The paper presents an overview of the performance of the education
sector. It noted that while access improved over the years, internal
efficiency stagnated and the quality gap widens further. The paper also
compared performance across regions and population groups.

The Department of Education (DepEd) regularly monitors a set of
performance indicators that fall along three broad categories: access,
internal efficiency and quality. Access refers to coverage of the
school system and is measured in terms of school enrollment and
participation rates. Internal efficiency refers to the holding capacity
of the school system and is measured by drop out, repetition, cohort
survival and completion rates. Quality is usually equated with learning
achievement and outcome. Apart from the national achievement tests
administered to graduating elementary and secondary students, no other
indicator is used to gauge education outcome and quality.

Over the years, participation rate at the elementary level increased
steadily from 85% in 1991 to 95% in 1997 and almost 97% by 2000. By
2000 also, about 90% of barangays have elementary schools while 99% of
municipalities have secondary schools.

The country's high enrollment rate placed the Philippines among the top
developing countries whose citizens have the most number of years of
schooling, averaging about 7.6 years. Combined enrollment in basic and
tertiary schools is 82 percent of the school-age population. A fifth of
the country's labor force had completed some university education or
had graduated while three out of ten had attended high school.1

It is apparent, however, that the rapid expansion of the school system
proceeded without ensuring the minimum requirements for delivering
quality education. Efficiency and quality have been unduly sacrificed
if only to fulfill the constitutional mandate of free and universal
education at the primary and secondary levels. Thus, it may be said
that Filipinos are well-schooled but poorly educated.

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