An Overview of The Canadian Education System

Canada has become one of the major destinations for international students in the past couple of decades. This is a highly developed country and is only second to Russia in terms of total land space (nearly 10 million square kilometers). One of the major highlights of this country is that the government of Canada prioritizes education very highly. You can also get Walmart hrm case study by remarkable case study experts.

Canada boasts a state-run system of education, one that is provided, funded, and administered by federal, provincial, and local governments. In fact, the jurisdiction of the public education system, as well as its curriculum, is overseen by each province. Due to this, you may see slight variations in the educational systems of each province.

Education in Canada – Introduction

Education in Canada is primarily divided into four stages – pre-school or early childhood education, primary or elementary education, secondary education, and post-secondary or tertiary education. Education is compulsory till the age of 16 in every province of Canada, except for New Brunswick and Ontario, where it is 18 years.

There are 190 total school days in the academic year in Canada, typically starting in September and concluding towards the end of June. In most cases, the academic year ends on the last Friday of June, while in some cases in the province of Quebec, the last of school occurs just before the 24th of June, a holiday in the province.

Apart from having public schools, there are also numerous private schools in Canada. Most Canadian education systems continue up to grade 12 (age seventeen to eighteen). However, the typical high school term ends after secondary V/grade 11 (age sixteen to seventeen) in Quebec. After this, students can attend college if they want to pursue a university education.

Structure of Education in Canada

As mentioned previously, the Canadian education system is divided into four levels. Here are the brief descriptions of those levels.

1. Pre-elementary education in Canada:

This level of education is offered to young children of age 4-5 years. This level is completed by the students before they begin elementary school at age six. A majority of the jurisdictions offer one year of public pre-elementary education. Several provinces, including Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, offer additional years of free pre-school.

In most jurisdictions, kindergarten (i.e., the pre-elementary program in the year before Grade One) is offered to children who turn 5 years by a particular date in the school year – as specified by jurisdictional or provincial legislation. In most jurisdictions, attending these programs is optional, even though it is mandatory in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

The curriculum offered in kindergarten and other pre-elementary programs are quite flexible. Students get introduced to the alphabet, pre-reading and mathematics skills, art, music, and play. All kindergarten and early childhood education programs in Canada are designed to prepare students for the challenges in the next level of education. You can also get algorithm assignment help by top programmer.

2. Primary (Elementary) Education in Canada:

In Canada, primary education is compulsory for all children, usually beginning at age 6 or 7 with grade one. Students get six years of primary education – Grade 1 through Grade 6 – typically divided in the following manner:

  • Grade 1 – ages 6 to 7
  • Grade 2 – ages 7 to 8
  • Grade 3 – ages 8 to 9
  • Grade 4 – ages 9 to 10
  • Grade 5 – ages 10 to 11
  • Grade 6 – ages 11 to12

Students in the primary grades of education generally study under only one instructor for the entire school year and receive that instruction in a single classroom. Special education programs may also have one to four instructional aides present, based on the type and severity of the students’ disabilities, in order to assist the teacher throughout the day.

The curriculum in the primary level education covers a number of subject areas, including mathematics, language arts (usually English, but French in Quebec), reading, history, social studies, geography, science, music, physical education, and art. Generally, the difficulty of curriculum increases somewhat with every passing grade.

3. Secondary Education in Canada:

In Canada, secondary education comprises two levels – intermediate education or junior high and high school.

  • Intermediate education:

As soon as the students successfully complete the final year of elementary (or primary) education, or Grade 6, they are promoted to junior high or intermediate school. The intermediate school is a two-year educational stage that covers two grades – Grade 7 and Grade 8.

In Grade 7, students of age 12 or 13 years are introduced to the process of attending different classrooms throughout the day, facing different teachers for every class. The teachers must obtain a single-subject teaching certificate indicating their expertise.

The basic goal of intermediate education is to prepare students for the next phase of secondary education or high school. They receive education on many of the same subjects in which they received instruction in primary school, even though the difficulty increases substantially. Other subjects, more notably foreign language instruction – Spanish, French, English (for Quebec students), etc. are also added to the curriculum in intermediate school.

  • High School Education:

After finishing the 8 Grade, the students are promoted to high school – a four-year program that comprises the following way:

  • Grade 9 – ages 14 to 15
  • Grade 10 – ages 15 to 16
  • Grade 11 – ages 16 to 17
  • Grade 12 – ages 17 to 18

In Ontario province, students can take advantage of the fifth year of high school, usually referred to as Grade 12+. The law dictates that students must remain in high school until at least the age of 16, irrespective of their grade. This rule is applicable to every province except for Ontario and New Brunswick, where students must remain in school until age 18 or until they successfully complete high school and are awarded a diploma.

Approximately 90% of students in Canada successfully complete high school and are awarded a diploma for their efforts. In Quebec, secondary education continues to Grade 11 (secondary V) and is generally followed by college, a two-year pre-university (university for students in Quebec is three years, except engineering), or a three-year vocational program which can be taken after high school.

4. Post-Secondary Education in Canada:

After successfully graduating from high school (Secondary V in Quebec), students are free to apply to the college or university of their choice. The term “college” usually refers to a community college or an applied arts, technical, or applied science school in Canada. The schools grant vocational certificates, diplomas, and associated degrees.

A university in Canada is an institution of higher education and research. A university further provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The degree structure at the university in Canada is very similar to that of the united states, offering:

  • Bachelor’s degree: Typically takes three, four, or five years to complete
  • Master’s degree: Typically takes two years to complete
  • Ph.D.: Typically takes anywhere from 3 to 6 years  to complete

University students in Canada can also pursue a number of advanced specialized degrees in areas like medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the law. Universities grant degrees (such as bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degrees), while colleges typically grant diplomas and certificates. Some colleges offer applied arts degrees that are equivalent to degrees from a university.

Wrapping up,

Now that you have a better idea of the Canadian education system, you can decide for yourself whether you want to move to the country and pursue your education there. If you are going there as an international student, you will enjoy a few privileges while the native students enjoy some advantages over their international peers in Canada.

Author bio: Michael Haydon is an architect by profession and works for a construction firm. He is also a part of, where he offers Revit assignment help to students on requests. He also loves to write and read and runs his own blog.

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button