Public Education in the Philippines

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Literacy rate in the Philippines has improved a lot over the last few years- from 72 percent in 1960 to 94 percent in 1990. This is attributed to the increase in both the number of schools built and the level of enrollment in these schools.

The number of schools grew rapidly in all three levels - elementary, secondary, and tertiary. From the mid-1960s up to the early 1990, there was an increase of 58 percent in the elementary schools and 362 percent in the tertiary schools. For the same period, enrollment in all three levels also rose by 120 percent. More than 90 percent of the elementary schools and 60 percent of the secondary schools are publicly owned. However, only 28 percent of the tertiary schools are publicly owned.

A big percentage of tertiary-level students enroll in and finish commerce and business management courses. Table 1 shows the distribution of courses taken, based on School Year 1990-1991. Note that the difference between the number of enrollees in the commerce and business courses and in the engineering and technology courses may be small - 29.2 percent for commerce and business and 20.3 percent for engineering and technology. However, the gap widens in terms of the number of graduates for the said courses.

TABLE 1: TERTIARY ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATION BY FIELD OF STUDY. SY 1990-1991 FIELD OF STUDY ENROLLMENT GRADUATION
No. % No. %
Arts and Sciences 196,711 14.6 29,961 13.6
Teacher Training & Education 242,828 18.0 34,279 15.5
Engineering & Technology 273,408 20.3 32,402 14.7
Medical and Health - related Programs 176,252 13.1 34,868 15.8 Commerce/Business Management 392,958 29.2 79,827 36.1
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery,
and Veterinary Medicine 43,458 3.2 7,390 3.3
Law 20,405 1.5 2,111 1.0
Religion / Theology 1,695 0.1 209 0.1
TOTAL 1,347,715 100.0 221,047 100.0

On gender distribution, female students have very high representation in all three levels. At the...
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