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Educational System in Philippines

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|-Educational System in Philippines

The educational system in the Philippines is unique and diverse, offering a variety of options for expatriate families. The system is influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures, resulting in a rich blend of traditions and learning styles. The Department of Education (DepEd) oversees the entire educational system, which is divided into several stages. This guide will provide an overview of the main stages of education, the process of enrolling foreign students, language requirements, the availability of bilingual schools, common types of private schools, the typical choices of expats, the cost of private education, and the possibilities of homeschooling and online schooling in the Philippines.

What are the main stages of education in the Philippines?

The Philippine educational system is divided into four main stages: Kindergarten, Elementary School (Grade 1-6), Junior High School (Grade 7-10), and Senior High School (Grade 11-12). Each stage focuses on different areas of learning and development, preparing students for the next level of education and eventually for their future careers.


Kindergarten in the Philippines is for children aged 5. It focuses on the basic learning areas such as language, mathematics, and understanding the world around them. It is a crucial stage as it prepares children for formal schooling.

Elementary School

Elementary School, for children aged 6-11, is divided into six grades. The curriculum includes subjects like English, Filipino, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (MAPEH), and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (Values Education).

Junior High School

Junior High School, for students aged 12-15, covers grades 7 to 10. The curriculum is more advanced, with additional subjects like Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) and a choice of specialization in arts, music, technical-vocational, or sports.

Senior High School

Senior High School, for students aged 16-17, includes grades 11 and 12. It offers four tracks: Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Sports, and Arts and Design. Students choose a track based on their career plans.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Foreign students are required to apply for a Special Study Permit (SSP) from the Bureau of Immigration. They must also submit necessary documents such as a birth certificate, report card, and a letter of request from the school. The school will guide the parents through the enrollment process.

My children are still learning Filipino, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Filipino can enroll in public schools. English is also a medium of instruction in the Philippines, and many schools offer English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are public bilingual schools in the Philippines. These schools use both English and Filipino as mediums of instruction. Admission for international students typically requires a Special Study Permit and other necessary documents.

What types of private schools are common in the Philippines?

Private schools in the Philippines include Catholic schools, International schools, and Bilingual schools. Catholic schools are common due to the country’s predominantly Catholic population. International schools follow international curriculums and are popular among expats. Bilingual schools offer instruction in both English and Filipino.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in the Philippines typically send their children to private schools, particularly international schools, due to the English-medium instruction and internationally recognized curriculums.

How expensive are Private schools in the Philippines?

The cost of private education in the Philippines varies widely, depending on the school. International schools are generally the most expensive, with annual tuition fees ranging from PHP 200,000 to over PHP 500,000. Other private schools may charge less.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in the Philippines?

Yes, homeschooling is legal and increasingly popular in the Philippines. The DepEd provides guidelines and accreditation for homeschooling programs.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in the Philippines?

Yes, online schooling is an option in the Philippines. Some schools offer online programs, and there are also online platforms that provide Philippine-based curriculum. However, it’s important to ensure that the online school is accredited by the DepEd.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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