education in the Philippines

After 160 years, Ateneo basic education starts shift to full co-ed

Bonz Magsambol

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After 160 years,  Ateneo basic education starts shift to full co-ed
Ateneo says full implementation will be completed by school year 2029-2030, although preparations will start with co-ed admissions for kinder, Grade 1, and Grade 7 for school year 2024-2025

MANILA, Philippines – In what it called a “milestone decision,” the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) approved the full implementation of a co-education scheme, accepting learners across any gender in its basic education program, or from kinder to senior high school.

“This is in response to our goal in the Lux-in-Domino Strategic Plan: Strategic targeted growth in the university’s student population to increase access to and impact of the Ateneo de Manila education; specifically the strategy to increase student diversity by granting female students access to the Ateneo de Manila basic education schools,” said a memorandum by ADMU President Roberto Yap SJ released on Friday, February 10.

Ateneo said that the implementation of the co-ed scheme will be completed by school year 2029-2030. Preparations, though, will start this year, as co-ed admission for kinder will roll out in school year 2024-2025.

“Much work is needed to prepare the Basic Education schools for this milestone decision. The implementation plan includes a preparatory year beginning SY2023-2024. Co-ed admission will begin in SY2024-2025 for Kinder, Grade 1 and Grade 7 levels,” the memo read.

In 2016, Ateneo began implementing coed in its senior high school programs, when the first batch of students under the K to 12 program entered grade 11.

Ateneo de Manila, a Catholic school, was founded as a school exclusive for boys in 1859 during the Spanish colonial era, a time when education was seen unsuitable for women. This “milestone decision” by Ateneo is a welcome development, not just for academic institutions, but for the whole country as well.

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Aside from Ateneo, La Salle Green Hills, also previously an elite exclusive for boys school, opened up its doors to female students in 2021 from nursery to Grade 11. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.