Education in the Philippines is managed and regulated by the Department of Education, commonly referred to as the DepEd in the country. The Department of Education controls the Philippine education system, including the curriculum used in schools and the allocation of funds. It also regulates the construction of schools and other educational facilities and the recruitment of teachers and staff. Before Philippine independence in 1946, the country’s education system was patterned on the system of its colonial powers, Spainand the United States. However, after Philippine independence, its educational system changed radically. Until 2011, the basic education system was composed of six years of elementary education starting at the age of 6, and four years of high school education starting at the age of 12.
Further education was provided by technical or vocational schools, or in higher education institutions such as universities. Although the 1987 Constitution stated that elementary education was compulsory, this was never enforced. In 2011, the country started to transition from its old 10-year basic educational system to a K-12 educational system, as mandated by the Department of Education. The new 12-year system is now compulsory, along with the adoption of new curriculum for all schools (see 2010s and the K-12 program). The transition period will end with the 2017-2018 school year, which is the graduation date for the first group of students who entered the new educational system.
All public schools in the Philippines must start classes on the date mandated by the Department of Education (usually the first Monday of June), and must end after each school completes the mandated 200-day school calendar organized by the Department of Education (usually around the third week of March to the second week of April). Private schools are not obliged to abide by a specific date, but must open classes no later than the last week of August.
Tertiary schools in the Philippines has varied grading systems. Most universities [including institutes and colleges], particularly public institutions, follow the grade point system scale of 5.00 – 1.00, in which 1.00 is the highest grade and 5.00 is the lowest possible grade. Some universities may follow the 1.000 – 4.000 grading system. Patterned after American universities. This system uses the 4.0 grade point equivalence as the highest grade, while 1.0 grade point equivalence is considered the lowest possible grade. 0.0 grade point equivalence is considered a failing mark. The General Weighted Average is a representation (often numerical) of the overall scholastic standing of students used for evaluation. GWA is based on the grades in all subjects taken at a particular level including subjects taken outside of the curriculum. Representation of the subjects taken only in a specific curriculum is called the Curriculum Weighted Average (CWA).
Education in the United States is provided by public schools and private schools. Public education is universally available, with control and funding coming from the state, local, and federal government. Publicschool curricula, funding, teaching, employment, and other policies are set through locally elected school boards, who have jurisdiction over individual school districts. State governments set educational standards and mandate standardized tests for public school systems.[clarification needed] Private schools are generally free to determine their own curriculum and staffing policies, with voluntary accreditation available through independent regional accreditation authorities. 88% of school-age children attend public schools, 9% attend private schools, and nearly 3% are homeschooled.
Education is compulsory over an age range starting between five and eight and ending somewhere between ages sixteen and eighteen, depending on the state. This requirement can be satisfied in public schools, state-certified private schools, or an approved home school program. In most schools, education is divided into three levels: elementary school, middle or junior high school, and high school. Children are usually divided by age groups into grades, ranging from kindergarten and first grade for the youngest children, up to twelfth grade as the final year of high school. There are also a large number and wide variety of publicly and privately administered institutions of higher education throughout the country.