The Background of the Schools and Teachers in Spanish Pampanga and Tarlac (1863-1898)



school, Pampanga, Tarlac, children, teachers


The first public school system was established by the Spanish authorities in 1863. The decree was also extended to other colonies, including the Philippines; and public schools both for boys and girls were established. Pampanga is considered one of the emerging provinces in the islands due to its extensive agricultural industry devoted to rice and sugar. Before the implementation of the decree, primary schools were already established in some towns and others were run and funded by private individuals. When the decree was fully implemented, all the towns in Pampanga and the newly established province of Tarlac had their primary schools for both sexes. These schools were supervised by the parish priest, and several subjects, notably catechism, were taught. However, several problems were encountered such as a lack of school buildings, teachers and instructional materials. Teachers were forced to rent a large house to accommodate the growing enrolment. Children were required to be sent to schools but due to health and familial problems, some of them were either stopped or didn’t enroll at all. Children of the elite families could attend secondary schools established by the private teachers and tutors. After studying secondary schools, they pursued tertiary education in Manila and became professionals. Others later became leading figures in their quest for attaining freedom from our colonizers. Specialized schools in trade and agriculture were also established to further enhance students’ skills to contribute to the bustling local economy. Teachers mostly came from landed families, who could afford schooling and spoke Spanish. After graduation, they underwent examinations and were assigned to distant towns far from their respective hometowns.

Author Biography

Louie Aldrin L. Bartolo, University of the Philippines Baguio

LOUIE ALDRIN L. BARTOLO is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in History major in Ethnohistory and Local History at the University of the Philippines Baguio. His research interests are in the fields of genealogy, church, environmental, local and social history. He is currently teaching at Sta Cruz Elementary School, Magalang, Pampanga. He can be reached through or




How to Cite

Bartolo, L. A. “The Background of the Schools and Teachers in Spanish Pampanga and Tarlac (1863-1898)”. TALA: An Online Journal of History, vol. 7, no. 1, June 2024, pp. 1-40,