Filipinos have deep regard for education. Education occupies a central place in the Philippine economic, political, social and cultural life. It has been strongly viewed as the pillar of national development and a primary avenue for social and economic mobility. A clear evidence of the value placed in education is the proportion of the national government budget going to that sector. The Department of Education is given the highest budget allocation among government agencies each year as required by the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
The 1987 Constitution likewise guarantees the right to education of every Filipino. Laws were passed too to reaffirm this policy of the state: Republic Act 9155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001 and the Republic Act 6655 or the Free Secondary Education Act. The policy of the State and these laws provide children free and compulsory education in the elementary and high school level. This pertains to six years of free tuition fees for children aged 6 to 11, and free four years of secondary schooling for those aged 12 to 15.
However, despite these legal mechanisms, budget prioritization, and increased access Philippine education has been dogged with issues. Among these issues include high dropout rates, high number of repeaters, low passing grades, lack of particular language skills, failure to adequately respond and address the needs of people with special needs, overcrowded classrooms, and poor teacher performances. These problems in turn resulted to a considerable number of illiterate Filipinos and out of school youths and graduates who are not prepared to work.
*Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001 provides the legal basis for the decentralization of basic education management and governance to the level closest to the learners – school and community. The DepEd started the adoption of policy on Principal Empowerment in... [continues]
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