Education is one of the basic human rights applicable to both men and women. It’s also vital in turning one’s dreams and aspirations into realities. That’s why the government established the Department of Education (DepEd) to supervise the country’s basic education system from kindergarten to Senior High School. To learn more about this government agency, read on as we share what DepEd Philippines is, its history, mandate, organizational structure, attached agencies, programs, and services.
With the foundation of DepEd Philippines, Filipinos will gain access to quality educational projects and services. It provides free access to education, enabling Filipinos to enhance their knowledge and skills to become functional members of society. In addition, DepEd will ensure all Filipinos can access quality education, especially learners from conflict-affected and far-flung areas. The activities and services of DepEd will also benefit students who lack the financial capacity to fund their schooling.
What is DepEd
DepEd stands for the Department of Education, a Philippine government executive department that ensures access, promotes fairness, and enhances basic education quality. This agency is in charge of managing and controlling basic education in the Philippines. It’s the primary formulator of policies in Philippine education and oversees the country’s primary and secondary school systems. The Secretary of Education appointed by the President of the Philippines leads DepEd.
The education system in the Philippines went through various progress. Since the early Spanish period, the country’s education was religion-based, catering only to the elite members of the society. However, with the passing of the Educational Decree of 1863, access to education was made more open to Filipinos, wherein each town established at least one primary school for boys and girls under the municipal government. The Jesuits also supervised a normal school for male teachers. The decree provides secular and free primary instruction, including the compulsory education of Spanish.
Furthermore, the decree led to the foundation of the Superior Commission of Primary Instruction, a formative agency of the Department of Education (DepEd). In 1898, the United States defeated Spain, which facilitated the foundation of a Revolutionary Government by Emilio Aguinaldo. It also led to the temporary closure of Spanish-maintained schools that reopened in August of the same year. Under the Malolos Constitution Article 23, the Republic established a free and compulsory elementary education. However, it was interrupted and dismantled due to the Philippine-American War in 1899.
During the first decade of American colonization, the Schurman Commission recommended the foundation of a secularized and free public school system. As per US President Willian McKinley’s instructions, the Taft Commission implemented free primary instruction by providing training for duties of citizenship, where English is the medium of instruction. Through Act No. 74, the Taft Commission instated a highly centralized public school system in January 1901. The act’s implementation founded the Department of Public Instruction and resulted in a shortage of teachers.
Thus, the Philippine Commission permitted the Superintendent of Public Instruction to send 500 teachers from the US to the country, popularly known as the Thomasites. In 1908, Act No. 1870 established the University of the Philippines. Meanwhile, the Organic Act of 1916 mandates that the Department of Public Instruction be headed by a secretary, leading to its reorganization. During World War II, the Japanese Military again reorganized the department in February 1942. After the death of President Manuel L. Quezon, the agency was renamed the Department of Public Instruction and Information.
In February 1945, they renamed the Department of Instruction when the Commonwealth Government resumed. Under President Manuel Roxas’s Executive Order No. 94, it was renamed the Department of Education in 1947. However, the Bureau of Public and Private Schools regulated and supervised the public and private schools during this period. When Martial Law started in September 1972, it was renamed the Department of Education and Culture. In June 1978, the shift to the parliamentary government led to the Ministry of Education and Culture reorganization through Presidential Decree No. 1937.
The Education Act 1982 founded the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. In 1987, through Executive Order No. 117, it was renamed the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS). DECS retained its structure and only changed with the foundation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in 1994, which supervises tertiary education. On August 25, 1994, they founded the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), presiding over the post-secondary, non-degree technical vocational programs, middle-level manpower, and development.
Afterward, the department mandate refocused on basic education. It covers elementary, secondary, and non-formal education, including sports and culture. With the enactment of the Governance of Basic Education Act, DECS was renamed the Department of Education (DepEd) in August 2001. The act redefined the role of field offices and removed the sports and cultural activities administration from DepEd. The department transferred sports-related programs, activities, functions, and competitions to the Philippine Sports Commission and cultural responsibilities to the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCAA).
Founded under the Education Decree of 1863 as the Superior Commission of Primary Instruction, the Department of Education (DepEd) mandated through the Republic Act 19155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001. The department has the directive to formulate, implement, and systematize plans, policies, projects, and programs in formal and non-formal basic education areas. DepEd manages all elementary and secondary education institutions.
Moreover, it supervises public and private alternative learning systems. The department also provides for the maintenance or development of a sufficient, complete, unified basic education system significant to the national development objectives.
Logos of DepEd
DepEd Organizational Structure
The Secretary of Education heads DepEd with the following undersecretaries and assistant secretaries:
- Undersecretary for Office of the Secretary/Chief of Staff
- Undersecretary for School Infrastructure and Facilities
- Undersecretary for Administration
- Undersecretary for Operations
- Undersecretary for Finance
- Undersecretary for Procurement
- Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs
- Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching
- Undersecretary for Human Resource and Organizational Development
- Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Teaching, Curriculum Development, Learning Resources and Learning Delivery
- Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Teaching, Educational Assessment and Alternative Learning System
- Assistant Secretary for Administration
- Assistant Secretary for Operations
- Assistant Secretary for Office of the Secretary
The following are also under the Office of the Secretary:
- External Partnership Service
- Public Affairs Service
- Internal Audit Service
Bureaus and Services
Apart from that, the department is composed of the following bureaus and services:
- Administrative Service (AS)
- Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD)
- Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA)
- Bureau of Human Resources and Organizational Development (BHROD)
- Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD)
- Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR)
- Bureau of Learner Support Service (BLSS)
- Bureau of Secondary Education (BSE)
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS)
- External Partnerships Service (EPS)
- Finance Service (FS)
- Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS)
- Legal Service (LS)
- National Educators’ Academy of the Philippines (NEAP)
- Planning Service (PS)
- Procurement Service (PROCS)
- Project Management Service (PMS)
- Public Affairs Service (PAS)
DepEd is also attached to the following agencies for policy and program collaboration:
- Early Childhood Care and Development Council (ECCD Council)
- Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education
- Instructional Materials Council (IMC)
- National Academy of Sports (NAS)
- National Book Development Board (NBDB)
- National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT)
- National Museum of the Philippines
- National Science Teaching Instrumentation Center (NSTIC)
- Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA)
On the other hand, CHED is an attached agency of the Office of the President and the Department of Trade and Industry to TESDA.
DepEd Programs and Services
Here are the following DepEd programs and services available to all Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad:
A Day in School (ADIS)
The ADIS program aims to improve the overall quality of teaching practices in primary schools by providing training workshops for the whole school day.
Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM)
ADM is a tested and fact-based alternative education method administered within the formal system, allowing schools to offer marginalized students a quality education, especially those close to dropping out. This program aims to assist them in overcoming their personal, economic, and social limitations throughout their schooling.
Alternative Learning System (ALS)
ALS offers an alternative learning to literate out-of-school children and adults who haven’t completed ten (10) years of basic education. This program helps school dropouts to continue their primary and secondary education apart from the formal system.
Alternative Learning System-Education Skills and Training (ALS-EST)
Unlike the traditional ALS, the ALS-EST program includes technical-vocational and other skill training. This program utilizes existing DepEd proficiency, specifically from technical high schools, Senior High Schools, state universities and colleges (SUCs), local government units (LGUs), private sector, and civil society organizations (CSOs). These institutions will provide technical-vocational and other skill training elements custom based on the country and local community needs.
The DepEd’s Computerization Program aims to enhance the country’s quality of education by providing public schools with suitable technologies. It will improve the teaching-learning process and aid the 21’s century’s technological challenges. Additionally, this program will provide New E-Classroom bundles to public elementary, junior high, and senior high schools.
Department’s School Building Program
The Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF) funds this program to cover the maintenance and advancement of school facilities. It funds the construction of schools and workshops, purchases furniture, restores dilapidated structures, renovates/repairs classrooms, and provides water, electrification, and sanitary facilities.
Government Assistance and Subsidies
Under this program, DepEd will give access to excellent secondary education through financial assistance to notable elementary school graduates planning to study in private schools. DepEd administers this program through the Education Service Contracting Program (ESC), Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP), and Joint Delivery Voucher Program (JDVP).
Human Resource Training Development (HRTD)
The HRTD program focuses on helping with human resource training and development, aiming to make departments accessible to the organization’s goals and manpower needs by formulating relevant attitudes and skills for employees. This program is available to school, non-school, and learning center personnel.
Indigenous People’s Education Program (IPEd)
The IPEd Program is DepEd’s answer to the right to basic education for Indigenous Peoples. It’s relevant to their cultural heritage and context, promotes indigenous skills and knowledge, and respects their identities. In addition, the program consists of four (4) focus areas, including Curriculum and Learning Resource Creation, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management, and IPEd Education Planning.
Kinder Summer Program (KSP)
The KSP aims to improve preschoolers’ academic achievement. It also provides them with chances to engage in fun leisure activities.
Madrasah Education Program (MEP)
MEP enables the integration of the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) program into the basic education curriculum. It aims to provide Muslim learners with relevant and suitable education opportunities within their customs, cultures, interests, and traditions. With this program, Muslim citizens will gain the educational and intellectual capacity to engage in the country’s economic, political, and social ventures.
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE)
This program aims to help educational institutions administer excellent instruction in the native language of students, and they also enhance the student’s abilities in Mathematics and English.
Multigrade Education Program
The Multigrade Education Program aims to enhance the accessibility to high-quality elementary education. It addresses vital concerns and challenges related to individualized learning materials and teaching for multigrade classes, including professional development.
On-the-Spot Integrative Assessment for Preschool Education Program (OSIAPEP)
The OSIAPEP is accessible to low-income children of neighborhoods, where they can access early childhood education and development opportunities to improve preschool education.
Policy and Research Program (PRP)
The PRP supervises, assists, and conducts policy formation, research, and sector observation and assessment to reinforce evidence-based decision-making.
Preschool Service Contracting Scheme (PSCS)
Established in 2010 by DepEd, the PSCS aims to equip caregivers and parents by providing them with opportunities to be self-sufficient and generate income, allowing them to pay for their child’s fundamental needs.
School-Based Feeding Program
As per the Philippine Dietary Reference Intake (PDRI), a meal must provide ⅓ of the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes for youth. Thus, DepEd launched the School-Based Feeding Program to aid short-term hunger and malnutrition by providing hot meals to Kinder to Grade 6 students for 120 days who are undernourished.
Science and Math Equipment (LTE-SME)
The LTE-SME aims to provide complete scientific and mathematics equipment to public schools.
Seminar-Workshop on Acceleration Program for the Gifted and Talented Children (SEAGAP)
The SEAGAP aims to enhance the country’s quality of education for gifted and talented students. It provides teachers with training for various subject areas, such as teaching strategies and curriculum development, assessment, and evaluation methods. Aside from that, SEAGAP helps enhance an individual’s professional growth through workshops and seminars.
Special Education Program (SPED)
SPED aims to improve access, efficiency, and quality of educational programs and services to all SPED Centers for elementary and secondary schools, offering Special Education courses.
DepEd also has the following online services:
- Online Student Information System (OSIS)
- Online Student Registration System (ORS)
- Teacher Workload System (TWS)
- Classroom Assessment and Management Administrative System (CAMADMIN)
- E-Class Record
- Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS)
- Learning Content Management System (LCMS)
- Learning Resource Management and Development System (LRMDS)
- National Educator’s Academy of the Philippines (NEAP)
With the increasing number of students in the country, both Filipino and foreign, the Department of Education (DepEd) Philippines has a vital role in ensuring access to high-quality, adequate, and appropriate educational systems.
The department will formulate and administer educational programs and services to equip students with the latest skills, especially the poverty-stricken Filipinos.
Therefore, DepEd will help enhance the quality of education, which will benefit the country’s development of human capital and one’s progress.