helping interested senior high school students in the particular fields of journalism, broadcast art, and mass media; media and entertainment; creative writing like poetry, fiction writing, and playwriting; studio arts like drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking, media arts like animation, photography, graphic design, illustration, layout design, digital painting, music production, sound design, game design, application design, film and videography; applied arts or decorative arts like fashion design, industrial design, product and packaging design, jewelry design, clothing and accessories, set and costume design, and ceramics; dance like folk dance, classical and modern ballet, ballroom and Latin dances, hip-hop, contemporary and popular dances, and choreography; theater arts like acting, theater design, technical theater, and directing; and music like instrumental music, vocal music, ensemble and chamber music, and composition and music production. Art forms offered especially in visual and media arts depends on schools’ capacity, faculty, resident artists and designers in immediate or local community, equipment and resources.
• Sports, which is responsible for educating senior high school students in the fields of sports, physical education, fitness, and health. With pursued professions such as sports athlete, sports coach, fitness coach, sports officiator, sports activity or event manager, sports tournament manager, fitness leader and expert, fitness instructor, gym instructor, sports expert, recreation leader and expert, physical and massage therapist, physical education instructor, physical education and health instructor, MAPEH instructor, and sports scientist.

As to the program implementation in public schools is being done in phases starting SY 2012–2013. Grade 1 entrants in SY 2012–2013 are the first batch to fully undergo the program, and current 1st year Junior High School students (or Grade 7) are the first to undergo the enhanced secondary education program. To facilitate the transition from the existing 10-year basic education to 12 years, DEPED is also implementing the SHS and SHS Modeling.
K-12’s implementation began in 2011 when kindergarten was rolled out nationwide. It continued by fully implementing the system for Grades 1 and 7 during the school year 2012-2013, for grade 11 during 2016, and for grade 12 during 2017.
There are four “phases” during the implementation of the new system. These are:
Phase I: Laying the Foundations. Its goal is to finally implement the universal kindergarten, and the “development of the (entire) program”.
Phase II: Modeling and Migration. Its goal is to promote the enactment of the basic education law, to finally start of the phased implementation of the new curriculum for Grades 1 to 10, and for the modeling of the senior high school.
Phase III: Complete Migration. Its goal is to finally implement the Grades 11 and 12 or the senior high school, and to signal the end of migration to the new educational system.
Phase IV: Completion of the Reform. Its goal is to complete the implementation of the K–12 education system
In terms of preparing the resources, specifically classrooms, teacher items, textbooks, seats, and water and sanitation improvements.
The Department of Education’s justifications in this change, in implementing 13 years of basic education, is that the Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle (Angola and Djibouti are the other two), and that the 13-year program is found to be the best period for learning under basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.

Secondary school in the Philippines, more commonly known as “high school” (Filipino: Paaralang Sekundarya, sometimes Mataas na Paaralan), consists of 4 lower levels and 2 upper levels. It formerly consisted of only four levels with each level partially compartmentalized, focusing on a particular theme or content. Bescause of the K-12 curriculum, the high school system now has six years divided into 2 parts. The lower exploratory high school system is now called “Junior High School” (Grades 7-10) while the upper specialized high school system is now called “Senior High School” (Grades 11 and 12).
Secondary students used to sit for the National Secondary Achievement Test (NSAT), which was based on the American SAT, and was administered by the Department of Education. Like its primary school counterpart, NSAT was phased out after major reorganizations in the education department. Its successors, the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) and National Achievement Test (NAT) were administered to third- and fourth-year students respectively, before the implementation of the K-12 system. The National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) is now being administered for Grade 9 and the National Achievement Test (NAT) is being administered at Grade 6, 10, and 12. Neither the NSAT nor NAT have been used as a basis for being offered admission to higher education institutions, partly because student sit them at almost the end of their secondary education. Instead, higher education institutions, both public and private, administer their own College Entrance Examinations (CEE) (subjects covered will depend on the institutions). Vocational colleges usually do not have entrance examinations, simply accepting the Form 138 record of studies from high school, and enrollment payment.

JUNIOR HIGH Students graduating from the elementary level automatically enroll in junior high, which covers four years from grades 7 to 10. This level is now compulsory and free to all students attending public schools.
There are two main types of high school: the general secondary school, which enroll more than 90 percent of all junior high school students, and the vocational secondary school. In addition, there are also science secondary schools for students who have demonstrated a particular gift in science at the primary level as well as special secondary schools and special curricular programs.
Admission to public school is automatic for those who have completed six years of elementary school. Some private secondary schools have competitive entrance requirements based on an entrance examination. Entrance to science schools, art schools, and schools with special curricular programs is also by competitive examination sometimes including interviews, and auditions.
The Department of Education specifies a compulsory curriculum for all junior high school students, public and private. There are five core subjects: Science, Mathematics, English, Filipino, and Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies).
Other subjects in all levels of junior high school include MAPEH (a collective subject comprising Music, Art, Physical Education and Health), Values Education and Technology and Livelihood Education.
In other public schools or private secondary schools offers specialized curricular programs for students with gifts and or talents as well as aptitude in fields of: sciences and mathematics, sports, the arts, journalism, foreign language, or technical-vocational education. These are under the DepEd with the latter in partnership with TESDA. These special programs for special schools are: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (STEM, formerly called ESEP); Special Program in Sports (SPS); Special Program in the Arts (SPA); Special Program in Journalism (SPJ); Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL); and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Program (TVL). These programs offers comprehensive secondary education in a particular academic or career pathway field. Because of being career-pathway oriented, special and advanced subjects are offered in replace of TLE subject and sometimes includes even more time and subjects for specialized learning and training.
Vocational School formal technical and vocational education starts at secondary education, with a two-year curriculum, which grants access to vocational tertiary education. 35 However, there is also non-formal technical and vocational education provided as alternative learning programs.
Vocational schools offer a higher concentration of technical and vocational subjects in addition to the core academic subjects studied by students at general high schools. These schools tend to offer technical and vocational instruction in one of five main fields: agriculture, fisheries, trade-technical, home industry, and ‘non-traditional’ courses while offering a host of specializations. During the first two years, students study a general vocational area, from the five main fields mentioned. During the third and fourth years they specialize in a discipline or vocation within that area. Programs contain a mixture of theory and practice.
Upon completion of Grade 10 of Junior High School, students can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC) or the vocationally oriented National Certificate Level I (NC I). After finishing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12 of Senior High School, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment administered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
Senior High School the new high school curriculum includes core classes and specialization classes based on student choice of specialization. Students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. Classes or courses are divided into two: Core Curriculum Subjects and Track Subjects .There are seven learning areas under the core curriculum. These are languages, literature, communication, mathematics, philosophy, natural sciences, and social sciences. These will make up 15 core courses with the same contents and competencies but with allowed contextualization based on school’s location despite of specializations of tracks and strands.

Senior High School Core Subjects
Oral Communication
Reading and Writing
Komunikasyon at Pananaliksik sa Wika at Kulturang Pilipino
Pagbasa at Pagsusuri ng Iba’t Ibang Teksto Tungo sa Pananaliksik
21st Century Literature from the Philippines and the World
Contemporary Philippine Arts from the Regions