Through the years, Science education in the Philippines has undergone modification and been further strengthened to attune it to the changing environment and keep up with the latest developments in the field, as well as to develop “scientific literacy” among the Filipinos to enable them to participate actively and effectively in modern society.
Science curriculum in the elementary level
Science is taught as an integrated subject called “Science and Health” because it is believed that skills and concepts taught in Science complement the lessons in Health. Knowledge, competencies and attitudes are developed in the first grade, from the more fundamental and simple ones to the more detailed and compound when the students reach the higher grades. The curriculum focuses on the understanding of how science relates to everyday life; development of comprehension of the environment, gaining science skills, attitudes and values important to explain everyday problems; and the advancement of knowledge, attitudes, values, and behavior essential to the individual, family and community health. The lectures are complemented with process-oriented and activity-based learning experiences that further emphasize the development of skills necessary in discovering and organizing knowledge.
Some chemistry-related concepts are identified. Lessons on the form and properties of matter start in the third grade. In the fourth grade, changes in state and the use of appropriate terms to describe these changes are discussed. Grade 5 Science, on the other hand, includes chemical pollution in air and water and separation and recovery of the components of seawater. In Grade 6, pupils study the particulate nature of matter and how new materials are formed.
Science curriculum in high school
The secondary Science curriculum was designed to (1) provide the students with basic knowledge and skills in the sciences and technology, (2) encourage them to opt for a science or science-oriented career, and (3) create in them an awareness of science and technology in everyday life. It also aims to inculcate in the students the importance of ingenuity and thorough research through investigatory projects and experiments.
Science subjects in high school are alloted 80 minutes of class time to allow students to accomplish an experiment/practical activity within the period. High school Science classes make use not only of textbooks but also laboratory manuals.
In the freshman year, students deal with General Science which covers basic concepts in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The subject also tackles Earth Science (Geology) focusing on environmental phenomena and problems.
Second year Science―Biology―focuses on the study of the living natural world and its many applications to daily life. Students take part in activities where they make products from raw materials available in the community. The desired learning competencies include a knowledge of the chemical basis of life - a study of biochemicals.
Science and Technology III (Chemistry) involves the study of chemistry concepts and principles to understand familiar scientific events and related technologies. It also presents health and environmental issues and problems arising from chemistry-related applications and procedures.
Science and Technology IV focuses on Physics, from Mechanics to Modern Physics. The course adopts the historical and humanistic approach in presenting scientific theories, emphasizing the social relevance of technological development at the same time.
Current problems and issues
The current state of Science education in the country, particularly in the basic education level, is not at par with the other countries, as seen in the results of international surveys and quiz bees. The most common problem of the education system in general is the lack of budget. Science teachers, especially in public schools, receive low wages. Essential equipment and instructional materials to further the students’ learning, are either in short supply or lacking. Large class sizes is another major problem, since the teacher can only handle so many students.
Teacher-related factors also come in, like the lack of teachers teaching the subjects, and the confidence of the teacher with the subject he/she is teaching. These likely contribute to the deterioration of Science education in the country.
“Brain drain” is seen as a contributory factor because some of the best Filipino scientists and science academicians pursue their careers abroad rather than stay in the country and promote scientific knowledge and education.
- Science Education Institute
- Formal education in the Philippines
- Secondary education
- Primary education
- Orleans, Antriman V. The Condition of Secondary School Physics Education in the Philippines: Recent Developments and Remaining Challenges for Substantive Improvements. The Australian Education Researcher Vol. 34 No. 1, April 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
- Sorza, Rexcel John. ‘Science Culture’ Needed in Philippine Science Education. 25 January 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
- Chemical Education in the Philippines (Chemistry Education in the elementary and secondary levels). Retrieved 14 July 2009.
- Batomalaque, Antonio. Basic Science Development Program of the Philippines for International Cooperation. Retrieved 14 July 2009.