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The education system in the Philippines is the byproduct of the different cultures that colonized the nation over the centuries. Prior to colonization, education was concentrated on vocational training under the tutelage of tribal teachers and home instruction. Reforms in the education system of the Philippines were influenced by the arrival of different colonizers. The arrival of the Americans in 1898 significantly changed the Philippine education system and helped lay the foundation for what it is today.
Formal and Non-Formal Education
The education system of the Philippines offered in both public (government) and private (non-government) institutions is classified under formal and non-formal education. The Philippines has one of the shortest duration of formal education in the whole world, covering a total of 14 years for elementary, secondary, and tertiary education. Preschool is optional for children 3 to 4 years old. Preschool education consists of kindergarten and preparatory courses for young children however it is not a prerequisite for entrance to grade one for the elementary level. Elementary education is required for children six to eleven years old.
Students receive a certificate of graduation or diploma for the successful completion of elementary and secondary education. Both levels are prerequisites for pursuing tertiary education.
Tertiary education covers a wide scope of curriculum ranging from vocational to professional degree programs.
Professional bachelor degree programs offered at the tertiary level are provided at universities and colleges across the country at three stages.
The non-formal education system in the Philippines refers to any structured and disciplined method of instruction planned for a specific clientele.
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