Education System in Canada

Canada has both a public and private education system. From kindergarten through to university, the Canadian government subsidizes a great portion of the financial burden of educating its young minds.

Canada has one of the highest educational standards when compared to other industrialized nations. The school year normally runs from September through to the following June. Secondary studies go up to Grades 11, 12 or 13, depending on the province. After which, students may choose to attend university, college, or Cegep (in Quebec) studies.

Canada has many internationally recognized university programs located in both urban and rural regions throughout the Nation. Degrees awarded from Canadian universities are recognized as equivalent to those from American and other Commonwealth universities. The university year usually runs from September to May.

International students may choose to study in either one of Canada’s two official languages. Some universities even offer instruction in both. However, students need not be fluent in both languages to attend school in Canada.

Education in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and over looked by federal, provincial, and local governments. Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is over looked by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by secondary education and post-secondary.

Elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education system in Canada is a provincial government responsibility and there are many variations between the provinces.

All provinces and territories provide universal, free elementary and secondary schooling for 12 years, with the exception of Quebec where it is for 11 years. Education is compulsory to the age of between 15 and 18, depending on the province.

Canada spends about 7% of its GDP on education.

Elementary & High Schools

Primary education and secondary education combined are sometimes referred to as K-12, Kindergarten through Grade 12. Secondary schools are also known as “HIGH SCHOOL” in Canada.

In Canada schools are either (PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL) or (PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOL). Public secondary schools are funded by provincial government and are managed by boards of education or district schools boards. Private secondary schools are owned private organizations and are dependent on tuition fees.

Secondary school-most often called high school-typically includes grades 9 through 12 & in Quebec high school covers grades 7 through 11.

Post Secondary Education

Post-secondary education in Canada is also the responsibility of the individual provinces and territories includes colleges, universities, technical schools and career colleges.

Universities in Canada have degree-granting authority via an Act or Ministerial Consent from the Ministry of Education of the particular province.

Post-secondary institutions have the authority to grant academic credentials like certificate, diplomas and degrees. All public and private “recognized” and “authorized” postsecondary institutions in Canada have been given the authority to grant academic credentials by their provincial or territorial governments through charters or legislation that ensures or enables mechanisms for institutional and program quality.

The degree-granting institutions applies largely to universities and university colleges, while colleges and other institutions are discussed more fully under non-degree-granting institutions.

Colleges and technical institutes undertake diploma and certificate programs as their primary activity, and may also offer bachelor’s and applied degrees in areas of particular specialization. Many universities and university colleges also offer diploma and certificate programs, often in professional designations.

Public colleges, specialized institutes, community colleges, institutes of technology and advanced learning, offer vocationally oriented programs in a wide range of professional and technical fields including:

  • Business
  • Agriculture
  • Health science
  • Applied arts
  • Skilled trades
  • Technology
  • Social services
  • Paramedical technology
  • And may also offer bachelor’s & applied degree programs.

Diplomas are generally awarded for the successful completion of two- or three-year programs, while certificate programs most often take one year to complete.

Bachelor’s degrees normally require three or four years of full-time study, depending on the province. An honours bachelor’s degree involves a higher degree of concentration in the major subject, as well as a higher level of academic achievement, and, in some cases, an additional year of study.

A master’s degree typically requires two years of study after completion of either a general or an honours baccalaureate program.

A minimum of three years of study and research, including the completion of a dissertation, are the normal requirements for a doctorate. The degree is generally known as a PhD.

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