Not Years but Quality of Education Matters

"We argue, however, that too much attention is paid to the time spent in school, and too little is paid to the quality of the schools and the types of skills developed there.", Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann write in a Science article published early this year. The authors find that the success of East Asian countries cannot be explained by years spent in school. Instead, scores in international standardized exams in math and the sciences are strongly correlated to why some East Asian countries prosper while Latin American countries, including the Philippines, do not. The figure below, copied from the Science paper, demonstrates this well.

Above copied from Knowledge capital, growth, and the East Asian miracle
By Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann
Science 22 Jan 2016 : 344-345
In terms of test scores, an average 9th grade student in the Philippines lags behind an average 9th grade student in Singapore by about six years in math and the sciences, explaining why the Philippines' growth rate in GDP per capita is more than six times slower than that of Singapore.