Philippine education is patterned after the American system, with English as the medium of instruction. Schools are classified into public (government) or private (non-government).
The general pattern of formal education follows four stages: Pre-primary level (nursery and kindergarten) offered in most private schools; six years of primary education, followed by four years of secondary education. College education usually takes four, sometimes five and in some cases as in medical and law schools, as long as eight years. Graduate schooling is an additional two or more years.
There are 162 private and public colleges and universities, such as the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. The Asian Institute of Management, a graduate school of business, offers high-quality manage ment education specifically designed to meet Asian needs.
Metro Manila has a high literacy rate of 96 percent with student population of 2,351,944.
Classes in Philippine schools start in June and end in March. Colleges and universities follow the semestral calendar from June-October and November-March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs similar to those of the mother country.