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Schooling for the kids

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For anybody with children, one of the major concerns when moving to a new place is the quality of the schools. Let’s face it, education is very important, and a good education is the only thing that sets our kids apart and enables them to get good employment as they enter adulthood.

Because of this, giving my kids a good education was something that I looked into carefully before deciding to move to the Philippines. After all, when I moved here, I had three kids at the ages of 8 years old, 5 years old, and one month old! At those ages, eduction has to be considered.

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The thing that you should keep in mind if this is a consideration for you is that there are schools of any quality level available here. Public schools in the Philippines, in my opinion, are not to be considered. The quality of education at most public schools here is not very good. They lack text books – many kids have to share, or use photocopies of textbooks! We always read in the newspapers about public school teachers who have gone months without being paid. If somebody is working months with no pay, how good of a job do you think they are continuing to do? It’s not that I have anything against any school teachers here, but rather it is the government that fails to allot adequate resources for the education of the children in public schools.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of private schools available in any town in the Philippines. Private schools are available for any budget you can imagine. I choose to send my children to Ateneo de Davao, which is, in my opinion, the best private school in Davao City. It is a school operated by the Catholic Church, and while I am not Catholic myself, Children of any religion are welcome. The quality of education in the Ateneo system (they have schools all around the Philippines) is excellent. Most people here consider the cost of Ateneo to be quite high, but they also think it is worth the cost. For me, I consider it quite affordable. I have three kids in Ateneo de Davao, and the cost is about $1,200 per year for each student. So, less than $150 per month. I consider it a steal. When I compare the education level of my kids compared to their cousins in the States, I feel my kids are ahead. That’s a good feeling!

By the way, did you know that in the Philippines, there is only 10 years of school as opposed to 12 in the States? That’s right. The kids are in elementary school from 1st through 6th grade, then enter high school for 4 years. There is no middle school, junior high, or whatever it is called in your district. The kids to go for a longer school day, though. My kids are at school by 7am, and get home around 4pm or so.

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Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hi Macky – nice to see your comment. I agree with you that it might be a good thing for Steve's kids to take a few college classes here before going abroad to study. That kind of gives them a foothold into college life, and does so on a budget! It's a good idea to check that the school they will attend is accredited in the US System. For example Ateneo is accredited, and all credits earned there may be transferred to a US school.

macky p
14 years ago

wish i knew the answer to steve's question. but in my case, i graduated high school in davao and took some college units (also in dava) before going to a university in the states. it was very easy to transfer, all i needed was my transcript of records from the university of the philippines and papers showing i could legally study in the US (i'm a US permanent resident/green card holder…im not even a US citizen). that was all they needed. actually, taking some basic college classes here like math may actually save you some money before attending college in… Read more »

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hi Steve – It is my understanding that they would not have to take a GED or do anything in the States. They will get a high school diploma when the graduate high school here in the Philippines. If anybody has other information, please share it, but that is my understanding. One of my kids is very interested in attending college in the USA. I expect he will have to take an SAT test or something of the sort and fill out an application for the school, but nothing else.

Glad you are enjoying my Mindanao blog!

Steve
Steve
14 years ago

My children are in a good private school in Palawan and I've always been interested to know if after they graduate in 10 years, do they have to take the GED test in the US to be able to attend college? Even to get a job in the US, they need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. I just found Mindanao.com and enjoy very much your blog. Thanks

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hi Jul – thanks for visiting this blog too! I agree with you, kids in the States don't appreciate the excellent schools there. I guess I can't blame them, they know nothing different! It would be good if kids at maybe 13 or 14 could take a trip to places like Mindanao or other areas where people struggle. It would open their eyes to what they have. Such a trip would be very valuable – worth at least a couple years of schooling in terms of things learned.

jul
jul
14 years ago

You picked one of the best school systems in the country, Bob! And I agree with you that your kids can compete with their cousins who are educated in the US. With my exposure to the public school system in the US I wish that american children will value their education and more importantly, show positive behavior in the class. They seem to take things for granted. If only they know how children from poor countries struggle to get a good education… As always, thanks for showcasing Mindanao.

jul
jul
14 years ago

I agree with you, Bob. Your kids are at par with the kids here as I said earlier written in this topic. With their Ateneo education, I'm pretty sure that they'll be fine when they come to the States. They don't even need tutors ! My exposure to the public school system here gave me such confidence to say so. As far as college degrees being accredited here, I think it has something to do with the college or university the person has previously attended to in the Phils. Ateneo schools, DLSU system and UP and other reputable private institutions… Read more »

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Hi jul – thanks for your reassurance on that. I have high confidence in Ateneo myself!

Bob
Bob
14 years ago

Lalen – I feel pretty strongly that my kids are at least on par with their US cousins. In comparing where they stand in their studies, they are at the same place, or even ahead of their same age cousins in the States. Now, we have them enrolled in the best school available, we also have a full time tutor working for us that spends time daily with each of our four kids. Maybe these are the things that are making a difference in their education.

Lalen Sparks
Lalen Sparks
14 years ago

Hi Bob. I do have a comment about the school. I believe that you are slightly wrong about the schooling system in PI. When you said that "you feel that your kids are advance by attending private school over there. Most of the students that studied in PI and go to US are always behind in studies. I believe that studies in the US iare still far more advanced. Especially people that come here to become nurses and doctors, despite the fact that they had attained a college degree in PI for Medical schooling, their degree over there is considered… Read more »

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