Every once in a while, my OFS team and I talk about our kids.
Most of mine are older than most of theirs…but not all. I have 5, with a 19yr old and an 8 year old. That’s a big span.

My OFS Julia mentioned recently that her daughter would be starting high school this year. I thought this was kind of weird because I knew her daughter had just turned 12. In the US, 12 and 13-year-olds go to middle school and start high school when they’re 14-15.

In the Philippines, it’s normal to start high school when you’re 12 or 13. They don’t have middle school, so the kids go immediately to high school. Like here, you finish high school in 4 years. But they can’t go to college or start working right out of high school. They have to go to senior high school first.

Senior high school is a recent development in the Philippines. This was the result of the K to 12 Basic Education Program instituted back in 2012. The program was meant to help improve the quality of education by introducing universal kindergarten and learning tracks.

Another aim was to ensure that students could enter the workforce with only a (senior) high school diploma.

What makes senior high school different from regular high school? Senior high school is when students choose what track they want to pursue.

Finishing that track means that you should have basic skills that could get you hired right away in your chosen field.

Having these tracks is also meant to improve the quality of college education in the Philippines. If you’ve completed the basic track in senior high school, you should be able to specialize or take on more complicated concepts in college.

Filipinos can register for an Onlinejobs.ph account when they turn 18. That’s when most of them would finish senior high school. Yet, most people you find have a college degree because it’s so important in their culture.

The Philippines government is really invested in improving their education and economy in the coming years.