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Science High Schools in the Philippines

Manila Science High School. The first science high school in the Philippines.

Science and technology has always been the bedrock of our modern civilization. But such were not so during the Middle Ages. The knowledge and culture derived by the Romans from the Hellenistic civilizations before it was lost because of the barbarian invasions that led to its downfall. 

There was a dearth in science and technology for almost 500 years. What spurred the resurgence of science and technology was the Black Death. It defied all known strictures with regards to the epidemic. It halved the population of England and most of Europe. The Black Plague killed nobility, the priests and the peasants all alike. This led the people to question the existing order of knowledge and even faith.

That was when whenever a city in western Europe would do something that pleases their king, the offer would be to build a cathedral or a university. Many cities opted for the university. Thus the fount of knowledge and learning was renewed.

In the Philippine setting, the coming of the Spaniards brought with it the establishment of schools. Although these schools and universities gave education to Filipinos for 300 years, the dynamics of learning was slanted towards more classical lines that rewarded those who were not curious enough so as to stifle scientific and technological endeavors.

The independence of the Philippines after a devastating war would need science and technology for its reconstruction, development and eventual progress. The first wave were those who were educated abroad and then the need for more science and technology was seen as the solution to solving the many problems and challenges of  developing country. From agriculture, to engineering to medicine and further specialized disciplines were critically needed.

The fact that a pool of potential talents existed and will continue to do so saw the need to establish more specialized schools at the secondary level to harness the science and technology prowess of the Filipino youth.

The Manila Science High School (MaSci) was established in 1963. It was the first science high school in the country. It was patterned after the Bronx Science High School of New York. 1963 was when the first batch that entered the pilot science high school graduated. It started in 1959 with 36 students.

In 1964, the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) was established. It was under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The premier science high school in the country, it is considered among the top science high schools in ASEAN. Aside from its main campus in Diliman, Quezon City, it has 12 other regional campuses in the Philippines.

Aside from the PSHS and the MaSci, other science high schools were established to further spread the education of those inclined in the sciences. The Department of Education (DepEd) through the Local Government Units (LGUs) fund and administer these science high schools. These are categorized accordingly:

1. Regional
2. Provincial
3. City

These science high schools number 54 in all.

Techblade is an advocate of the use of science and technology for national development and progress. Thus, Techblade will continue to support the activities and endeavors of these science high schools by publishing the relevant stories that each one of them undertakes.

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