Monroe Commission on Philippine Education

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The Monroe Commission on Philippine Education in the 1920's was composed of 23 educators and education researchers from the U.S. and the Philippines, headed by Paul Monroe, then Director of the International Institute of Teacher's College, Columbia University. The commission visited schools throughout the Philippines, interviewed teachers, observed conditions, and gave educational achievement tests. A total of 32,000 pupils and 1,077 teachers were subjects of the study.

The report, released in 1925, revealed, among others, that most of the problems identified by the commission were attributed to the attempt to create an education system from scratch in just one generation. There was a high demand for education, but the education system could not handle it, and so most students had to wait until they were nine years old to start schooling. There were a lot of 25-year old in the high school. Most students, however, completed only two or three years in elementary school. Ninety-five percent of all students were at the elementary level, and half of these were aged 11 to 13. Some 82% did not go beyond grade 4.

When this report was issued, many critics downplayed the successes identified and focused on the low reading score as an indicator that the education system had failed.


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