All you need to know about Canadian Education System
Canada, as one of the most industrialized countries in the world, has one of the highest educational standards. It is the world’s most educated country, with more than half of the population holding a college diploma. Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada, except for Ontario and New Brunswick, where the compulsory age is 18. The academic year in Canada typically lasts 190 days, beginning in September (after Labor Day) and ending near the end of June—usually the last Friday of the month, except in some cases in Quebec, where the final day of school falls soon before June 24, a provincial holiday.
Before we take a closer look at the education system, let’s learn about how it is managed and run.
The government funds and oversees the majority of education in Canada, with provincial, territorial, and local governments paying and overseeing it. The province is in charge of education, and the curriculum is regulated by the province. The Ministry of Education oversees the educational programmes, which are managed by district school boards in the provinces. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) coordinates the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses 15-year-olds’ scholastic achievement in mathematics, science, and reading.
Composition of the Education System
The Canadian education system comprises four levels –
- Pre-school or early childhood education;
- Primary or elementary education;
- Secondary education and
- Post-secondary or tertiary education.
Pre-school or early childhood education: This includes educational programmes for young children (ages 4-5) that are provided by public, private, and federal schools around the country, as well as schools for the blind and deaf.
Primary or elementary education: All children in Canada are required to attend primary school, which normally begins at the age of 6 or 7 with Grade One. Students are educated for six years in primary school, usually till the age of 11 or 12.
Secondary education: In Canada, secondary education is divided into two levels: intermediate or junior high school (Grades 7 and 8) and high school (Grades 9 to 12).
Post-secondary or tertiary education: This includes college and university programs and vocational/technical schooling.
Post-Secondary or Tertiary Education in Canada
Canadian students can apply to colleges and universities after graduating from high school or post-secondary schools. College is a term used in Canada to describe a smaller community college or a specialized vocational school. Many students in Canada attend college to prepare for university admissions and to acquire credits that can be transferred to other institutions. Widely, it has two basic types of education providers – Universities and Colleges.
Universities in Canada provide a variety of degrees ranging from undergraduate to PhD levels, with degrees lasting anywhere from one to four years depending on the level of education and amount of credits in the programme. Faculty members are actively engaged in research in addition to their teaching obligations, providing numerous chances for students to learn about and participate in research and development activities. The majority of public universities are supported primarily by provincial governments, with the remainder coming from minor tuition fees, research grants, and a small amount from the federal government.
In Canada, community colleges are more industry-focused, offering career-focused, hands-on, or technical programmes. Some schools offer bachelor’s degrees, but most offer two- to four-year diplomas and degrees, as well as vocational training. While the range of programs varies among provincial college systems, it may include selected baccalaureate degrees in academic and applied fields, technological and vocational courses leading to diplomas or certificates, trades and apprenticeship training, and many more.
Knowing the Degree Structure
The degree structure at Canadian universities is – Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and PhD.
- Bachelor’s Degree: It is an undergraduate degree that takes three, four, or five years to finish for full-time students (depending on the province and class availability).
- Master’s Degree: It’s also known as a graduate degree, and it’s usually completed in two years.
- PhD: A doctorate, sometimes known as a PhD, is a specialized post-graduate degree that takes between 3-6 years to accomplish.
Some intend to continue to university degree programs and can earn up to 2 years of transferable credit in jurisdictions that have a well-established inter-institutional articulation system. Others pursue a skill that will lead to employment. Many other students attend college to improve their credentials, retrain for a new profession or trade, or simply to upgrade their career via education.