Education improves the quality of life by enabling literate people to promote health, expand access to paid employment, increase productivity in market and non-market work, and facilitate social and political participation. As such, it is a basic human right that should be equally accessible to all.
The types of education offered in this country are classified into three: Basic Education, Middle Education or Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education. There have been recent changes in the Philippine Education System because of the passage of the Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, which necessitates a coordinated and holistic approach to education due to the introduction of the K to 12 Program. K to 12 is a program that covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education to provide adequate time for skills and concepts proficiency, develop lifelong learners, and prepare students for tertiary education.
In recent research 28 million Filipinos 1 are enrolled nationwide in public and private educational institutions from academic year 2016-2017 alone. This means that students, whether in basic, middle or higher education, comprise to around 27% of the entire population of the Philippines in the given year.
The Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Republic Act No. 10931, known as the ‘Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017’ was enacted to subsidize free tuition and other school fees in state universities and colleges, local universities and colleges and state-run technical-vocational institutions.
For the academic year 2018-2019, the subsidy benefited 655,083 women and 477,897 men. Of the 655,083 women, 28.37% or 185,874 are graduating while 8.87% or 58,125 are in their 3rd year 2. In addition, 8,057 of these women are categorized under persons with disability, in which they get another 50% of the annual benefit in addition to the regular allocation. Further, national government efforts to increase women’s access to retention and completion of education in technical and vocational education and training have been undertaken through TESDA scholarship program which caters and responds to challenges faced by women and girls in various poor communities. Based on TESDA’s report, these programs have produced a total of 1,733,646 graduates from 2014-2018.
Why prioritize this sector?
Educating women is imperative because it enables women to participate in the labor force and allows them to sustain herself and the needs of her family. This stems from the fact that in modern Filipino families, both husband and wife should engage in productive work to earn enough for their family’s needs.
Education has been a facilitating factor towards women’s economic empowerment. A mother’s level of education has been found to create positive educational outcomes for her children since she is primarily assigned in rearing of children. Educated women build smaller families, with lower rate of children dying in infancy; hence, surviving children are given better access to education. Furthermore, educated mothers lead a better quality life for their children.
1 Estimate figure based from the data gathered from CHED, TESDA, and Rappler for year 2017. Rappler was cited due to absence of online data from DepEd.
2 Beijing Platform for Action +25 (2019). CHED inputs.