Historically, in the past, the Philippines was a pioneer in many aspects regarding education in Asia. The oldest universities, colleges, vocational schools and the first modern public education system in Asia were created during the colonial periods. In 1899 one author said when Spain was replaced by the United States as the colonial power, Filipinos were among the most educated subjects in all of Asia. However, Philippine education is no longer the leader in Asia, and is slipping further behind most Asian countries as is shown by its failure to educate about one third of its elementary-aged population.
During the period of governance by the United States, Education in the Philippines changed radically, modeled on the system of education in the United States of the time. After gaining independence in 1946, changes in the US system were no longer automatically reflected in the Philippines, which has since moved in various directions of its own.
Filipino children may enter public school at about age four, starting from nursery up to kindergarten. At about seven years of age, children enter elementary school for six or seven years. This is followed by secondary school, also called as high school, for four years. Students may then sit for College Entrance Examinations (CEE), after which they may enter tertiary institutions for three to five years.
There are other types of schools such as private schools, preparatory schools, International schools, laboratory high schools and science high schools. Several foreign ethnic groups, including Chinese, British, Americans, Koreans, and Japanese operate their own schools.
Though elementary schooling is compulsory, latest official figures show 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. In July 2009 DepEd acted to...