Philippines - Secondary Education
Governance of the four-year high school education falls under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Secondary Education (BSE) of DECS. Although secondary education is provided free in public schools, participation rate has been inferior in comparison to primary education. In 1965-1966, there were 1,173,000 students in secondary education, a majority of which was in private schools (731,000 or 62.3 percent). In 1987-1988, there were 3,494,460 students with 1,404,387 or 40.8 percent in private schools. In 1992-1993, participation rate was 56.76 percent, with 5,757 total schools (2,285 private) and the total enrollment was 4,450,000 students (1,520,000 in private schools). There were 125,142 teachers (39,822 private). The gross teacher-student ratio was 1:36. The dropout rate was 7 percent. In 1993-1994, 75 municipalities had no high school facilities available. By 1999-2000, there were 5,160,000 students with 1,240,000 being in private schools. The teacher-student ratio was 1:35. By this time, only five municipalities did not have high school facilities. The National Secondary Aptitude test was first implemented in 1994-1995, where the passing rate was 77.32 percent. By 1998-1999, a total of 94.76 percent passed.
BSE has a Curriculum Development Division which coordinates and implements research projects on curriculum changes and innovations. There is also the Staff Development Division for the training and development of teachers, administrators, and staff of the bureau. The Population Education Unit is geared to provide high school students a better grasp of population related issues to enable them to make sound and responsible decisions.
In 1993, DECS formulated a Manual of Information on Secondary Education of the Philippines where it specifies its missions, goals, and functions. The secondary education mission statement was: "to determine a complete, adequate and integrated system of education, both formal and nonformal; to supervise and regulate appropriately all educational institutions; and to develop and promote culture and sports in order to prepare the present and the next generation for life." Briefly stated, it is four specific goals covering the areas of broad general education, training in middle level skills, developing for improving the quality of human life, and responding to the changing needs and conditions of the nation. The manual lists the functions of secondary education in three major aspects which are: formulation of policies, plans, and projects; the supervision of all public and private institutions; and the maintenance of a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the goals of national development.
During the beginning of 2001, BSE had 12 active projects and a flagship 6-year program (SEDIP).
Adopt-a-school was a partnership between school and industry to maximize provisions of the resources to public schools. In February 2001, this program was able to procure one thousand PCs for one thousand facilities in sixteen regions nationwide along with provisions to train one teacher in each facility to use and implement technology applications to learning.
Balik-Paaralan sa (Out-of-School Adults (BP-OSA, Back-to-School for Out-of-School Adults) was another project of BSE. As of the beginning of 2001, there are 31 high schools serving some 1,381 adult students in this project.
Another project was Community Service and Public Safety Training (CS-PST). This curriculum relevance project was tested in six private and public schools in the underserved regions of Central Visayas and Southern Mindanao.
Government Assistance to Student and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) was a project utilized by BSE. It was a contract between government and private schools that allowed students who were unable to attend the free public secondary schools to enroll in private schools. In January 1999, there were 374,918 student beneficiaries in 1,122 participating schools for the Education Service Contracting and 162,966 recipients of Tuition Fee Supplements in 638 schools.
Home-Partnership Program (HPP), Population Education Program (PEP) and Population Education Information Network (POPEDIN) were inter-related programs dealing with the topics such as population education and the more delicate topic of adolescent reproductive health.
Another project of BSE was Indigenization/Localization of the Secondary Education Curriculum. This project dealt with the contextualization of the curriculum within the local culture.
Project Effective and Affordable Secondary Education (EASE) was a project that targeted students in disadvantaged situations who were unable to attend regular sessions. EASE provided a temporary study-at-home solution until the student was able to return to the formal classroom setting.
Another BSE project was the Revitalized Homeroom Guidance Program (RHGP). It was a counseling program where school staff members and teachers were given a week-long training to better match students in their aptitude and career interests.
School-Based Education was another project used by BSE. It was a form of self-evaluation by schools, which was initiated, planned, and administered by the principal and the teachers themselves.
Another project was the Self-Instructional Packages in the Social Reform Agenda Provinces. It provided materials to discourage students from dropping out due to poverty/illness. Teacher Training Programs was another BSE project. It was geared mostly to train teachers in science and technology.
Thinking Skills Development for Maximized Cognitive Performance (TSD-MCP) was a program that was initiated in six schools to research and develop steps to improve student cognitive and thinking skills.
In 1983-1984, DECS launched the Program for Decentralized Education (PRODED) for elementary education to modify the curriculum and put emphasis on science, technology, math, reading, and writing. As a follow-up to this, the New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC) was implemented in 1989 to replace the 1973 Revised Secondary Education Program (RSEP). NSEC is a major part of the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) to bring PRODED into the High School system, to improve quality of graduates, and to expand access to quality education. NSEC brings forth a student-centered, community-oriented style of education where Values Education is incorporated into the teaching of other subject areas.
The eight subject areas are English, Filipino, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Technology, Physical Education, Health, and Music (PEHM), Technology and Home Economics, and Values Education. Four years of secondary education is required by most of the higher institutions. Philippine secondary education is composed of academic and vocational curricula. A curriculum for secondary schools introduced in 1989 made Filipino the language of instruction for all subjects except mathematics and sciences. The mathematics curriculum was also changed by the 1993 NSEC. The 1973 Revised Secondary Education Program (RSEP) required that areas of mathematics be taught in yearlong discipline based subjects: Arithmetic in the first year, elementary algebra in the second year, geometry in the third year, and advanced algebra in the fourth year. The NSEC mandates that for each year level, portions of algebra, geometry and measurement, trigonometry, statistics, and consumer mathematics would be included. The level of difficulty increases for each year level. This process allots math subjects with 200 minutes per week, 40 minutes daily.
The programs RSEP, PROPED, NSEC, and SEDP all lead to the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project SEDIP (2000-2006). SEDIP is similar to TEEP. The goal of the project is to improve equitable access to quality secondary education in poverty affected areas. The three main objectives in the areas of improvement of quality education are increased rates of participation, completion, and decentralization of management and decision making at the provincial level. The program involves the construction of new school buildings; improvement of school facilities; provision of textbooks, manuals and instructional aids; and extensive in-service training programs for teachers and school administrators. The total project cost is $170 million. DECS implemented the 1999 and 2000 Computerization Program, and this allowed 325 public secondary schools to become recipients of computer packages and teacher training.