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| Published in Education in the World Interesting Facts | Written by Patricia May

Education in Canada

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If talking about the education system in Canada, we discover that it has many common characteristics to other countries. Any student may obtain the education in a variety of universities, and most of the higher educational institutions are provided and funded by the local, provincial and federal governments. Career colleges, community colleges, technical colleges, language schools, universities, private and charter schools, university colleges and other establishments make up the education system in Canada.

Education is under provincial responsibility, so many provinces have their own specific features, standards, and even requirements. Let’s consider the main issues regarding education in Canada.

General Facts and Issues about Education System

Education in Canada has three major parts: elementary education, secondary education, and post-secondary education. Elementary education starts at the age of 5 or 6. Schooling is obligatory until the age of 16 in almost every Canadian province, apart from New Brunswick and Ontario where the mandatory age is 18. Officially, the academic year starts in September and finishes at the end of June.

Secondary education is provided by the high school or college systems, which may vary from province to province. After secondary schooling in Quebec, students choose between a college, pre-university and vocational programs. From secondary schools, students can attend universities or colleges they prefer.

For post-secondary schooling, pupils apply to various Canadian colleges or universities. The first ones provide their graduates with such academic credentials like certificates, diplomas, associate degree or an applied arts degree. At the same time, universities have the right to grant diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in a wide range of academic subjects.

A key point is that Canada is a bilingual country, and you will find many French-language and English-language schools as well. In many provinces, if a student wants to study in a French school, he or she needs to have at least one French-speaking parent. If prefer any of these languages, contact the educational department of the province or territory you live in, and ask questions about all courses available.

Have you heard about the private institutions in Canada? Private schools have been popular among rich and famous families, and now about 8% of students study and practice in these educational establishments. However, this fact does not prevent other wealthy parents from sending their kids to the classical public schools. Also, there is a number of private colleges in Canada, some of them have technological direction. Frankly speaking, there are some private universities but the idea of privatization hasn’t gained great popularity yet. The very first private higher educational organization in this country was the Liberal Arts British Columbia’s Quest University.

What do you actually know about Canadian religious schools? In the beginning, the education systems of all provinces were divided by religion. Now in Ontario, for example, there are plenty of schools funded publicly by the Catholic System, and some private Muslim, Christian, and Jewish schools. At the same time, many other provinces admitted funding private religious schools. For instance, in British Columbia, the schools compatible with all strict provincial requirements need to be funded by the government. There are a few Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Hindu private schools too. In Alberta, the charter schools are also funded by the government, though they are not private at all. These charter schools must follow all provincial restrictions and standards with some freedom in other spheres.

To sum up, it is always useful to learn and explore the education system in the country you live in or the one you wish to visit one day. Canada has a lot of opportunities and courses to offer, so do not miss your chance!