Milestones in the history of co-education in Ateneo de Manila

In 1950, the Graduate School of Ateneo de Manila University becomes a co-educational institution. The move is considered “revolutionary” at the time and precedes co-education in the undergraduate and high school levels by several decades.  

On January 26, 1973, the Ateneo de Manila University Senate approves the coeducation policy for the College of Arts and Sciences.

On February 3, 1973, the Ateneo’s Board of Trustees support and approve the University Senate’s move to coeducation. 

In June 1973, the first full-fledged coed students step into Ateneo, marking a new era in Ateneo history. In the same year, the ratio of male freshman students to female freshman students is 4:1, and a grand total of 127 females (counting both freshmen and transferees) enroll in the Ateneo College of Arts and Sciences.

The College Class of 1977 is a historic one as it includes the first batch of coeds to graduate in March 1977 after completing their four-year tenure at Ateneo. In school year 1976-77, five out of 14 campus organizations presidents are fourth-year coeds. A good number of coeds of Class of 1977 graduate with academic distinctions— five graduate with honors, four are awarded cum laude, and three magna cum laude.

Republic Act No. 10533 is passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on January 30, 2013, is signed into law by President Benigno Aquino Jr. on May 15, 2013, and takes effect on June 8, 2013. The law establishes the K-12 program that adds Grades 11 and 12 as the senior high school stage of the 13-year enhanced basic education system. This law is known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.” Prior to this, the Philippines was the only country in Asia and one of the three countries in the world (the others were Angola and Djibouti) that had a 10-year basic education program.

The Ateneo de Manila Junior High School is established in SY 2013-2014 in line with the necessary transitions in support of the K-12 Reform.

Ateneo de Manila University celebrates 40 years of coeducation in SY 2013-2014 with the theme, “40 Years, Half the Sky.” The celebration kicks off on September 7, 2013.   

In its landmark decision on February 7, 2015, Ateneo de Manila University’s Board of Trustees approves the creation and opening of the Ateneo de Manila Senior High School in SY 2016-2017. Comprising Grades 11 and 12, the Senior High School is envisioned to be a Jesuit, Filipino, Catholic college-preparatory senior high school with programs designed for above-average male and female students.

Furthermore, 300 slots are opened primarily to applicants from public schools, parochial schools and other schools that do not offer Senior High School for school year 2016-2017. Limited slots are also available for transferees from K-12 ready schools (schools that have offered 12-year basic education programs even prior to the K-12 Reform). In view of the Ateneo’s desire to provide quality education and leadership formation for those coming mainly from the public school system, 100 scholarship grants are offered in the Senior High School to academically gifted but financially challenged students.

More than 1,800 non-Atenean boys and girls from public, private and parochial schools in Metro Manila and nearby provinces apply for Senior High School (Grade 11) at the Ateneo de Manila for School Year 2016-2017. Of these 1863 applicants from outside the Ateneo High School, 1277 (68.5%) are females.

In June 2016, the first coed students step into the Senior High School, marking a first in Ateneo de Manila Basic Education. In the same year, the ratio of male students to female students is 7:3, with a total of 259 females enrolling in the ASHS for Grade 11 School Year 2016-2017.

In October 2018, the AMDG 2030 Strategic Plan of University President Fr Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ is presented to the Ateneo community. Strategy #3 of the Plan is, “Increase access to Ateneo education. Establish a more diverse studentry and academic community.”

In SY 2019-2020, the ratio of male-to-female students in the Senior High School is 3:1.

Ninna Rivera

Ateneo de Manila Senior High School names its first female valedictorian in 2021, just three years after the first batch of ASHS coeds graduate in 2018. Ninna Beatrice V. Rivera of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Strand is hailed as the valedictorian of the Class of 2021.

[Ateneo’s Lux-in-Domino Strategic Plan 2030 (LID2030) is published on 16 February 2022.

On September 16, 2022, University President Fr Roberto Yap SJ releases a memo to the University community stating that Ateneo’s Lux-in-Domino Strategic Plan 2030 (LID2030) “…includes 10 Magis Aspirations or moonshots that we envision to accomplish by 2030. One of these is a study of a full or staggered implementation of a co-educational set-up in both the Ateneo de Manila Grade School (AGS) and Ateneo de Manila Junior High School (AJHS)….This Magis Aspiration is in support of the priority area on Education Reform and Transformation (ERT), specifically the strategy to increase student diversity by granting female students access to the Ateneo de Manila basic education schools.”

The memo adds that “…the Board of Trustees approved the conduct of a 6-month study on a full co-ed implementation in the basic education, the outcome of which shall determine the University’s direction towards becoming fully co-ed.”

On 10 February 2023, University President Fr Roberto Yap SJ releases a memo informing the Ateneo de Manila community that during its meeting held on February 4, 2023, “the Board of Trustees approved the full implementation of a co-education scheme in the Basic Education schools by SY 2029-2030. 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 (slide 16, “page” 8) access to the Ateneo de Manila basic education schools.”

It further states, “Much work is needed to prepare the Basic Education schools for this milestone decision. The implementation plan includes a preparatory year beginning SY 2023-2024, and co-ed admission will begin in SY 2024-2025 for Kinder, Grade 1 and Grade 7 levels.”

Information as of 28 July 2023.