The constant desire and permanent rule of conduct of the august predecessors of your Majesty have ever been to introduce into the territories under your glorious crown across seas, the light of evangelical truth, and with it the principles of a Civilization suitable for their respective necessities. The governments and their delegated authorities, with the powerful aid of the missionaries, and of the clergy in general, both secular and regular, have tried to accommodate their policy in regard to the Philippine Archipelago to these principles. But the extent of so vast a territory, the character and customs of a portion of its population, and the lack of an organized system of primary instruction, have been the reason why the knowledge of the Castilian language, and in consequence of the ignorance of that language, the propagation of the most elementary ideas of education remain in a remarkable condition of imperfection and backwardness.It is unnecessary to explain the evils that such a condition occasions: to the natives in the casualties of social life, in their relations to the public authority, in the exercise of those relations which are confided partly to the said natives, in the onward march and progress, in fine, of that country so fertile in the sources of wealth.  It is reserved for your Majesty to bring to this condition of affairs the remedy suitable for it, which for some time the superior authorities of Filipinas have been demanding, and in regard to whose urgent application the royal commissary, appointed to study the administration of said islands, has lately called the attention of the government.For this object is directed the subjoined project of a decree and the regulations which accompany it.They have been formed by the aid of the documents submitted by said functionaries.They agree in spirit, in tendency, and even in the prime basis of the solutions which they propose.Said project setting forth from the necessity if broadening as much as possible the teaching of the holy Catholic faith, of the language of the fatherland, and of the elementary knowledge of creating capable teachers for that purpose, the lack of whom is the principal cause of the above situation, and that the basis of all education is the solid diffusion of our holy religion, establishes by means of its ministers a normal school under the care ,ii the fathers of the Society of Jesus, whose pupils will have the right and express obligation of filling the position of teachers in the schools for the natives with pay, advantages, and rights during the exercise of that duty, and later after its honorable discharge, and who shall be capable of attracting the youth of the country to this now humble class [of employes].It provides the means for joining teachers of both sexes until they graduate as teachers from that  institution, and until a normal school for women it teachers respectively is organized.It creates in all the villages of the archipelago schools for elementary primary instruction of boys and girls, with the obligation of attendance on the part of such, and with Sunday classes for adults." It confers on the parish priests the immediate inspection of said schools, with  powers suitable to make. that inspection effective, and the exclusive direction of the teaching of the christian doctrine and ethics is vested in the prelates. And as a complement to the system which it establishes it demands for the future, although after theexpiration of a Suitable time, the knowledge of the Spanish language as a necessary requisite for the exercise of Public charges and duties, and for the enjoyment of certain privileges inherent thereto.

The application of all progress in a country presupposes pecuniary sacrifices, and although not excessive, some are contained in the establishment of the projected plan.  Nevertheless, if the expense which is produced is divided among the different villages of the archipelago, and charged to their local funds, it is to be expected that it will neither be felt very sensibly nor will the general budget of the island be obliged for the moment to contribute an advance, certainly difficult today, when the calamities which have happened recently in one part of the Filipino territory have caused so considerable and extraordinary an expense to bear down upon it. 

The minister whose signature is affixed , taking as his fundamental the above reasons, the Council of State having been consulted, and with the concurrence of that of the minister, has the honor of submitting for your Majesty's approval the subjoined project of a decree.Madrid,  December 20, 1863

Madam, at the royal feet of. your Majesty,


In view of the reasons which have been explained to me by my minister of the colonies, after having consulted with the Council of State and with the concurrence of the Council of the ministers, I therefore decree the following:

Article 1. A normal school for teachers of primary instruction is established in the city of Manila, in charge of and under the direction of the fathers of the Society of Jesus.

Said school shall have the organization prescribed by its regulations and the expenses caused therein shall be defrayed by the central treasury of ways and means.

Art. 2. Spanish scholars, natives of the archipelago or of Europa, shall be admitted into said school under the conditions prescribed by the regulations.After the termination of the studies prescribed by the said regulations, such scholars shall obtain the title of teacher.

The pupils of the normal school, to the number and in the class designated by the regulations, shall receive a free education and those who take advantage of such provision shall be obliged to exercise the duties of teacher in the native schools of the archipelago, for the space of ten years following their graduation from the institution.

Art. 3. In each one of the villages of those provinces, there shall be at least one school of primary instruction for males, and another for females, in which education shall be given to the native children and Chinese of both sexes.

The regulations shall determine the proportion of the increase in the number of schools for each village in proportion to its population.

In all the schools there shall be a Sunday class for adults.

Art. 4. The instruction given in said schools shall be free to the poor.Attendance on the part of the children shall be compulsory.

Art. 5. The schools for males shall consist of three classes; to wit: entrada [i.e., entrance]; ascenso [i.e., promotion, or intermediary]; and termino [i.e., final], of the second class, and termino of the first class. They shall be supplied with teachers graduating from the normal school in accordance with the qualification which they shall have obtained at the conclusion of their studies, their promotions depending upon their seniority and merit combined.

The schools of termino of the first class, namely, those of Manila and its district, shall be supplied with teachers by competitive examination among the teachers, with the certificate from the normal school, with experience as teachers.

Art. 6. Classification of the schools, in accordance with the preceding article, shall be made by the superior civil governor, after consultation with the superior commission of primary instruction, and afterthe report of the chief of the province.Once the respective classification is fixed it can be changed only in the same manner.

Art.7. The teachers shall enjoy the salary and other privileges prescribed by the regulations.Said salary, as well as the foundation of the school, acquisition, and conservation of school supplies and equipment, and the rent of the building where there shall be no public building, shall constitute an obligatory expense on the respective local budget.

Art. 8. In the villages where the superior civil governor so decrees, as its small population so allows, the teachers shall fulfil the duties of secretaries to the gobernadorcillos, enjoying for such duties [concept] an additional pay proportioned to the local resources.

Art. 9. The teachers appointed from the normal school cannot be discharged except for legitimate cause and by resolution of 'the superior civil governor, after a governmental measure drawn up with the formality set forth in article 6, and after hearing the interested party.

Art. 10.Examinations shall be held in the normal school at periodic times, and in the manner determined by the regulations, in order to choose -a person with the title of assistant teacher.Those who obtain such certificates shall manage the schools for the natives in the absence of teachers, and shall in all cases exercise the duties belonging to their class in the schools which are to have such assistants according to the regulations.Said assistants shall have the salary and perquisites prescribed by the regulations, the first being an obligatory expense on the local budget.

Art. 11. The mistresses of schools for native girls need the corresponding certificate for the exercise of their duties.Until a normal school for women teachers is established, that certificate shall be issued in the form prescribed with the fitness determined by the regulations. The salary and perquisites whhich they are to receive shall be fixed by the same regulations, the first being an obligatory expense on the local budget, as are the other expenses expressed in article 7 regarding the schools for males.

Art. 12.Teachers and assistants shall be exempt from the giving of personal services so long as they exercise their duties, and after ceasing to exercise them, if they have exercised them for fifteen years. After five years of duty, the teachers, and after ten, the assistants, shall enjoy distinction as principales.

Art. 13.The teachers of both sexes and the assistants shall have the right, in case of disability for the discharge of their duties, of pension under the conditions prescribed by the regulations.

Art. 14. Teachers and assistants with certificates, who shall have exercised their duties suitably for ten and fifteen years respectively, shall be preferred in the provision of posts of the class of clerk, established by the decree of July 15 last without the necessity of furnishing proofs of fitness, as well as in the provision of employments not subject to the abovesaid royal decree which are to be appointed by the superior civil governor, and do not demand conditions of special fitness in which the above are lacking.

Art. 15.The superior inspection of primary education shall be exercised by the superior civil governor of the islands, with the aid of a commission which shall be established in the capital under the name of "Superior Commission of Primary Instruction." Said commission shall be composed of the superior governor as president, of the right reverend archbishop of Manila, and of seven members of recognized ability a pointed by the first name. The chiefs of the provinces shall be provincial inspectors, and shall exercise their duties with the aid of a commission composed of the chief, of the diocesan prelate, and in the latter's absence, of the parish priest of the chief city, and of the alcalde-mayor, or administrator of revenues.

The parish priests shall be the local inspectors ex-officio and shall direct the teacbing of the Christian doctrine and morals under the direction of the right reverend prelates.

The regulations shall designate the powers of the commissions and above-cited inspectors.

Art. 16.After a school has been established in any village for fifteen years, no natives who cannot talk, read and write the Castilian language shall form a part of the principalia unless they enjoy that distinction by right of inheritance.. After the school has been.established for thirty years, only those who possess the above-mentioned condition shall enjoy exemption from the personal service tax except in case of sickness.

Art. 17.Five years after the publication of this decree, no one who does not possess the above-mentioned qualification, proved before the chief of the province, can be appointed to salaried posts in the Philippine Archipelago.

Art. 18. The superior civil governor, the chiefs of the provinces, and the local authorities, shall have special care in promoting the fulfilment of the requirements of this decree, adopting or proposing, according to circumstances, the necessary measures for their complete fulfilment.

Art. 19. Decrees [cedulas] of petition and request shall be sent to the right reverend archbishop and the reverend bishops of the Philippine Archipelago, in order that they may arouse the zeal of the parish priests for the exact fulfilment of the duties vested in them by this decree, in what relates to the supervision of the teaching of the natives, and very specially to that of the holy, Catholic faith and the Castilian language.

Art. 20. Special regulations shall detail minutely the organization of the normal school and of the schools of primary instruction for the natives.

Given at the palace, December 20, 1863. It is rubricated in the royal hand.The minister of the colonies, 

Jose de la Concha