Transformative Scale-Up of the School of Health Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila

Erlyn A. Sana, Melflor A. Atienza, Maria Lourdes Dorothy S. Salvacion, Arnold B. Peralta, Luz Barbara P. Dones, Jenniffer T. Paguio, Claire D. Pastor, Carmencita M. David-Padilla


Background: The School of Health Sciences (SHS), University of the Philippines Manila, established in 1976 offers a one-of-its kind ladder-type, community-based curriculum in health sciences.

Objectives: This study described the SHS curriculum and how it contributed to the transformative scale-up of the education of health professionals in the Philippines.

Methods: This study is a concurrent transformative mixed method design. Data were collected concurrently through interviews of university officials, faculty, students, alumni, communities, and partners as well as observations of review classes and office activities. Quantitative data were collected from school records and performance ratings of students. From the data emerged the basic principles of primary health care and community-based education and they were juxtaposed to describe transformative learning of SHS students and faculty.

Results: All of the 3,481 students admitted from 1976 came from geographically isolated and depressed areas; more than 95% of the graduates are still in the country and chose to serve the communities. The school's ladder-type, community-based curriculum produced competent midwives, nurses, and physicians. SHS did not just transform its students but also the faculty, communities, its partner local, national, and international agencies, and changed the landscape of community-based education in the region.

Conclusion: SHS produced health professionals who chose to serve the communities. It continues to evolve to institutionalize primary health care and community-based education.


Community-based education; primary health care; competency-based curriculum; ladder-type program; transformative learning

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X