Today in Philippine History, December 20, 1863, Spain promulgated an educational decree for reforming the educational system in the Philippines

   Education history of the Philippines
On December 20, 1863, Spain promulgated an educational decree for reforming the educational system in the Philippines.

During the early Spanish occupation, education for the Filipino people centered on religion and primarily for the elite, especially in the first years of Spanish colonization.

Prior to that, early Filipinos taught their children at home, focusing more on vocational skills than academics. There were also tribal tutors, but there was no structured educational system.

With the enactment of the Educational Decree of 1863, it liberalized access to education, which provided for the establishment of at least one primary school for boys and girls in each town under the responsibility of the municipal government.

There were three grades: "entrada", "acenso", and "termino". The curriculum required the study of Christian doctrine, values and history as well as reading and writing in Spanish, mathematics, agriculture, etiquette, singing, world geography, and Spanish history. Girls were also taught sewing.

The Educational Decree also provided for a normal school run by the Jesuits to educate male teachers in Manila.

Normal schools for women teachers were not established until 1875, in Nueva Caceres.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives

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