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Culture and Arts Education in the Philip

International Yearbook for Research in Arts Education, Volume 5 (2017)
Glorife Samodio
Culture and Arts Education in the Philippines
The Philippines’ culture and arts landscape continues to be alive and vibrant today, due
to the concerted efforts of the government and private sectors led by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines
(CCP), with support from artists, arts organizations, local government units, media, and
the academe.
The Philippine government, in its development plan, has pledged support for the creation of programs by its agencies to ensure that Philippine culture and heritage will be
harnessed and preserved, and that the sense of national identity will be ingrained in the
minds of every Filipino. The intended subsector outcomes in the cultural agenda highlight the government’s objective to streamline cultural education in the basic, technical
and vocational, and higher education systems, by providing attention to values, formation and ethics to become productive members of society, over and above the development of functional literacy and skills; and the development of Filipino creativity as “a
tool for cohesion and impetus for a culture-based industry and creative economy,” and
calls for the “appreciation” of Filipino creativity ( Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022
– Promoting Philippine Culture and Values, NEDA, 2017; Samodio, 2017).
In implementing these directives, the government agencies spearheaded by the
NCCA are in the process of conceptualizing programs and creating mechanisms through
revisiting the Philippine Cultural Education Plan (PCEP), the country’s master plan in
cultural education. Currently, the PCEP is in the process of refinement, in light of the
developing trends in the Philippine creative industry, such as the revised programs in
arts education for basic and secondary education in the new K-12 system, the cultural
laws and policies lined up for promulgation, and the prospects for the ASEAN integration. The majority of the programs laid out in PCEP focus on the assistance which will
come from the various education-related agencies of the government to support the programs and policies that are laid out in the PCEP. The said agencies are the Department
of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), all of which have existing policies and programs directly and indirectly related to culture and creative industries.
At present, the education sector has embarked on several efforts in support of culture
and arts. The country’s cultural education from primary to tertiary levels continues to be
recalibrated to strengthen the youth’s awareness of Filipino culture with programs such
as the Schools for Living Traditions, Special Programs for the Arts, the introduction of
the Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education, and the regional and national cultural
icons. In 2016, the DepEd introduced a specialized arts track for Senior High students,
and middle level skills courses in the arts, with 2,835 enrollees nationwide and approxi-
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Culture and Arts Education in the Philippines
mately 4,400 enrollees in 110 schools by 2017 (Geronimo, 2016). This track is also perceived to be a unique feature of the Philippine’s K-12 system, highlighting the education
sector’s support for the creative industries.
In higher education, universities and colleges offer cultural programs and afterschool arts activities which harness their students’ artistic talents; as well as equivalency
programs for practitioners. CHED monitors and regulates courses related to culture and
arts, ensuring that the curriculum and programs delivered by the higher education institutions pass their standards. From 2004 to 2016, CHED recorded 1,261,494 graduates of
culture and arts-related disciplines1, averaging 105,124 per year, as it increases annually
(Bilang Filipinas: A Primer on Philippine Cultural Statistics, 2017). In the sector of nonformal education, CHED offers the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP), which is a comprehensive educational assessment program at the tertiary level that recognizes, accredits and gives equivalencies to knowledge,
skills, attitudes and values gained by practitioners from relevant work in the creative sector. Similarly, the NCCA has partnered with higher education institutions in offering the
Graduate Diplomas on Cultural Education, and Teaching the Arts and Master of Arts in
Arts Management (Samodio, 2017).
On the technical-vocational side, training regulations and tools are being established
for arts-related careers. Consequently, with these innovations, assessments would still
have to be made regarding its effectiveness. There is also a need to widen cross-cultural
understanding to strengthen social cohesion among the country’s many ethno-linguistic
groups; and the need to deepen the appreciation on the role of culture and how it can
provide wider opportunities for the young generation (Samodio, 2017).
From the assessments by external creative consultants, it was found that the coordination among the government agencies on education and culture seems to be inadequate in several aspects: their perspectives and support for culture (Fleming, 2017a), the
harmonization of their programs and activities, and their information sharing systems.
These inadequacies seem to hinder the possibilities of improving the quality of education and training that these agencies can give to the sector’s stakeholders. Indeed, there
is a call for more collaborative and synergized programs and policies from the three education-related agencies. Currently, they carry on their respective mandates without any
comprehensive consultations and updates among them. Statistics and research with regard to the implementation of culture and arts-related policies are yet to be gathered and
shared. Lastly, there is an expectation from DepEd, CHED, TESDA and also from the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for NCCA to take the lead in setting the direction for the creative industries, the standardization of the creative sector’s definition
and scope, the identification and communication of the sectors’ needs and concerns, and
other emerging trends from the sector (Samodio, 2017).
Architecture and Town Planning, Fine and Applied Arts; Humanities, IT-related Disciplines;
Mass Communication and Documentation; Religion and Theology; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and, Trade, Craft and Industrial; and Engineering and Tech; General; Service Trades
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Glorife Samodio
(2017). Bilang Filipinas. A Primer on Philippine Cultural Statistics.
Geronimo, G. (2016, June 17). DepEd: Senior High School Enrollment hits 1M. Rappler. Retrieved
from http://www.rappler.com/nation/136758-senior-high-school-enrollment-one-million
NEDA, National Economic and Development Agency. (2017). Philippine Development Plan
2017-2022 – Promoting Philippine Culture and Values. Retrieved from http://www.neda.gov.
Samodio, G. (2017). Nurturing Filipino Creativity: The Status of the Philippine Education Policies in Support of the Creative Industries. International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, 4 (1), 5-21.
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