With its complex structure and various levels, the Philippine education system can be quite perplexing for those who are not familiar with it. It is composed of both public and private institutions that offer a wide variety of programs from preschool to higher education. Moreover, recent reforms such as the K-12 program and the Alternative Learning System have made significant changes to the education system.

In this article, we will dive into the different levels of education in the Philippines, the various programs offered, and the alternative learning systems available. We will also provide insights into the importance of early childhood education and the benefits of pursuing higher education.

Pre-school Education

This is the foundation of a child’s educational journey, where they learn essential skills such as socialization, communication, and problem-solving.

In the Philippines, there are different types of preschool education available to parents and children, including daycare centers, nursery schools, and kindergartens. Daycare centers offer full-time or part-time care for children while their parents are at work. Nursery schools provide play-based activities to children aged two to three years old, while kindergartens focus on structured learning activities for children aged four to five years old.

The importance of early childhood education cannot be overstated, as it provides a strong foundation for future learning. Studies have shown that children who receive quality preschool education perform better in school and have better social skills than those who do not.

Early childhood education can also boost a child’s self-esteem and overall confidence, setting them up for success later in life. Therefore, parents should consider the different types of preschool education available and choose the best option that suits their child’s needs and preferences.

Primary Education

The K-12 program, which was implemented in 2013, lengthened the basic education cycle in the country from ten to twelve years. It aims to provide students with a better quality of education that is on par with international standards.

This program consists of six years of primary education and an additional two years of junior high school and senior high school respectively. This reform helps students to be equipped with the necessary skills to pursue higher education or enter the workforce after graduation.

The primary education curriculum in the Philippines consists of four core subjects: English, Filipino, mathematics, and science. Other subjects include Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies), Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (MAPEH). The Department of Education has also introduced new subjects such as coding, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy to provide students with relevant skills for the modern world.

Secondary Education

Secondary education in the Philippines is divided into two cycles: junior high school and senior high school. Junior high school consists of four years, while senior high school consists of two years.

Both public and private schools offer secondary education to students. Public schools are funded by the government and offer free education to students, while private schools are run by private organizations and require tuition fees.

This curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can prepare them for further studies or entry into the workforce. The curriculum includes core subjects such as English, Filipino, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as elective subjects such as music, arts, physical education, and technology and livelihood education (TLE).

In senior high school, students are required to choose a specific track based on their interests and career goals. These tracks include academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports, and arts and design.

Each track has a set of specialized subjects that can help students develop specific skills and knowledge needed for college or vocational courses. By choosing a specific track, students can focus on their chosen career path and have a better chance of success in their future endeavors.

Higher Education

Different types of institutions offer higher education, such as universities, colleges, and technical-vocational schools. Universities are research-driven institutions that offer a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs.

Colleges are primarily focused on undergraduate degree programs and may have more specialized areas of study. Technical-vocational schools, on the other hand, offer specialized courses or programs that provide practical skills and knowledge for specific careers.

Higher education institutions offer various programs that cater to different career paths and interests.

Undergraduate programs typically take four years to complete and lead to a bachelor’s degree in a specific field of study.

Graduate programs, which include master’s and doctoral degree programs, require additional years of study and research beyond undergraduate education.

Postgraduate studies are available for professionals who want to further their education or specialize in a specific field, such as law, medicine, or business.

Alternative Learning Systems

Not everyone can attend traditional schooling due to various reasons such as financial, geographic, or personal constraints. Fortunately, there are alternative learning systems available in the Philippines that provide options for those who cannot attend formal schooling. These alternative learning systems aim to provide education and training to individuals of all ages, particularly those who have not completed their basic education.

One of the alternative learning systems available is distance education, which allows learners to study through modules or online platforms. This method eliminates the need for physical attendance while still providing access to quality education.

Homeschooling is another option where parents or guardians take on the responsibility of educating their children at home. This system allows for flexible schedules and personalized learning that caters to the child’s specific needs.

Finally, the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program provides non-formal education to out-of-school youths and adults who have not completed their basic education. The ALS curriculum encompasses basic literacy skills, numeracy, and life skills, and is designed to help individuals acquire competencies needed for personal and professional development.

Government Agencies that handle the Philippine education system
Department of Education (DepEd)

It oversees the implementation of the K-12 program, which aims to improve the quality of education and prepare students for global competitiveness. DepEd manages public schools and is responsible for developing and implementing policies, programs, and standards for basic education in the country.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is an attached agency of the Office of the President that is responsible for the supervision and regulation of higher education institutions in the Philippines. It provides leadership and support to ensure the quality of higher education in the country. CHED is also responsible for promoting and implementing reforms in the higher education sector to meet global standards and improve access to higher education.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)

TESDA offers various programs and services, including skills training, assessment, certification, and scholarship programs. It aims to provide Filipinos with the necessary skills and knowledge to become competitive in the global workforce. TESDA also works with different industries to ensure that their training programs are aligned with the demands of the labor market.


The Philippine education system provides various opportunities for learners of all ages to access quality education. From early childhood education to higher education and alternative learning systems, there are different paths available that cater to different needs and circumstances.

The Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority play crucial roles in managing and supervising the education system in the country. With their efforts, coupled with the strength and resilience of Filipino learners, the future of education in the Philippines looks bright and promising.