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Bachelor of Secondary Education in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) is a four year degree program designed to prepare students for becoming high school teachers. The program combines both theory and practice in order to teach students the necessary knowledge and skills a high school teacher needs. The BSEd program trains students to teach one of the different learning areas such as English, Mathematics, General Science, Filipino, Social Studies, Biological Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH) and Home Economics and Livelihood Education.

Subjects and Curriculum

The BSED curriculum contains Professional Education subjects that can be classified into four major categories:
  • Theory and Concepts subjects: Child and Adolescent Development, Social Dimensions of Education
  • Methods and Strategies subjects: Principles of Teaching, Assessment of Student Learning
  • Field Study subjects: Practice Teaching, Field Study
  • Elective subjects: Teaching Multicultural Classrooms, Integrative Teaching Strategies.

The first three years of the Bachelor of Secondary Education program are spent in classroom discussions, oral recitations and role plays. In addition, there is a Major’s Forum, which is a weekly session, wherein students are given opportunities to review and communicate what they have learned/experienced, be aware of current issues and trends in education and to discuss matters relevant to teacher education and the teaching profession.

During the fourth year, students undergo teaching internships in secondary schools where they are able to act like professional teachers and experience the life in actual classroom work. This is done under the supervision of the class adviser who will also conduct periodic evaluation on the assigned student teacher.

Depending on the field of specialization a student chooses, an undergraduate research paper may be required as a prerequisite for graduation. This is done under the guidance of a faculty and ends when the student faces a committee to defend his/her work.

Is teaching a profession?

Teaching is a profession.
A graduate of BSEd who passes the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) is called a Licensed Teacher. The responsibilities of a teacher include planning, preparing and delivering effective teaching and learning programs for students in allocated classes and/or groups, establishing and maintaining a supportive school environment, monitoring, evaluating and reporting student progress, implementing strategies to achieve targets related to student learning outcomes, maintaining records of class attendance and recording student progress and supervising a range of student activities including support and welfare programs.

What Senior High School strand should I take for Bachelor of Secondary Education?

Students who are planning to take up Bachelor of Secondary Education can choose GAS (General Academic Strand) as their senior high school strand. 

What are the admission requirements for the Bachelor of Secondary Education?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
(see sources 1, 2, and 3)
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
  • High school QPA: some schools require a high school QPA of 80% and above with no grade less than 75% in all subjects.
  • College entrance exam: must have a college entrance examination of above average or depending on the specified rating set by the school.
  • Teacher’s Aptitude Test: there are schools that will require students to take a separate Teacher’s Aptitude Test.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college / university admission officer
  • National Secondary Assessment Test: some schools require a particular rating in the National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT).
  • Qualifying Exam for Math or Science: for students who choose Math and Science as their specialization, some schools will require them to take a qualifying exam upon enrollment. In addition to this, they might also be required to have an average grade of 80 to 85 percent in the two subjects.

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

The following are important characteristics that you need to possess to be able to finish the program and become a good teacher:
  • Being a good communicator – the ability to proficiently speak and write English and convey information to students that is easy to understand.
  • Interpersonal skills – establishes and maintains positive mutual working relationships with students, parents and co-workers.
  • Patience – understands student behavior, avoids temper flares and finds possible solutions to unpleasant situations.
  • Organization – the ability to sort and arrange information in a systematic order, combine ideas and relay them to the students in a clear, concise, and logical manner.
  • Being comfortable in public speaking – being able to speak in front of a class with 30-40 students without losing your concentration and while keeping calm and composed.
  • Able to establish authority – being a high school or a college level teacher requires you to establish your authority and acquire the respect of your students.

How difficult is Bachelor of Secondary Education?

BSED is a fairly easy course. As long as you have the desire and passion to teach then everything will be fine. There are no complex subjects integrated in the BSEd curriculum and the workload is not that heavy. You will also have ample time to study as the course does not demand too much. The only thing that makes the course a bit difficult is the fact that it will test your character and patience.

As you go for practice teaching, you will be immersed in different secondary schools and different types of students as well. These students will have varied personalities and values; often they may be difficult to understand. Being open minded, extending ones patience and avoiding biases among students will be the challenging part of the job.

How long does it take to complete the BSED program in the Philippines?

The BSED program takes 4 years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Review for the board exam may require an additional 4 to 10 months, depending whether you pass on your first try.

Student Practice Teaching

The last semester of the BSED program is entirely devoted to intensive student teaching. Practice Teaching is the culmination of the teacher preparation process. Student teachers are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual classes.

The practice teaching program is done under the supervision of a faculty member as well as the advisory teacher. Formal and informal classroom observations are conducted regularly. Among the requirements of practice teaching are the creation of plans for classroom management and instruction.

The number of hours required for the practicum varies from one school to another.

Fields of Concentration

The most common fields of concentration in the BSED program are as follows:
  • English – primarily focuses on the development of linguistics, the structure of the English language and the different types of literature.
  • Mathematics – covers four branches of mathematics namely Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Practical Calculus and even biostatistics
  • General Science – a course of study that includes introductory material for earth science, biology, physics and chemistry.
  • Filipino – concentrates on the history and use of the Filipino language
  • Social Studies – covers Philippine History and Government, Asian History, Ancient Civilization, World History and economics; it also includes Philippine geography, political structure, culture, and even problems and issues concerning the country
  • Biology – a course concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy; the program includes laboratory exercises in a duly recognized laboratory facility
  • Physics – a course where the field of study involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force; includes the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves
  • Chemistry – a course covering the study of the composition, structure, properties and change of matter; the program includes laboratory exercises in a duly recognized laboratory facility
  • Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH) – studies Filipino culture and traditions including foreign influences; concentrates on Filipino music and arts, customary dances and historic traditions
  • Home Economics and Livelihood Education – one of the learning areas of the Secondary Education Curriculum; its component areas are: Home Economics, Agri-Fishery Arts, Industrial Arts, and Information and Communication Technology

Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)

To be a licensed teacher in the Philippines, a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education needs to pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). The examination is conducted by the Board of Professional Teachers under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). Starting in 2014, the LET exam will be conducted twice a year in the months of January and July.

There are three main categories of subjects included in the exam and each category has its corresponding weight: General Education (20%), Professional Education (40%) and the field of Specialization (40%). (see source)

To pass the examination an examinee must obtain an average rating of not less than 75% and must have no rating lower than 50% in any of the tests. You can view the passing rates in the Licensure Exam for Secondary Teachers here.

Teacher Certificate Program

The Teacher Certificate Program (TCP) is a non-degree program designed for individuals who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in any field and who intend to teach at the secondary education level. TCP is the fastest way to get into the Teaching Profession, because it requires only 18 units of Professional Education subjects to qualify for taking the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

Individuals who complete the PTC are given a certification (NOT a degree or diploma) that they have completed the 18-unit professional education requirement to be allowed to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). (See sources 1, 2, 3)

Career Opportunities for BSEd graduates

  • Jobs for Licensed Teachers (board exam passers)

    • Entry Level jobs

      Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
      • Teaching Assistant – works alongside teachers to support learning activities, helps in planning lessons, prepares teaching materials and leads classes under the direction of the teacher
      • Substitute Teacher – helps students to learn subject matter and/or skills that are required for scheduled lessons and to provide meaningful instruction for assigned classrooms in the absence of the regular classroom teacher
      • Private Tutor – assists students in improving academic achievement by meeting with them on a regular basis to clarify learning problems and work on study skills
      • English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher – involves teaching adults and children whose first or main language is not English.
      • Subject Teacher – teachers who have no advisory class and who have one field of expertise; delivers lessons in one subject area, does not act as full time teacher
      • Volunteer Teachers – acts as full time teachers but have salaries which are lower than permanent teachers paid for by local city or government
    • Mid-Level Positions

      Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
      • High School Teacher – secondary school teachers teach one or two national curriculum subjects to pupils aged 11 to 18.
      • Head Teacher – under the direction of the Assistant High School Principal, assists in overseeing and directing the planning, organizing, and implementation of education services for students, in addition to part time classroom teacher duties.
      • Assistant Principal of a High School – the primary job responsibility is the supervision, discipline, and monitoring of students; under the direction of the Principal, implements and enforces school board policies, administrative rules and regulations. In the absence of the Principal, the Assistant Principal shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the Principal.
      • High School Department Head of specific major – Head of English Department, Head of Math Department, etc
      • College Teacher – requires a Master’s degree, or at least being enrolled in a Master’s degree program.
      • College Professor – requires a Master’s degree
      • Administrator in the Department of Education, CHED or TESDA
    • Advanced Positions

      Require years of extensive experience and practice:
      • School Supervisors/Superintendents – the chief administrative officer for a certain district; responsible for the effective operation of the District; for the general administration of all instructional, business or other operations of the District and for advising and making recommendations to the Board of Education
      • High School Principal – serves as the educational leader and chief administrator of the high school, responsible for implementing and managing the policies, regulations, and procedures of the Board of Education to ensure that all students are supervised in a safe child-centered learning environment
      • Teaching Consultant – serves in a consultive/supportive role with staff, students, parents and representatives from local districts and community agencies; responsible for coordination, development and implementation of instructional programs within assigned areas
      • Senior Administrator in the Department of Education, CHED or TESDA
      • Academic Book Writers – educators who became authors of books used in different school subjects and educational reading materials
      • Curriculum Developer – works under public educational agencies such as DepEd and CHED; responsible for designing and implementing curricula that meets national and institutional educational standards.
  • Jobs for Non Board Passers:

    Unlike other professions, a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education can still practice his/her profession even without passing the board examination for teachers given that they conform with the conditions set by the Professionalization act of 1994 as well as the rules set by the schools. (see source)

    Many non-board passers teachers hold the same position as board passers. While in service, they are given a specific timeframe where they should be able to take the LET and pass the exam to become regular employees. Depending on the school, non-board passers are not allowed to hold advanced positions and some mid-level positions unless they pass the board exam.
  • Working in the Public Sector vs. the Private Sector

    Most high school teachers in the Philippines are employed in the public sector. Teaching in a public school gives more security of employment than teaching in a private school. You become an employee of the government, thus, you are entitled to security of tenure. Barring any legal actions or unfortunate circumstances that may cause you to be removed or retired from teaching, you are likely to be a public school teacher until your retirement. When it comes to the salary, the public system offers more benefits than the private schools system, except for a few large private schools.
  • Jobs not related to the BSED program that graduates can apply to

    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills
  • Career Opportunities Abroad

    Filipino teachers are highly regarded abroad due to their competence in academics, especially in teaching the English language. Since many non-English countries are now expanding their curriculum and adding English language as one of the subjects/courses, Filipino teachers are very in demand abroad.

    Aside from English, instructors for music, pre-school, physical education, academic subjects and private tutors are highly needed abroad (see source).

    There are countries where you do not need any additional requirements to become a teacher. However, in some countries, such as the United States a Teacher Certification for foreign educated teachers is needed. Additional requirements may also be required depending on the state that you want to work in (see sources 1, 2).
  • Salary Levels

    Salary levels of high school teachers will vary depending on the years of experience, rank and position they hold in their school.

    An high-school teacher in a public school will start with a salary of P 20,000 (Teacher 1 salary as of 2018).

    Teachers in private schools usually earn less than those in publis schools.

Find schools offering Bachelor of Secondary Education:

Reviews of Bachelor of Secondary Education graduates:

R. D.
◈ Studied Bachelor In Secondary Education
◈ At Pangasinan State University
◈ Graduated 2005

list bulletWhy did I choose Secondary Education: I took up this course simply because it's my parent's choice, it's the only course my family can afford and it's the nearest College School in our area.

list bulletAbout my college education: Trigonometry, statistics, geometry were the most difficult subjects I had in College. American Literature somehow was boring cause our professor is an old lady and she always tell us stories and it makes us all sleepy, if our class with her was just scheduled in the morning I guess we won't fall asleep. I enjoyed my Psychology subject.
Well, passing the exams in Math is really brain damaging I can say lol, I can still remember during our statistics subject half of the class failed and we have to repeat it, Yes, I'm one of those students who fail :).

You should be very active cause most of the time you will do reporting in front of the class, you should also be patient because you will have a lot of researches, active listening is a must because lessons are not written on the board, almost everything is in a form of dictation.

list bulletMy current job: Right now, I am working as a Virtual Assistant for a company based in the US.

I got tired of teaching, maybe it's not really for me, as you know I was just force to study this course.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: Well maybe 40-45% of what I studied in College is useless I can say, there are subjects that are not practical.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: It took me half a year after graduation to find a job.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Secondary Education: I would highly recommend Bachelor in Secondary Education to others if they are in the Philippines, the ratio of teachers to students isn't balanced. In the Philippines most public school classroom has an estimated 50-60 students and one teacher for the entire class. The Philippines needs more teachers and more classrooms to add up.

Salary is not really competitive for teachers here in the country and public school teachers get paid once a month.

Being a Teacher is a very fulfilling job because you get to help a lot of children to learn, but you must have a really big heart and patience in this kind of field. It's not very easy to be a teacher but the knowledge that you impart with these children will greatly help them to become successful and a better person.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: One of the greatest job in the world is being a Teacher. It's the noblest profession as they say. Make sure you have a passion for teaching, especially with kids, and a strong desire to help children learn.
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