Formal Education

Formal education is the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded 'education system', running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialised programmes and institutions for full-time technical and professional training. K-12 and tertiary education from colleges are characterized as formal education. This does not include the informal education in the Philippines learned from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment. Nor does this include non-formal education like the alternative learning systems provided by DepEd and TESDA and other programs from educational institutions.

K-12 is a program that covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.

Its general features include (1) Srengthening Early Childhood Education (Universal Kindergarten), since the early years of a human being, from 0 to 6 years, are the most critical period when the brain grows to at least 60-70 percent of adult size; (2) Making the Curriculum Relevant to Learners (Contextualization and Enhancement) by making lessons localized and relevant to Filipinos including discussions on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT);(3) Ensuring Integrated and Seamless Learning (Spiral Progression) which means that students will be taught from the simplest concepts to more complicated concepts through grade levels; (4) Building Proficiency through Language (Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education) hence the introduction of 12 Mother Tongue Languages as mediums of instruction from grades 1-3 before the introduction of English; (5) Gearing Up for the Future (Senior High School) wherein the seven learning areas and three tracks for students to choose (See Curriculum) prepare them for senior high school, the two years of specialized upper secondary education; and (6) Nurturing the Holistically Developed Filipino (College and Livelihood Readiness, let Century Skills) so that every graduate to be equipped with information, media and technology skills; learning and innovation skills; effective communication skills; and life and career skills.

Some Implications of the Change in the System
Senior High School, an important feature of the new K-12 program, creates several opportunities. Standard requirements will be applied to make sure graduates know enough to be hirable. Senior High School students will now be able to apply for TESDA Certificates of Competency (COCs) and National Certificates (NCs) to provide them with better work opportunities. Partnerships with different companies will be offered for technical and vocational courses. Senior High School students can also get work experience while studying. Aside from these, entrepreneurship courses will now be included. Instead of being employed, one can choose to start his or her own business after graduating, or choose to further one's education by going to college.

Senior High School, as part of the K to 12 Basic Curriculum, was developed in line with the curriculum of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) - the governing body for college and university education in the Philippines. This ensures that by the time one graduates from Senior High School, one will have the standard knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to go to college.

Because of the shift of the curriculum in K-12, the College General Education curriculum will have fewer units. Subjects that have been taken up in Basic Education will be removed from the College General Education curriculum. Details of the new GE Curriculum may be found in CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, series of 2013.
Regarding teachers, there are common misconceptions that teachers will lose their jobs because of the shift to the K-12. However, DepEd ensures that "no high school teachers will be displaced."

The Department of Education (DepEd) is in constant coordination with CHED and DOLE on the actual number of affected faculty from private higher education institutions (HEIs). The worst-case scenario is that 39,000 HEI faculty will lose their jobs over 5 years. This will only happen if none of the HEIs will put up their own Senior High Schools; however, DepEd is currently processing over 1,000 Senior High School applications from private institutions.
DepEd is also hiring more than 30,000 new teachers in 2016 alone. The Department will prioritize affected faculty who will apply as teachers or administrators in Senior High Schools.

In kindergarten, the pupils are mandated to learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colours through games, songs, pictures and dances, but in their native language; thus after Grade 1, every student can read on his/her native tongue.

The 12 original mother tongue languages that have been introduced for the 2012-2013 school year are Bicolano, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Tausug and Waray-Waray.

7 more mother tongue languages have been introduced for the 2013-2014 school year. These are Aklanon, Ibanag, Ivatan, Kinaray-a, Sambal, Surigaonon and Yakan.

A common poem read in Filipino kindergartens is Ang aking alaga (My pet); a common song, Ako ay may lobo (I have a balloon).

In Grade 1, the subject areas of English and Filipino are taught, with a focus on "oral fluency".
In Grade 4, the subject areas of English and Filipino are gradually introduced, but now, as "languages of instruction".

The Science and Mathematics subjects are now modified to use the spiral progression approach starting as early as Grade 1 which means that every lesson will be taught in every grade level starting with the basic concepts to the more complex concepts of that same lesson until Grade 10.

The high school from the former system will now be called junior high school, while senior high school will be the 11th and 12th year of the new educational system. It will serve as a specialized upper secondary education. In the senior high school, students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. Senior high school subjects fall under either the core curriculum or specific tracks.

Core curriculum learning areas include languages, literature, communication, mathematics, philosophy, natural sciences and social sciences.

There are three choices that are available to be chosen by the students -- or the so-called "specific tracks". These are:

Academic, which includes four strands which are:
Accountancy, Business & Management (ABM) - for those interested in pursuing college or university education in fields of accountancy, business management, business administration, office management, economics, or entrepreneurship.

Humanities & Social Sciences (HUMSS) - for those interested in pursuing college or university education in fields of languages, mass communication and journalism, literature, philosophy, history, education, liberal arts, and the rest of humanities and social sciences.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)- for those interested in pursuing college or university education in fields of basic and applied sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, laboratory sciences, nutrition and allied medicine, mathematics, and engineering.

General Academic Strand (GAS) - for those interested in pursuing college or university education but are not sure of what field to pursue as a career.

Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, which specializes in technical and vocational learning. A student can obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. This certificate improves employability of graduates in fields of Home Economics like tourism, culinary art, cosmetology, clothing, handicraft, housekeeping, etc.; Industrial Arts like automotive services, carpentry and construction, masonry, plumbing, machining, electricity and electronics, etc.; Agricultural and Fishery Arts like agriculture, animal production, horticulture, food processing, aquaculture, fish capture, landscaping, etc.; and Information and Communications Technology like animation, illustration, technical drafting, medical transcription, programming, and computer services.

Arts and Design, which is helping interested senior high school students in the particular fields of journalism, broadcast art,and mass media; media and entertainment; creative writing like poetry, fiction writing, and playwriting; studio arts like drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking, media arts like animation,photography, graphic design, illustration, layout design, digital painting, music production, sound design, game design, application design, film and videography; applied arts or decorative arts like fashion design, industrial design, product and packaging design, jewelry design, clothing and accessories, set and costume design, and ceramics; dance like folk dance, classical and modern ballet, ballroom and Latin dances, hip-hop, contemporary and popular dances, and choreography; theater arts like acting, theater design, technical theater, and directing; and music like instrumental music, vocal music, ensemble and chamber music, and composition and music production. Art forms offered especially in visual and media arts depends on schools' capacity, faculty, resident artists and designers in immediate or local community, equipments and resources.

Sports, which is responsible for educating senior high school students in the fields of sports, physical education, fitness, and health. With pursued professions such as sports athlete, sports coach, fitness coach, sports officiator, sports activity or event manager, sports tournament manager, fitness leader and expert, fitness instructor, gym instructor, sports expert, recreation leader and expert, physical and massage therapist, physical education instructor, physical education and health instructor, MAPEH instructor, and sports scientist.

K-12's implementation began in 2011 when kindergarten was rolled out nationwide. It continued by fully implementing the system for grades 1-7 during the school year 2012-2013, for grade 11 during 2016, and for grade 12 on 2017.

There are four "phases" during the implementation of the new system. These are:
Phase I: Laying the Foundations. Its goal is to finally implement the universal kindergarten, and the "development of the (entire) program".

Phase II: Modeling and Migration. Its goal is to promote the enactment of the basic education law, to finally start of the phased implementation of the new curriculum for Grades 1 to 4 and 7 to 10, and for the modeling of the senior high school.

Phase III: Complete Migration. Its goal is to finally implement the Grades 11 and 12 or the senior high school, and to signal the end of migration to the new educational system.

Phase IV: Completion of the Reform. Its goal is to complete the implementation of the K-12 education system
In terms of preparing the resources, specifically classrooms, teacher items, textbooks, seats, and water and sanitation improvements, the following table shows the accomplished material from 2010 to 2014 and those planned for 2015.

The Department of Education's justifications in this change, in implementing 13 years of basic education, is that the Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle (Angola and Djibouti are the other two), and that the 13-year program is found to be the best period for learning under basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.

Elementary Education
Elementary school, sometimes called primary school or grade school (Filipino: paaralang elementarya, sometimes mababang paaralan), is the first part of the educational system, and it includes the first six years of compulsory education (Grades 1-6) after cumpolsory pre-school education called Kindergarten.

In public schools, the core/major subjects that were introduced starting in Grade 1 include Mathematics, Filipino, and Araling Panlipunan (this subject is synonymous to Social Studies).English is only introduced after the second semester of Grade 1. Science is only introduced starting Grade 3. Other major subjects then include Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (abbreviated as MAPEH), TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education) for Grade 6, EPP (Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan) for Grades 4 and 5, Mother Tongue (Grades 1-3) and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (synonymous to Ethics, Values or Character Education). In private schools, subjects in public schools are also included with the additional subjects including:Computer Education as a separate subject, though it is included in EPP and TLE through its ICT component. In Christian and Catholic schools, Religious Education is also part of the curriculum like Christian Values and Ethics, Christian Living, or Bible Studies. Islamic schools like Madrasah schools have a separate subjects for Arabic Language and for Islamic Values or abbreviated as ALIVE. Chinese schools may also have subjects in Chinese Language and Culture. International schools also have their own subjects in their own language and culture.

From Kindergarten-Grade 3, students will be taught using their mother tongue, meaning the regional languages of the Philippines will be used in some subjects (except Filipino and English) as a medium of instruction. Aside from being incorporated as a language of instruction, it is also a separate subject for Grades 1-3. But from Grade 4, Filipino and English as a medium of instruction will then be used.

On December 2007, the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced that Spanish is to make a return as a mandatory subject in all Filipino schools starting in 2008, but this didn't come into effect.

DepEd Bilingual Policy is for the medium of instruction to be Filipino for: Filipino, Araling Panlipunan, Edukasyong Pangkatawan, Kalusugan at Musika; and English for: English, Science and Technology, Home Economics and Livelihood Education. Article XIV, Section 7 of the 1987 Philippine constitution mandates that regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein. As a result, the language actually used in teaching is often a polyglot of Filipino and English with the regional language as the foundation, or rarely the local language. Filipino is based on Tagalog, so in Tagalog areas (including Manila), Filipino is the foundational language used. International English language schools use English as the foundational language. Chinese schools add two language subjects, such as Min Nan Chinese and Mandarin Chinese and may use English or Chinese as the foundational language. The constitution mandates that Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis. Following on this, a few private schools mainly catering to the elite include Spanish in their curriculum. Arabic is taught in Islamic schools.

In July 2009, the Department of Education moved to overcome the foreign language issue by ordering all elementary schools to move towards initial mother-tongue based instruction (grades 1-3). The order allows two alternative three-year bridging plans. Depending on the bridging plan adopted, the Filipino and English languages are to be phased in as the language of instruction for other subjects beginning in the third and fourth grades.

Until 2004, primary students traditionally took the National Elementary Achievement Test (NEAT) administered by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS). It was intended as a measure of a school's competence, and not as a predictor of student aptitude or success in secondary school. Hence, the scores obtained by students in the NEAT were not used as a basis for their admission into secondary school. During 2004, when DECS was officially converted into the Department of Education, the NEAT was changed to the National Achievement Test (NAT) by the Department of Education. Both the public and private elementary schools take this exam to measure a school's competency. As of 2006, only private schools have entrance examinations for secondary schools.
The Department of Education expects over 13.1 million elementary students to be enrolled in public elementary schools for school year 2009-2010.

Though elementary schooling is compulsory, as of 2010 it was reported that 27.82% of Filipino elementary-aged children either never attend or never complete elementary schooling, usually due to the absence of any school in their area, education being offered in a language that is foreign to them, or financial distress.

Secondary education
Secondary school in the Philippines, more commonly known as "high school" (Filipino: paaralang sekundarya, sometimes mataas na paaralan), consists of 4 lower levels and 2 upper levels. It formerly consisted of only four levels with each level partially compartmentalized, focusing on a particular theme or content. Because of the K-12 curriculum, the high school system now has six years divided into 2 parts. The lower exploratory high school system is now called "Junior High School" (Grades 7-10) while the upper specialized high school system is now called "Senior High School" (Grades 11 and 12).

Secondary students used to sit for the National Secondary Achievement Test (NSAT), which was based on the American SAT, and was administered by the Department of Education. Like its primary school counterpart, NSAT was phased out after major reorganizations in the education department. Its successors, the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) and National Achievement Test (NAT) were administered to third- and fourth-year students respectively, before the implementation of the K-12 system. The National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) is now being administered for Grade 9 and the National Achievement Test (NAT) is being administered at Grade 6, 10, and 12. Neither the NSAT nor NAT have been used as a basis for being offered admission to higher education institutions, partly because pupils sit them at almost the end of their secondary education. Instead, higher education institutions, both public and private, administer their own College Entrance Examinations (CEE) (subjects covered will depend on the institutions). Vocational colleges usually do not have entrance examinations, simply accepting the Form 138 record of studies from high school, and enrollment payment.

Junior High School
Students graduating from the elementary level automatically enroll in junior high, which covers four years from grades 7 to 10. This level is now compulsory and free to all students attending public schools.

There are two main types of high school: the general secondary school, which enroll more than 90 percent of all junior high school students, and the vocational secondary school. In addition, there are also science secondary schools for students who have demonstrated a particular gift in science at the primary level as well as special secondary schools and special curricular programs.

Admission to public school is automatic for those who have completed six years of elementary school. Some private secondary schools have competitive entrance requirements based on an entrance examination. Entrance to science schools, art schools, and schools with special curricular programs is also by competitive examination sometimes including interviews, and auditions.

The Department of Education specifies a compulsory curriculum for all junior high school students, public and private. Grade 7 has five core subjects: Mathematics 7, Science 7, English 7:Philippine Literature, Filipino 7:Panitikang Panlalalwigan (Regional Literature), and Araling Asyano (Asian Studies) as part of Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) 7. The Grade 8 curriculum has Mathematics 8, Science 8, English 8:Afro-Asian Literature, Filipino 8:Panitikang Pambansa (Philippine National Literature), and Kasaysayan ng Daigdig (World History) as part of Araling Panlipunan 8. Grade 9 has Mathematics 9, Science 9, English 9:British and American Literature, Filipino 9: Panitikang Saling-wikang Asyano (Asian Translated Literature), and Ekonomiks (Economics) as part of Araling Panlipunan 9. The Grade 10 curriculum has Mathematics 10, Science 10, English 10:World Literature, Filipino 10: Panitikang Saling-wika ng Daigdig (World Translated Literature), and Mga Kontemporaryong Isyu (Contemporary Issues) as part of Araling Panlipunan 10. Other subjects in all levels of junior high school include MAPEH (a collective subject comprising Music, Art, Physical Education and Health), Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao or Values Education and TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education).

In other public schools or private secondary schools offers specialized curricular programs for students with gifts and or talents as well as aptitude in fields of: sciences and mathematics, sports, the arts, journalism, foreign language, or technical-vocational education. These are under the DepEd with the latter in partnership with TESDA. These special programs for special schools are: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (STEM, formerly called ESEP); Special Program in Sports (SPS); Special Program in the Arts (SPA); Special Program in Journalism (SPJ); Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL); and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Program (TVL). These programs offers comprehensive secondary education in a particular academic or career pathway field. Because of being career-pathway oriented, special and advanced subjects are offered in replace of TLE subject and sometimes includes even more time and subjects for specialized learning and training.
In selective schools, various languages may be offered as electives like in a SPFL program, as well as other subjects such as computer programming and literary writing like in STEM schools or Laboratory High Schools. Chinese schools have language and cultural electives. International Schools offers electives or subjects like writing, culture, history, language, art, or a special subject unique to the school. Preparatory schools like technical vocational schools or schools with TVL Program usually add some business, entrepreneurship, and accountancy courses. Special science high schools like those of PSHS System (administered by DOST) and RSHS System (administered by DepEd) have biology, chemistry, and physics at every level and or exclusive and advanced science and math subjects as well as subjects in technology, pre-engineering, and research. These science schools are more exclusive and with higher standards compared to general high school's STEM Program. PSHS or RSHS students may transfer to a STEM program school but not the way around. PSHS students may also transfer to a RSHS and vice versa only for incoming sophomore year. Both PSHS and RSHS students must maintain an average grade especially in their advanced sciences and math subjects on a quarterly basis or else will loose the chance of continuing education in these schools, therefore, will make students transfer to a STEM Program school or a general high school. This systems makes sure the quality and exclusiveness of science high schools. In special government-run art school such as Philippine High School for the Arts, which is administered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in coordination with Department of Education, and as well as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts offers a much specialized and exclusive curricular program than general high school's SPA Program. Like the PSHS and RSHS to STEM schools system, students from PHSA should maintain grades in their art field of specialization or will transfer to an SPA school or a general high school. But SPA students can enroll in PHSA only for incoming sophomores passing exclusive test, auditions, and interviews, and not from general high schools but from SPA school only. Both schools of Philippine Science High School System and the Philippine High School for the Arts are administered by government agencies apart from DepEd but still is in coordination with it. These schools offers scholarship for students with high aptitude and talents in science fields or the art fields granting those who passes rigorous and exclusive tests with many special benefits like free board and lodging, free books, a monthly stipend, and classes taught by experts, masters, and active practitioners of their respective fields among others.

Vocational School
Formal technical and vocational education starts at secondary education, with a two-year curriculum, which grants access to vocational tertiary education. However, there is also non-formal technical and vocational education provided as alternative learning programs.

Vocational schools offer a higher concentration of technical and vocational subjects in addition to the core academic subjects studied by students at general high schools. These schools tend to offer technical and vocational instruction in one of five main fields: agriculture, fisheries, trade-technical, home industry, and 'non-traditional' courses while offering a host of specializations. During the first two years, students study a general vocational area, from the five main fields mentioned. During the third and fourth years they specialize in a discipline or vocation within that area. Programs contain a mixture of theory and practice.

Upon completion of grade 10 and junior high, students can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC) or the vocationally oriented National Certificate Level I (NC I). After finishing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12 of senior high school, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment administered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority(TESDA).

Senior High School
The new high school curriculum includes core classes and specialization classes based on student choice of specialization. Students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. Classes or courses are divided into two: Core Curriculum Subjects and Track Subjects. There are seven learning areas under the core curriculum. These are languages, literature, communication, mathematics, philosophy, natural sciences, and social sciences. These will make up 15 core courses with the same contents and competencies but with allowed contextualization based on school's location despite of specializations of tracks and strands. Track subjects will be further divided into Applied or Contextualized Subjects and the Specialization Subjects. There would be 7 Applied Subjects with competencies common to tracks and strands or specializations but with different contents based on specialization, and there would be 9 Specialization Subjects with unique contents and competencies under a track or strand.

For their specialization classes, students choose from four tracks: Academic; technical-vocational-livelihood; Sports; and the Arts and Design. The Academic track includes five strands of specializations: Accountancy and Business Management (ABM) which will prepare students for college courses in the business-related careers such as accountancy, business management, finance, economics, marketing, sales, human resource management, business operations, entrepreneurship, etc.; Humanities and Social Sciences (HumSS) which will prepare students to college courses in the fields of humanities like language arts, literature, history, philosophy, religious studies, and the liberal arts as well as in the field of social sciences and applied social sciences like anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, geography, counseling, social work, journalism and communications, etc.; Science and Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) which will prepare students for collge courses in the fields of natural and physical sciences, applied sciences, allied medicine, computer studies, architecture, engineering, mathematics, etc.; General Academic (GA) is a generic strand for students who are not yet sure of what to study in college or what track and strand to take with much like liberal arts subjects like electives from humanities and social sciences, applied business and science courses, and a freedom to choose electives from any track or strand offered by the school; and the new Pre-Baccalaureate Maritime Strand which is an academic maritime field preparatory strand with pre-engineering courses lie pre-calculus, calculus, and physics as well as one chemistry and introductory maritime courses, preparing students who wishes to pursue higher education in a maritime-related field.

The Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) track includes current five specializations from which TESDA-based courses can be chosen: Home Economics, Agri-Fishery Arts, Industrial Arts, Information and Communications Technology, and the new field of TVL Maritime (a technical-vocational-livelihood counterpart of the Pre-Baccalaureate Maritime of Academic Track). A mixture of specialization courses from these four fields can also be done, depending on the curricular program and offerings offered by schools who offers TVL track.

Sports track will prepare students with sports science, sports-related, physical education-related, health-related, and movement-related courses which will let them explore and specialize in fields like sports fundamental coaching, student-athlete development, sports officiating and activity management, recreational and fitness or sports leadership. This will be with courses in safety and first aid, fitness testing and basic exercise programming, psychosocial aspects of sports and exercise, and human movement. Students will have an immersion or practicum in a sports, fitness, exercise, or recreation specialization of one will be in-campus practicum and one will be off-campus apprenticeship. This track will prepare students with careers in sports athletics, fitness, exercise, recreational leadership, sports event management, coaching, and physical therapy.

Arts and Design Track will prepare student for the creative industries in various creative and artistic fields such as but not limited to: music, dance, creative writing and literature, visual arts, media arts, broadcast arts, film and cinema, applied arts, architecture and design, theater, entertainment, etc. Students will be trained with lectures and immersions in arts appreciation and production and the performing arts. They will also learn and be prepared with physical and personal development which will help them with physical, personal, and health factors in the arts fields as an introduction to workplaces; integration of elements and principles of art which will deepen their understanding about art elements and principles and their applications; building cultural and national identity in arts which will help them appreciate cultural icons and traditional or indigenous materials, techniques, and practices in their art field. Students also will be immersed to an art field of their choice: music, theater, literary art, visual art, or media art under apprenticeship with practitioner/s of the field and will culminate showcasing their skills and talents in either a performing arts performance, a visual and media art exhibit, or a literary art production.

The government projects some 1.2 to 1.6 million students will enter senior high school in the 2016-17 academic year.

Senior High School "completes" basic education by making sure that the high school graduate is equipped for work, entrepreneurship, or higher education. This is a step up from the 10-year cycle where high school graduates still need further education (and expenses) to be ready for the world. There are 334 private schools with Senior High School permits beginning in SY 2014 or 2015. Last March 31, 2015, provisional permits have been issued to 1,122 private schools that will offer Senior High School in 2016.

Senior High School will be offered free in public schools and there will be a voucher program in place for public junior high school completers as well as ESC beneficiaries of private high schools should they choose to take Senior High School in private institutions. This means that the burden of expenses for the additional two years need not be completely shouldered by parents. All grade 10 completers from a public Junior High School who wish to enroll in a private or non-DepEd Senior High School automatically get a voucher.

Tertiary education
All tertiary education matters are outside of the jurisdiction of DepEd, which is in charge of primary and secondary education, but is instead governed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). As of 2013, there are over 2,229 higher education institutions (HEI's) in the country which can be divided into public and private institutions. There are 656 public higher education institutions which account for 28.53% of all HEI's. While 1,643 private institutions account for 71.47% of all HEI's.

Public HEI's are further divided into state universities and colleges (SUC's), local colleges and universities (LUC's), special HEI's, and government schools. State universities and colleges are administered and financed by the government as determined by the Philippine Congress. LUC's are established by the local government units that govern the area of the LUC. The local government establish these institutions through a process and number of ordinances and resolutions, and are also in charge of handling the financing of these schools. Special HEI's are institutions that offer courses and programs that are related to public service. Examples of these include the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), etc. These institutions are controlled and administered through the use of specific laws that were created for them. Finally, government schools are public secondary and post-secondary technical-vocational education institutions that offer higher education programs.

Private HEI's are established, and governed by special provisions by a Corporation Code, and can be divided into sectarian and non-sectarian. Non-sectarian are characterized by being owned and operated by private entities that have no affiliation with religious organizations; while sectarian HEI's are non-profit institutions that are owned and operated by a religious organization. Of the 1,643 institutions, 79% are non-sectarian, and 21% are sectarian.
According to the last CHED published statistics on its website, there were 7,766 foreign nationals studying in various higher education institutions in the Philippines as of 2011-2012. Koreans were the top foreign nationals studying in the country with 1,572. The rest were Iranian, Chinese, American and Indian.

Types of Schools Adhering to Compulsory Education and Senior High School
There are other types of schools, aside from the general public school, such as private schools, preparatory schools, international schools, laboratory high schools, and science high schools. Several foreign ethnic groups, including Chinese, British, Singaporeans, Americans, Koreans, and Japanese operate their own school

Science high schools
Science high schools are special schools for the more intellectually promising students, with the objective of fostering the problem-solving approach of critical thinking. They are separate high schools and not merely special classes in regular secondary schools. As such, they have certain characteristics not found in regular high schools, although any private or public high school can aspire to meet these special minimum standards and be considered as 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.

As well as following the general secondary curriculum, there are advanced classes in science and mathematics. The PSHSS system offers an integrated junior high and senior high six-year curriculum.

Students who successfully completed a minimum of four years of secondary education under the pre-2011 system were awarded a Diploma (Katibayan) and, in addition, the secondary school Certificate of Graduation (Katunayan) from the Department of Education. Students are also awarded a Permanent Record, or Form 137-A, listing all classes taken and grades earned. Under the new K-12 system, the permanent record will be issued after the completion of senior high school.

Chinese schools
Chinese schools add two additional subjects to the core curriculum, Chinese communication arts and literature. Some also add Chinese history, philosophy and culture, and Chinese mathematics. Still, other Chinese schools called cultural schools, offer Confucian classics and Chinese art as part of their curriculum. Religion also plays an important part in the curriculum. American evangelists founded some Chinese schools. Some Chinese schools have Catholic roots.

Chinese schools add two additional subjects to the core curriculum, Chinese communication arts and literature. Some also add Chinese history, philosophy and culture, and Chinese mathematics. Still, other Chinese schools called cultural schools, offer Confucian classics and Chinese art as part of their curriculum. Religion also plays an important part in the curriculum. American evangelists founded some Chinese schools. Some Chinese schools have Catholic roots.

Islamic schools
In 2004, the Department of Education adopted DO 51, putting in place the teaching of Arabic Language and Islamic Values for (mainly) Muslim children in the public schools. The same order authorized the implementation of the Standard Madrasa Curriculum (SMC) in the private madaris(Arabic for schools, the singular form is Madrasa).
While there has been recognized Islamic schools--i.e., Ibn Siena Integrated School (Marawi), Sarang Bangun LC (Zamboanga), and Southwestern Mindanao Islamic Institute (Jolo)--their Islamic studies curriculum varies. With the Department of Education-authorized SMC, the subject offering is uniform across these private madaris.

Since 2005, the AusAID-funded Department of Education project Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) has assisted a group of private madaris seeking government permit to operate (PTO) and implement the SMC. To date, there are 30 of these private madaris scattered throughout Regions XI, XII and the ARMM.

The SMC is a combination of the RBEC subjects (English, Filipino, Science, Math, and Makabayan) and the teaching of Arabic and Islamic studies subjects.

For school year 2010-2011, there are forty-seven (47) madaris in the ARMM alone.