Education in the Philippines fares poorly compared with other countries in the region. In 1908, the University of the Philippines was chartered, representing the first comprehensive public university in the nation’s history. Before 1994, the overseer of all higher education institutions was the Bureau of Higher Education, a division of the former Department of Education, Culture and Sports. The concept of mass education was relatively new, an offshoot of the 18th century Age of Enlightenment. Describing this new generation of highly educated Filipinos, Fr. The Observatory published typhoon and climatological observations and studies, including the first typhoon warnings, a service that was highly appreciated by the business community, specially those involved in merchant shipping. France was the first country in the world to create a system of mass, public education in 1833. PhD degrees in the Philippines, also known as a Doctor of Philosophy, involve a great deal of coursework, as well as a dissertation that may comprise from one-fifth to one-third of the final grade. Higher education institutions can apply for volunteer accreditation through CHED—a system modeled after the regional accreditation system used in the United States. Certain bachelor degree programs take five years rather than four years to complete, including programs in agriculture, pharmacy and engineering. Agricultural schools and monitoring stations, run by professors who were agricultural engineers, were also established in Isabela, Ilocos, Albay, Cebú, Iloílo, Leyte and parts of Mindanao. Spanish friars and missionaries educated the natives through religion with the aim of converting indigenous populations to the Catholic faith. Paaralang Elementarya or elementary education is the first part of the educational system, and it includes the first six years of compulsory education from grade 1 to 6, with an optional 7th grade offered by some schools. Spanish education played a major role in that transformation. It included subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, natural history, agriculture, topography, linear and topography drawing. Several educated Filipinos referred to as ilustrados began movements directed towards change in the system of government in the Philippines. The Philippines’ Professional Regulation Commission regulates programs for 38 different professions and administers their respective licensure examinations. By the 1890s, free public secondary schools were opening outside of Manila, including 10 normal schools for women. Modern public school education was introduced in Spain only in 1857. While Manila, the capital and largest city in the Philippines, boasts a primary school completion rate of nearly 100 percent, other areas of the country, including Mindanao and Eastern Visayas, have a primary school completion rate of only 30 percent or less. In the present day, the United States continues to influence the Philippines education system, as many of the country’s teachers and professors have earned advanced degrees from United States universities. Traditionally, the government has found it difficult to fully fund the entire education system. Schooling at the secondary level spans four years in duration, grades 7-10, beginning at age 12 or 13 and culminating at age 16 or 17. The Spanish at first viewed the Philippines as a stepping-stone to the riches of the East Indies (Spice Islands), but, even after the Portuguese and Dutch had foreclosed that possibility, the Spanish still maintained their presence in the archipelago. Gunnar Myrdal, a renowned Swedish economist, observed that in 19th-century Asia, Japan and Spanish Philippines stood out because of their stress on modern public education. Students who complete a minimum of four years of education at any one of the country’s secondary schools typically receive a diploma, or Katibayan, from their high school. Today’s system has been shaped by the Philippines’ colonial and post-war history. In 1610 Tomas Pinpin a Filipino printer, writer and publisher, who is sometimes referred as the "Patriarch of Filipino Printing", wrote his famous Librong Pagaaralan nang manga Tagalog nang Uicang Castilla, that was meant to help Filipinos learn the Spanish language. Philippine education system was focused on in Chapter II. Free access to modern public education by all Filipinos was made possible through the enactment of the Education Decree of December 20, 1863 by Queen Isabella II. The Jesuits also founded the Colegio de San José (1601) and took over the management of a school that became the Escuela Municipal (1859, later renamed Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1865, now the Ateneo de Manila University). Throughout the nineteenth century the Society established an academy of design, financed the publication of scientific and technical literature, and granted awards to successful experiments and inventions that improved agriculture and industry. Most PhD programs span two to four years beyond the Master’s degree, not counting the time it takes to complete the dissertation. There was oral and written literature. In 1590, the Universidad de San Ignacio was founded in Manila by the Jesuits, initially as the Colegio-Seminario de San Ignacio. However, many of the private secondary schools in the country have competitive entrance requirements, usually based on an entrance examination score. Major subjects include maths, science, English, Filipino and social sciences. 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