The Grey Chronicles


Relative Hardship in Iligan? Part VII

This is the seventh part of my previous post on a quest of a suitable figure for Iligan City’s Relative Hardship for 2005. This installment considers education conditions. Previous posts discussed a comparison of economic, political, public service, climatic, religious, safety and health conditions in India and the Philippines.

Education conditions include state education standards, expenses, mother-tongue teaching, and school proximity to home.

Education Index

Education Index

One of the world-acknowledged education standard is the measure of Human Development Index [HDI], which was introduced in a previous post. Using 2005 data, the Education Index [EI] for India is 0.620 and the Philippines is 0.888.

The Education Index, see Fig. 1, is calculated from (2/3) of the country’s relative achievement in both adult literary and (1/3) combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrollment.

“UNESCO’s definition of literacy does not include people who, though familiar with the basics of reading and writing, do not have the skills to function at a reasonable level in their own society (UNESCO, (2006).”

World Bank (2005) reports that Adult literary rate for 15 years and older for 1998-2004, India at 61%; Philippines at 93%. Similarly, World Resources Institute (2005) estimates in 2004, India’s literacy rate for adults over age 15 is 61%; the Philippines at 95%. Education for All Monitoring Team (2007) for the E9 group (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan), focusing respectively on education quality and literacy, predicts that the goal of 97% adult literacy rate is at serious risk of not achieving the goal by 2015 in India and Pakistan.

The CIA World Factbook (2008) reports that in 2005, India’s education expenditures amounted to 3.2 per cent of GDP; while the Philippines was 2.5%.

Fig. 2:  Expenditures per student in PPS$ by level of Education

Fig. 2: Expenditures per student in PPS$ by level of Education

UNESCO’s World Education Indicators [WEI] (2007) places great importance on the cross-national comparability of indicators. In terms of 2004’s annual expenditure on educational institutions per student in PPP$, see Fig. 2; for India: pre-primary 104, primary 484, secondary 524 and tertiary 3668; while for the Philippines: pre-primary 99, primary 458, secondary 461 and tertiary 1661. World Resources Report (2005) explains: An international dollar based on Purchasing Power Parity [PPP] rates, although not adjusted for inflation, buys roughly the same amount of goods and services in each country. PPP rates are estimated through extrapolation and regression analysis using data from the International Comparison Programme [ICP].

Fig. 3: 2005 Comparison of Theoretical Start Age of Schooling, derived from   WEI 2005

Fig. 3: 2005 Comparison of Theoretical Start Age of Schooling, derived from WEI 2005

The WEI (2005) Annex A5b illustrates the National Education Programmes based on International Standard Classification of Education [ISCED97] setting the same criteria for various educational levels. Comparison of theoretical starting ages of schooling in India and in the Philippines in shown in Fig. 3. Only Type A programmes—largely theoretically-based and designed to lead to advanced research programmes or highly skilled professions (i.e., engineering)—were considered here for tertiary education. Although obvious differences exist, typical schooling in both countries span between the ages of three and 26, or an approximate total of 23 schooling years!

Thus, considering both annual expenditures and schooling years, it is rather conspicuous that it is much cheaper to get education in the Philippines, compared to India.

The Global Education Digest in (2006) observes:

“In South and West Asia, the number of tertiary students grew by 6.8% annually between 1991 and 2004. Despite relatively slow progress initially, it became the fastest growing region in the world by the end of the 1990s, with 11% growth per year. . . The change can be largely explained by India, which accounted for 73% of the region’s total number of tertiary students in 2004. Between 1991 and 1996, the number of tertiary students in India was growing by less than 3% each year, but it soared by 13.4% by the end of the decade.”

The World Education Indicators (2007), also notes:

“In WEI countries, the number of graduates from tertiary type A programmes averages 19.7% of the population of typical graduation age. This is just more than half of the average of OECD countries at 36.4%. Among WEI countries reporting data, . . . the Philippines with 19% also have relatively high graduation ratios, matching OECD countries that have low graduation ratios such as Austria and Germany with 20% each.”

Wikipedia describes that in India, the media of instruction switches among English, Hindi, and the respective states’ official languages. Private schools usually prefer one of the first two choices, while public schools tend to go with one of the last two. In the state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai and Nagpur are situated, English or Marathi is used. Hohenthal (2003) finds: “In education, government and employment, [English] is the most preferred medium. . . The usefulness of Hindi as a lingua franca [is] regionally limited . . . [majority] opined that all children should learn English at school.” There are, however, no detailed web-available information on the percentage of time per subject where English is used as medium of instruction.

In the Philippines, Dean Jorge Bacobo in his Philippine Commentary blogs: “There are five official Subjects in the Basic Education Curriculum (first adopted 2002)—English, Filipino, Mathematics, Science and Makabayan (includes: Social Studies, Music and Arts, Technology and Livelihood, and Values Education).” In elementary and secondary levels, only English, Mathematics and Science subjects use English as mode of instructions. Refer to Fig. 4 below.

Medium of Instruction (MOI) per Education Level in the Philippines (starting 2002)

Medium of Instruction (MOI) per Education Level in the Philippines (starting 2002)

Using Bacobo’s data, English is preferred 12—25% more than Filipino in elementary; while Filipino is preferred almost 4—10% more than English in secondary. Is this one of the root causes why Filipino students, being taught in Filipino most of the time the previous four years, are having difficulty comprehending most college subjects where English is the media of instruction?

Kim (2004) states that the use of lingua franca (Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilokano) for instruction was implemented on several schools beginning 1999. One study by Yanagihara (2007) finds that “scholastic achievement rates for mathematics, science and English taught in English are low” indicating a problem with the media of instruction, particularly in Cebu. Fortunately, some universities hosting international students use English for majority of its subjects. Schools are located in urban centers, and most universities are situated in the capital cities. Private school systems comprise 76% of the higher education institutions in 2005. (CHED, 2005).

Thus, English is also dominant as a medium of instruction on various education levels in the Philippines.


CHED (2005). AY 2004-2005 Statistical Bulletin. Table 15A. Higher Education Institutions by Sector, Institutional Type and Academic Year [AY]: 1990/91—2004/05. Manila: Commision on Higher Education [CHED]. back to text

CIA (2008). CIA World Factbook 2008. Online: Central Intelligence Agency, updated 10 February 2009. back to text

Hohenthal, Annika (2003) English in India; Loyalty and Attitudes. Online: Language in India III:5, May 2003. back to text

Kim, M. (2004). Philippine Policy on Medium of Instruction: A Study on Effective Medium of Instruction in a Multilingual Country. Forum of International Development Studies. pp. 25. back to text

Yanagihara, Yumiko (2007). A Study of Bilingual Education in the Philippines—Difference in Pupils’ Degree of Understanding Between Learning Mathematics in Cebuano and English. The Ketai Journal of International Studies. No. 19. July 2007. p. 175—201. back to text

UNDP HDR (2007). Human Development Report 2007/2008. New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2007. pp. 230—231, 355-6. back to text

UNESCO EFA (2007). EFA Imperatives in the E9. Paris: Education for All Monitoring Team, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), February 2007. p. 6. back to text

UNESCO GED (2006). Global Education Digest 2006; Comparing Education Statistics Across the World. Montreal: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). p. 22. back to text

UNESCO WEI (2005). Education Trends in Perspective; Analysis of the World Education Indicators, 2005 Edition. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). pp. 206-207, 214, 221. back to text

UNESCO WEI (2006). World Education Indicators, Literacy Statistics. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). back to text

UNESCO WEI (2007). World Education Indicators – 2007, Education Counts; Benchmarking Progress in 19 WEI Countries Montreal: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2007. pp. 70, 88-9. back to text: note 1. note 2.

The World Bank (2005). World Development Report 2006: Equity and Development Washington, D.C.: The World Bank and Oxford University Press., 2005. p. 292-3. back to text

World Resources Institute [WRI] (2005) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, and World Bank.. World Resources 2005: The Wealth of the Poor—Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2005. pp. 176, 186. back to text

Disclaimer : The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.



  1. Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

    Comment by Terry Brooks — 2009.September.25 @ 00:02 | Reply

  2. Excellent site, keep up the good work

    Comment by Bill Bartmann — 2009.September.4 @ 19:42 | Reply

  3. Although International Mother Language Day is now over, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO’s campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

    The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008.

    The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations’ Geneva HQ in September. or

    I hope that you do not mind me passing on this information

    Comment by Brian Barker — 2009.March.2 @ 21:36 | Reply

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