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School system

The Philippine education system is overseen by the Department of Education. The Field Offices in each Philippine region are responsible for implementing policy for public education at a regional level.

Education is mandatory from ages 5 to 17. Students may continue their college or university education for another four years up until age 21.

The Philippine school system implements a K to 12 Program. The program covers 13 years of basic education with the following key stages:

Senior High School is two years of specialized upper secondary education. Students may choose a specialization based on their aptitude, interests and school capacity. Students can choose their specialization from three tracks:

Students will get an elementary diploma upon finishing Grade 6, a junior high school diploma upon finishing Grade 10 and a senior high school diploma upon finishing Grade 12.

A student who finished a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track may obtain a National Certificate Level II provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). This improves the employability of graduates in fields such as Agriculture, Electronics and Trade.

A full 13 years of education will be required for entry into colleges or universities.

For more information on the K to 12 Program, you may refer here.

Private School

Private schools can offer an elevated environment of learning for some students. It is important to visit a school to determine the best fit for you and your child. Most private schools have open days for prospective parents, but it is wise to ask to make an appointment to visit on a normal working day. Questions you may want to ask:


Fees range from school to school so make sure to compare. There are occasional grants and scholarships for worthy students but these are competitive. Inquire at the school for opportunities.

Extra activities like school uniforms or school trips may require additional fees.


Students normally enter university at age 17 and a Bachelor's degree is usually awarded after four years of study. Some Engineering courses take five years to complete.


The following degrees are awarded upon finishing a course:

Colleges and universities also offer graduation with honors - cum laude (with honor), magna cum laude (with great honor) and summa cum laude (with highest honor).


Admission requirements are different for each college or university. Most colleges or universities require an applicant to fill up and submit an application form along with a copy of his/her permanent school record containing grades from the last three high school years before the year of graduation. Some universities also require an applicant to take and pass an entrance exam.

Below is a list of some top universities in Manila:


The National Library of the Philippines is the Philippines' official national library. It is located in a portion of Rizal Park in Ermita, Manila. It is open on weekdays from 8:00 to 17:00. No membership is required but you will need a registered library card to borrow books.

You can find a list of other public libraries here.


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