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A lot has been said in the past about schools in the West compared with schools in the Philippines, but I don't remember a single thread that was completely dedicated to that topic. So...I would like to see how other members (who have, or have had, children in school here) feel schools here compare to the schools where you come from. I think there are both pros and cons to the educational systems in the Philippines and the West (yes...I know that every country is different).

 

I will start off by giving my perspective. I am basing my comparison on private schools in Cebu as opposed to public schools in the US. This because I believe those are the two options most of us would choose for our children. If you would send your children to public schools in the Philippines or would send them to private schools in the US, then the comparisons would be totally different.

 

From what I have seen (at least where my daughter goes to school), pre-elementary on Cebu is far superior to what is available in the US. My daughter is 3-years-old and in nursery level. She is already able to read simple words and she can count to 20. She can speak (above age-level) in three languages. She can now stay in the lines when coloring, and she has absolutely blossomed in her interactions with adults and other children. She actually spoke (with a microphone) in front of hundreds of children and adults at a school assembly yesterday. Yes...it was short...but how many kids that age would even attempt that? She still has two more years of pre-elementary before she starts first-grade, so I have no idea what she will know by then.

 

I think elementary on Cebu is superior to elementary in the US, at least if you just judge on the sheer amount of knowledge learned. If you judge on how well students think for themselves, then schools in the US are the clear winner. First of all, kids on Cebu have a head start going into elementary because of what they already learned in pre-elementary. Pretty much regardless of where you live, most things that children learn in elementary school are learned by rote (memorization). Having a head start, Filipino kids are already into the rote method, so they continue to do well. However, in elementary schools in the US, children are also encouraged to start thinking for themselves by doing independent projects. They don't do that here. It won't hurt so much in elementary, but in secondary and tertiary (university) levels, it will make a lot of difference in how students perform.

 

At the secondary level, public schools in the US are far superior to private schools in the Philippines. Of course, up until this year, students graduated after four years of secondary school, rather than the six years of instruction students in the US receive. Students simply can't learn as much in four years as they can in six years. Second, even in secondary school in the Philippines, learning tends to be by rote. At that level, memorization is no substitute for learning how to use the knowledge. Most secondary schools in the Philippines don't have much opportunity for students to choose what they want to learn. Education here is strictly cookie cutter. Students are sorted into groups in the beginning of secondary, and then all students in that group take the same classes and learn the same things all the way through school to graduation. From my perspective, that isn't what secondary education should be all about. It should prepare students to find their place in the world...not prepare them to become unthinking cogs in a wheel.

 

Many people have said a university degree in the Philippines is about equivalent to a high school degree in the US. I wouldn't go that far, but a bachelors degree in the Philippines is probably equivalent to an associates degree in the US. The first two years of college here are used to catch up to where students in other countries are at high school graduation. Unfortunately, even at the university level, the cookie cutter method is still prevalent. My wife has a BS in elementary education (with an emphasis in science and math). She went all the way through college (every class) with the same group of students she started with. With a system like that, you get very homogenous product. If the curriculum and teaching are good, then you get a good product throughout. If the curriculum and teaching are poor (as they are here), then you get a poor product throughout.

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I believe there is something else besides school that helps expat kids here, and that is, the father and mother are present 24/7.

In Australia, I was always away earning the mighty dollar, seeing my kids for maybe 2 hours each day (most of which was watching TV together.)

I'm sure that this constant contact with dad is a big start.

 

KonC

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I believe there is something else besides school that helps expat kids here, and that is, the father and mother are present 24/7.

In Australia, I was always away earning the mighty dollar, seeing my kids for maybe 2 hours each day (most of which was watching TV together.)

I'm sure that this constant contact with dad is a big start.

 

KonC

 

Having Dad around (or Mom for that matter) is huge for children. I agree. But I will be around whether we are living in the Philippines or in the US. I'm retired...and we can live pretty much wherever we wish. I really don't see where that enters the equation of discussing and ranking educational systems. If the father is retired, he will be retired wherever they live. If not, he will still have to spend time earning money...regardless of where the family lives. And, in today's world, the mother may also have to work...regardless of where they live.

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The reason I added that comment on dad being around 24/7 is that I would think that most of the members with kids here are retired and have experience "back home" when they were seldom with their kids due to work pressures.

 

At least in the first preschool years, dad being around makes an enormous difference.

 

KonC

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The reason I added that comment on dad being around 24/7 is that I would think that most of the members with kids here are retired and have experience "back home" when they were seldom with their kids due to work pressures.

 

At least in the first preschool years, dad being around makes an enormous difference.

 

KonC

 

OK. Agreed...but the topic is on schools.

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Majorsco

I have two kids, both in private school here.  Both were born in the US and we moved to the Philippines.  My daughter attended nursery school and kindergarten in the US.  My son did his nursery school here in the Philippines on up.

 

When my daughter was entered into the private school here, we put her in first grade, which is where we expected she'd be.  She did well in the US kindergarten, but as it turned out she was well behind the kids and we put her back a year into kinder 2.  Seeing her performance it was the right decision as it wasn't the local language holder back.  She was unprepared in reading, math, science, just about everything though she knew her shapes, colors, and numbers.

 

My kids are now in grade 5 and grade 2 respectively and doing well.  I have no issues with the instructional material, as with the exception that it is  a religious school, so there is that extra focus, they are reading, writing, doing math, and science at acceptable levels.  Of course, they're not learning much history and geography, since the Philippines doesn't do much on that, so I'm filling in, but for the 3R's the Philippine schools seem to be better, at least for us.

 

Can't speak personally about college yet.  My nieces and nephews have gone to the local college, but I haven't talked extensively about them.  I've met and talked to the local director of the college nautical and engineering program (retired Coast Guard Commodore) and they seem to be structured well, at least in that program, but then, that's one that the Philippines excel at.  I've also talked extensively with the regional CHED rep for those same programs when he comes out to inspect the school programs in Dapitan and Dipolog.  Yes, the government education dept goes out and inspects regularly and discuss the program status.  They're very proactive in that way.   He comes about every two months.  I know him, not because of his professional work, but because he's my niece's boyfriend and father of her child.

 

I've heard that the upper level colleges, such as the top 10, are on par internationally for four degrees.  There are many others that are probably more like associate degree type schools.  So it's hard to make a hard and fast that colleges and universities are just equivalent to associate degrees.  The old equivalency issue is now gone which was keeping Bachelors holders down because of their elementary and high school years.  Now, they'll be more on par based on the quality of the schools.

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We have a ten year old in the 4th. grade. She started school here in the Ph. She is a good student and goes to a private school. Good at math. 

Because of some physical problem with me we had to go to the U.S. in july of 2014. so i could see a good doctor and use my Medical ins.

So we took her with us to Brentwood California and enrolled her in to a public school. At first she had some problem with math because of the way the problems were given. The problems were mostly problem solving and the student have to think and learn how to figure out the proper procedures with the problem. Unlike here where the problems are laid out easily wether it is addition, subtraction or multiplications it is present in a way where the student would just do the addition etc. The students in the U.S. more or less work in a leisurely manner. 

They have more activity here in the Ph. and i do not see how some have anything to do with education. 

I would say the elementary education in the U.S. is geared toward college and preparing the student to better cope with society.

I think there are good schools here and not too good also. Depending upon where one live.

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rainymike

Have kids from nursery to grade 3. So I'll limit my observations to that rather than make assumptions beyond that.

 

The Philippines has embarked upon a rigorous curriculum reform. I'll throw up some of the competencies in another thread so we don't wander off topic. The change has been pretty intense in the first several grades - ranging in everything from use of mother tongue to additional school years to rather explicit learning outcomes dictated by the Dep't of Ed and legislature and to intensive testing. Time to implement was rapid in the public schools and private schools moved at a slightly slower rate. 

 

This year, the changes were more fully implemented at the schools that my two boys attend. What I observed was typical of any school making massive changes. Teachers were trying to play catch up, textbooks were not well suited for the earliest grades (the first grader really struggled with texts that were almost the same as our third grader), the school seems to be struggling between balancing testing, teaching, and other activities (there does not seem to be enough time). And of course parents were thrown in the mix to help patch up all the cracks in this massive undertaking.

 

It made my partner and I nuts at times. But things are slowly falling into place. My general observations as a parent sending kids to school here are as follows

 

1. It's less relevant that schools here are better or worse than anywhere else. It's probably more relevant trying to understand what the school/country is doing and defining what your role as a parent is going to be. I think if you do that well - between the school and yourself and additional aids, the quality of education can be very good.

 

2. The curriculum appears cloned off of similar curricula in the states tied to the common core. In essence the Phils has mandated a common core across the board for the country. And the schools are playing catch up to play that game. On one hand that's good. Standards are comparable to those in developed countries and there is a uniform national standard. On the other hand, it's still in its early shake down stages and implementation of that curriculum varies considerably from school to school and even teacher to teacher. In this state of adjustment it's probably more useful for the parent to try to evaluate where the school's weaknesses are and shore them up to the best of their ability - whether its partial home study or hiring tutors. It's has been far less useful for me to wallow in sweeping generalizations that don't lead to solutions. Yeah, I do shake my head sometimes, but it doesn't help the kid if you defeat yourself from the get go rather than taking a more proactive approach.

 

3. Judging by the broad nature of the curricular changes, I'd say that the country is on the right track. And it is an ambitious and rigorous track. The downside is that maybe it'll take a good decade for all the mandates to be adopted and implemented well. And in that period of time my kids are caught up in that change. The upside is that the kids are living in interesting times and the educational system of old is slowly falling apart. I'm actually glad to be in the middle of all this - seeing how a country tries to move to the next level. It's exciting times, but a curse as well on parents who want to be engaged.

 

4. If I were head of the Education Department, I think I would have done the same thing. Innovate new curriculum for the future and let the principals and teachers learn to adapt to it. To reform an entire country, I think the top-down approach was necessary. But for the fine-tuning and implementation of the new curriculum - good schools and parents will figure out how to implement the changes from the bottom-up. It is in my opinion quite a radical move for the country. I'm not sure that the legislators fully understood the scope of the changes they approved. Although not perfect ... it is a move in the right direction.

 

5. Discussing the education system of old is less productive to me. The changes are in motion. Smart parents and kids will try to take advantage of that. It's not easy, but I always liked being cursed with living in interesting times. Most of the tutors we currently use are young and recently out of school. I don't think they all fit into the mold that many try to cast them in. Lot of them are smart kids who will become great teachers in my opinion. And I like being a parent engaged in the child's education - which the private schools here seem to really push.

 

6. Asia of old used to be heavily tilted toward memorization. I think it's the Confucian model of education. But Asia is waking up. When it comes to critical thinking they are slowly outpacing the western world in many rankings. The Phils has been slow to get into the game, but it does appear serious now.

 

Bottom line. Despite the challenges these changes will bring, I'm quite comfortable raising my kids here. There is minimal value in looking at what the educational system used to be. It's in the midst of change. Probably more productive to look forward. I think the DepEd has learned from their experiments like the science high schools and have decided that there's no reason for all schools to rise to that level. And if us old folks keep dragging the kids of tomorrow into the mindsets of the past, we ought to get out of their way.

 

There are opportunities for quality education out there. It doesn't have to be the biggest and most expensive private schools. But in these times, parents will need to steer their kids towards them. And parents need to lift their kids up, and not drag them down because the going gets tough sometimes.

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OK. Agreed...but the topic is on schools.

 

the topic is on schools, but honestly if you don't think that the parents play more of a role in educating their children then think again.

 

most of the problem with schools is that some parents believe its the only education the students need. depending on the govt to educate your child if foolish 

 

I think rainymikes point was dead on. its because more parent involvement in the Philippine from children of foreigners.

 

how many kids have one or both parents home all day with them to move along their education? do you know of any in the usa? are the kids smarter?

 

most of my family in the Philippines is in public education. of her 6 siblings (7 total children) 5 were valedictorians. they only went to school 2 days a week because they lived 10 km from school and didn't have money for transport, yes they walked back and forth 2 times a week. but her mother was a Nazi about education and those kids had 2 choices, learn or die! 

 

fortunately all of the grandchildren are living in the same compound with grandmother and they get the same results for this generation. school comes 1st, then chores than sleep. hardly any "me" time is allowed. now my stepdaughter is in a private homeschool with the church and far exceeds anyone in her age group, but she has cousins in public school that are just as sharp and have to study their ass off to keep up the valedictorian tradition........... and its expected!!

 

if more people were like you and involved with their children's education we would have much better results as a community and an overall world.

 

bottom line is school are okay for teaching but it mostly comes from home...............IMHO

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the school seems to be struggling between balancing testing, teaching, and other activities (there does not seem to be enough time). And of course parents were thrown in the mix to help patch up all the cracks in this massive undertaking.

 

First of all, I want to say that your comments are right on the money about education in the Philippines changing for the better, but tradition is a difficult thing to break. Tradition in the Philippines puts a very high priority on extra-curricular activities (mostly based on singing and/or dancing). I completely agree that schools are seeing a time crunch in trying to provide time for teaching, testing and activities.

 

Unfortunately, I see most schools emphasizing activities and testing over teaching, which seem ass-backwards to me. If something has to go because there isn't enough time for everything, it should be the activities...NOT teaching. This society is centered on entertainment, which is why activities play such a prominent role. In addition to activities taking away from teaching time, they tend to cost parents money (since schools require parents to buy or make costumes for each performance...which will never be worn again).

 

the topic is on schools, but honestly if you don't think that the parents play more of a role in educating their children then think again.

 

Reread my post. I never said parents don't play the primary role in their child's education. They do. The more time parents are able to spend helping their child to learn, the better that child's education will be. It does absolutely no good to send a child to a good school if the parents aren't willing or able to spend time working with their child.

 

However, if all things are equal (and parents can devote just as much time in either location), then how does an education here (at each level) stack up to an education in your home country? That was the question posed in the OP.

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First of all, I want to say that your comments are right on the money about education in the Philippines changing for the better, but tradition is a difficult thing to break. Tradition in the Philippines puts a very high priority on extra-curricular activities (mostly based on singing and/or dancing). I completely agree that schools are seeing a time crunch in trying to provide time for teaching, testing and activities.

 

Unfortunately, I see most schools emphasizing activities and testing over teaching, which seem ass-backwards to me. If something has to go because there isn't enough time for everything, it should be the activities...NOT teaching. This society is centered on entertainment, which is why activities play such a prominent role. In addition to activities taking away from teaching time, they tend to cost parents money (since schools require parents to buy or make costumes for each performance...which will never be worn again).

 

 

Reread my post. I never said parents don't play the primary role in their child's education. They do. The more time parents are able to spend helping their child to learn, the better that child's education will be. It does absolutely no good to send a child to a good school if the parents aren't willing or able to spend time working with their child.

 

However, if all things are equal (and parents can devote just as much time in either location), then how does an education here (at each level) stack up to an education in your home country? That was the question posed in the OP.

I think they are equal up until 10th grade but I feel the culture here is better suited for survival. Most of the kids I see here play well with others and don't bully as much in usa. The kids are almost forced to be more outgoing with all of the non educational activites.

 

Hopefully the 11th & 12th grades recently added will be more challenging and these kids will have a real chance to learn and excel.

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My almost 5 daughter has started full time school in Australia after going to kindergarten in the province in PI for 12 months. She is considerably more advanced in writing, maths and reading than the others. She loves the school as they spend more time on creative subjects such as modelling, music etc. than they do in the PI.

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It's less relevant that schools here are better or worse than anywhere else. It's probably more relevant trying to understand what the school/country is doing and defining what your role as a parent is going to be. I think if you do that well - between the school and yourself and additional aids, the quality of education can be very good.

Bingo!

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broden

i won't say all cause i am not 100% sure of it

 

but well over 90% of the credits my wife earned in college in the Philippines back in the day have been accepted and credited by different colleges she has attended here in the states

 

i think there was one she had to take a test on to prove her knowledge but i can't remember what subject it was.. that was several years ago

 

luckily my wife knows her stuff and could  pass any testing sent her way anyway

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Wolfpack

A lot has been said in the past about schools in the West compared with schools in the Philippines, but I don't remember a single thread that was completely dedicated to that topic. So...I would like to see how other members (who have, or have had, children in school here) feel schools here compare to the schools where you come from. I think there are both pros and cons to the educational systems in the Philippines and the West (yes...I know that every country is different).

 

I will start off by giving my perspective. I am basing my comparison on private schools in Cebu as opposed to public schools in the US. This because I believe those are the two options most of us would choose for our children. If you would send your children to public schools in the Philippines or would send them to private schools in the US, then the comparisons would be totally different.

 

From what I have seen (at least where my daughter goes to school), pre-elementary on Cebu is far superior to what is available in the US. My daughter is 3-years-old and in nursery level. She is already able to read simple words and she can count to 20. She can speak (above age-level) in three languages. She can now stay in the lines when coloring, and she has absolutely blossomed in her interactions with adults and other children. She actually spoke (with a microphone) in front of hundreds of children and adults at a school assembly yesterday. Yes...it was short...but how many kids that age would even attempt that? She still has two more years of pre-elementary before she starts first-grade, so I have no idea what she will know by then.

 

I think elementary on Cebu is superior to elementary in the US, at least if you just judge on the sheer amount of knowledge learned. If you judge on how well students think for themselves, then schools in the US are the clear winner. First of all, kids on Cebu have a head start going into elementary because of what they already learned in pre-elementary. Pretty much regardless of where you live, most things that children learn in elementary school are learned by rote (memorization). Having a head start, Filipino kids are already into the rote method, so they continue to do well. However, in elementary schools in the US, children are also encouraged to start thinking for themselves by doing independent projects. They don't do that here. It won't hurt so much in elementary, but in secondary and tertiary (university) levels, it will make a lot of difference in how students perform.

 

At the secondary level, public schools in the US are far superior to private schools in the Philippines. Of course, up until this year, students graduated after four years of secondary school, rather than the six years of instruction students in the US receive. Students simply can't learn as much in four years as they can in six years. Second, even in secondary school in the Philippines, learning tends to be by rote. At that level, memorization is no substitute for learning how to use the knowledge. Most secondary schools in the Philippines don't have much opportunity for students to choose what they want to learn. Education here is strictly cookie cutter. Students are sorted into groups in the beginning of secondary, and then all students in that group take the same classes and learn the same things all the way through school to graduation. From my perspective, that isn't what secondary education should be all about. It should prepare students to find their place in the world...not prepare them to become unthinking cogs in a wheel.

 

Many people have said a university degree in the Philippines is about equivalent to a high school degree in the US. I wouldn't go that far, but a bachelors degree in the Philippines is probably equivalent to an associates degree in the US. The first two years of college here are used to catch up to where students in other countries are at high school graduation. Unfortunately, even at the university level, the cookie cutter method is still prevalent. My wife has a BS in elementary education (with an emphasis in science and math). She went all the way through college (every class) with the same group of students she started with. With a system like that, you get very homogenous product. If the curriculum and teaching are good, then you get a good product throughout. If the curriculum and teaching are poor (as they are here), then you get a poor product throughout.

 

So far, I have only experienced grade 1 (currently) and pre-school here in the Philippines...but so far, the edge goes to the Philippines...

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