Secondary education is free but not compulsory. It is meant to build on the foundation knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the elementary level and to discover and “enhance the aptitudes and interests of the student as to equip him with skills for productive endeavor and/or prepare him for tertiary schooling.” With the K to 12 curriculum, it consists of 4 years of Junior High School, Grades 7 to 10, and 2 years of Senior High School, Grades 11 to 12.

In Grades 7 and 8, the learner does not yet obtain a Certificate of Competency (COC). The exploratory courses are a prelude to the earning of a COC in Grade 9 and a NC I/II in Grade 10.

In Grade 9, the learner chooses one course to specialize in from among the exploratory courses that he/she was oriented to in Grades 7 and 8. In this level, the learner obtains a Certificate of Competency.

In Grade 10 he/she pursues the TLE specialization course that he/she has chosen in Grade 9 for him/her to obtain at least a National Certificate Level I or Level II (NC-I/NC-II) depending on the TLE course chosen.