Date Published:
Dec 13, 2023
Focus Area(s):
DP 2023-16

The Global Goal of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all promotes equality in access to quality learning, supports economic development, improves health outcomes, empowers women and girls, and fosters global citizenship and peace. By reducing inequities in education, both in terms of access and quality, we can help to build a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable world.

This study provides a detailed examination of the progress of the Philippines in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It sets the stage by outlining the Philippine educational policy landscape, including its legal and institutional frameworks. The analysis then progresses to a target-by-target review of SDG 4, highlighting the nation's accomplishments and ongoing challenges. Notable achievements include nearly universal primary education enrollment and increased secondary education participation. However, issues like high dropout rates and subpar learning outcomes remain. The Philippines has also seen growth in early childhood development (ECD) and pre-primary education enrollments, yet access for disadvantaged children is still limited. The country has policies to enhance access to affordable technical, vocational, and higher education, but the quality of these programs and their alignment with future skills needs improvement. Inclusive education initiatives exist, such as programs for learners with disabilities and indigenous communities, but challenges in ensuring universal quality education persist. A shift in education outcomes in favor of girls is observed, with boys now more likely to drop out than girls across various educational levels and girls doing better than boys in learning. While literacy rates appear high, the need to redefine literacy measurements, considering issues like digital skills, is evident. Progress in school infrastructure development is significant, especially with the K-12 rollout, but enhancing learning environments, including using technology for learning, remains crucial. The Philippines boasts a large teaching workforce, yet there is a pressing need to elevate teacher training quality and align it with future skill requirements. 

The study pinpoints critical improvement areas, including addressing the root causes of learning deficits, implementing an open data policy, and refining teacher training and workload. Concluding with a call to action, the study underscores the necessity of a comprehensive strategy to tackle educational challenges holistically, with integrated planning among the three main government agencies tasked to manage the sector. It suggests developing specific targets for inclusive quality education. This comprehensive review offers valuable insights and practical recommendations for stakeholders to ensure the Philippines fulfills its commitment to quality education for all by 2030.

Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email


This publication has been cited 3 times

In the Media
  1. Angelo, Francis Allan. 2024. PHL underspending on education – study. Daily Guardian.
  2. Ceballos, Xander Dave. 2023. PH education called to align with market demands. Manila Bulletin.
  3. Ordinario, Cai U.. 2023. PIDS: Chores, not low pay hindering teaching duties. BusinessMirror.

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