About Philippines

Education is offered through formal and non-formal systems. The number of years of formal schooling in the Philippines is one of the shortest in the world. The educational ladder has a 6+4+4 structure, (i.e., six years of elementary education, four years of secondary education, and typically four years to gain a bachelor’s degree).

The academic school year in the Philippines starts in June and ends in March, covering a period of 40 weeks. Institutions of higher education operate on a semester system with an optional summer semester. Education is compulsory from age seven to 12, covering the first six grades of education.

English was the official language of instruction from 1935 to 1987. The new constitution of 1987 prescribed that both Pilipino (Tagalog) and English are the official languages of COMMUNICATION and instruction. English continues to be widely used from the higher primary level onwards, owing to a dearth of materials and resources in Pilipino, as well as a shortage of Pilipino-speaking teachers. This is especially true in vocational and technical fields


Primary education is compulsory and is six years in duration, divided into a four-year primary cycle and a two-year intermediate cycle. Children generally begin first grade at six or seven years of age; however, private schools often operate a seven-year curriculum starting a year earlier. Students are annually promoted from one grade to the next provided that they meet the achievement standards set for the grade. Students are rated in every subject four times during the year. A cumulative rating system is used as the basis for promotion. The pass grade is 75 percent. In grades one and two, the medium of instruction is generally in the local dialect, of which there are more than 170 nationally, with English and Pilipino taught as second languages.


Private schools enroll a much higher percentage of students at the secondary level than at the elementary level. Approximately 46 percent of the nation’s secondary schools are private enrolling about 21 percent of all high school students.

General High Schools


COMMUNICATION arts (English and Pilipino), social studies (including anthropology, Philippine history and government, economics, geography and sociology), mathematics, science and technology, youth development training (including physical education, health education, music and citizen army training), practical arts (including home economics, agriculture & fisheries, industrial arts, and entrepreneurship), values education and some electives including both academic and vocational subjects

Science High Schools

The Philippine Science High School System is a specialized public system that operates as an attached agency of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology. There are a total of nine regional campuses, with the main campus located in Quezon City. Students are admitted on a selective basis, based on the results of the PSHS System National Competitive Examination. Graduates of the PSHS are bound by law to major in the pure and applied sciences, mathematics, or engineering upon entering college.

Leaving Certificate:

Students who successfully complete a minimum of four years of secondary education usually receive a Diploma (Katibayan) from their high school and, in addition, are awarded the secondary school Certificate of Graduation (Katunayan) by the Department of Education. Students are also awarded a Permanent Record, or Form 137-A, listing all classes taken and grades earned.