Cost of Primary Education in the Philippines

“A child without education is like a bird without wings.” So says a Tibetan proverb. Parents do their best to send their children to school. And while everyone wants to send their kids to the best school to get the best education, cost considerations limit parents options.

In the Philippines, after a child graduates from Kinder, one has to be enrolled to a compulsory Primary Education commonly termed as “Elementary Education” among its locals. In the past years, this only includes 6 years of schooling starting from 7 years old in grade 1 and graduating at the age of 11 or 12 in Grade Six. However, this system was modified when K-12 has been implemented. With this program, the child will need to spend 7 years to complete one’s elementary education. Hence, one has to start Grade 1 by the age of 6 instead of 7.

Grade School Tuition Fees in Philippines

Meanwhile there are 2 types of schools in the Philippines; the public and private schools. Public schools are government-funded while private schools are operated by private organizations. As can be expected, the cost of sending a child to a public school is way much lower than the cost of sending one to a private school – thanks to government providing funds for the operation and maintenance of these schools ensuring the future of our country through its investment on education. Private schools, on the other hand, depend on the amount collected from tuition and other fees for salaries of teachers and employees, construction and maintenance of school facilities and buildings and other operational expenses.

Though public schools allows everybody to study without the need to pay for the tuition fees, many parents still opt to enroll their children to private schools where they can get high quality of education. However, fast learner and science sections in public schools shows to be very competitive when compared to private school students.

Primary School Fees in Philippines
Type of School Tuition Fees Books Notes
Public Schools Free Tuition Fees General Section- Shares common books or copy it from the blackboard. Books have lower quality and different with that used by students from private schools.

Fast Learners and General Section buys their own sets of books. These books are similar with that used by students from private schools. Cost range from $84-$108.

Some teachers will collect minimum amount from parents for school projects. Amount will depend on the proposed project by the PTA or school administrators.

Payment for anitorial fee, monthly supply of mineral water for drinking, etc. This costs around $3-$4 every month.

Private Schools $715-$3,572
This depends on the grade level and the school where one enrols to.
Depending on the child’s grade level. The higher the grade, the more expensive will the cost of the books as well.
They offer academic and athletic scholarships. Discounts range from reduced tuition rates to no tuition fees with free books and uniforms.

Many parents equate the quality of learning to the cost of the education. Hence, they work hard and sacrifice some parts of their families necessities just to send their children to private schools. However, it pays to give credit to public schools known to produce smart students. They even show academic excellence and win in many interschool competitions. Primary students from science and fast learner classes for example were even sent to other countries like Australia where they participate and excel in Math quiz bee and similar competitions.

Tuition Fee for Grade School Public Philippines

No tuition fees are collected in public elementary schools. Anyone who is of age can show up during school registration day to sign up for a slot in a grade level he or she intends to enroll in. For school year 2013-2014, an estimated 14.5 million students were enrolled in public elementary schools nationwide. The biggest perk of enrolling in a public school, of course does not have to pay tuition fees. This means great savings equivalent to the cost of education in private schools. Not collecting tuition, however, means that the school is dependent on whatever budget is given to them by the government for its operation and maintenance. Because of this, most school buildings and structures are already dilapidated. They either lack or have poor school facilities. Class sizes are big. Hence, majority of public schools do not get optimum medium of instruction. This results to poor performance in national standardized tests. While this is a predicament for the vast majority of public school populace, students enrolled in special/ advanced learner classes outperform even the graduates of private schools.

Tuition Fee for Private Elementary School Philippines

Private schools are a totally different story. In a way, you can say that there is a tariff on tuition fees for standard private schools. But even that vary depending on where you live. Tuition in highly urbanized areas is much higher than in the province. Fees may range from 20,000.00 PHP to P100,000.00 PHP per year. Enrolling in premier schools such as Ateneo, La Salle, Assumption, Colegio de San Agustin and Poveda would mean shelling out at least 84,000.00 PHP on tuition fees. But if you may ask, is it all worth it?

Unlike public schools that are dependent on the meager budget it receives from government, collecting tuition gives private schools the freedom to plow back into the school’s operation and maintenance whatever they collect in tuition fees. Thus, they have better infrastructures, more facilities and amenities. Class sizes are not as big as in public schools making it possible for the teacher to follow through on the needs of every student.

Tuition Fee for Grade 7 at Public School in Philippines

With the implementation of the K-12 Educational System, schools in the Philippines are now required to offer grade 7 and senior high school classes. Its implementation has been met with skepticism especially by parents of the working class and families below the poverty line who felt saddled by the added burden of spending for two more years of education before their children can go to college. After grade 6, students will be in junior high school which is from grades 7 to 10. During these years, students will be enrolled in additional courses which will enable them to explore and specialize on a specific technology and livelihood education course. After that, they will be in senior high school where they can enroll in the core subjects of their preference be it academic, sports, art and design and technical vocational livelihood.

As of now Grade 7 tuition fee is currently pegged at the same rate as that of grade 6 level since additional subjects for technology and livelihood education will be taught academically for students to know more about the courses they can specialize on when they reach Grade 9, be it agri-fishery arts, home economics, information and communications technology (ICT) or industrial arts.

14 Responses to “Cost of Primary Education in the Philippines”

  1. manni says:

    hello it is nice to talk to you there ! my son want to get a school in mania so how to reply pls ? if you know pls tell me thank you

  2. Seashells says:

    Inquire from as many schools as you find good and affordable, if they offer scholarships, and where your son can stay or lodge. This can be done by email or snail mail, phone calls, etc.

  3. Thomas says:

    Is it custom to pay for enrol kids on schools and moral character needs to pay If you Change from a private school to a public

  4. Lyn says:

    There is no need to pay for the tuition fee when enrolling your kids in public school. However, private schools require payment and many of them are quite expensive. But, this is in exchange for a more focused learning and higher quality of education. After all, you only get what you have paid for.

    With so many enrollees to public schools, this results to overcrowded classrooms. This makes it hard for teachers to attend to their students. The learners are people of diverse characters, mostly from families with low-income status. And in as much as their teacher wants to address their individual needs ( including shaping good moral values), she can only do so much considering the load that she is handling.

    Bottom line is, moral character is something that has to be developed in our homes. Once you have done well on this part, you won’t worry much about it, regardless if you enroll your kids in a private or public school.

  5. Bill Watkins says:

    I live in the US and have been asked by a Philippine woman to help financially with her son as she claims she is divorced and poor. Since public schools are tuition free and books might be able to be obtained from teachers or previous students, what would an appropriate amount of money be to help? The peso to the $ is about 40 to 1, correct?

  6. Bill Watkins says:

    See above

  7. robert says:

    Hello Sir / Maam : Is there any public school or a place in manila where a student for Grade 11 and 12 can get free education ?

  8. robert says:

    Thank you. Could you guide me with some names of free public schools in manila please ? Thank you

  9. mario coutinho says:

    Hello Sir : What are some names for Free public schools for Garde 11 & Grade 12 in Philippines. Thank you.

  10. Prince Gupta says:

    Even though public schools are free, but still students have to pay for things like uniforms, books and school related activities. Can you tell me, on an average how much does a student has to pay annually to study in a public school?

  11. DJ says:

    you guys are being hoodwinked

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