Education In Canada

The federal system for education in Canada allows each province to determine the details of curriculum and funding, whereas in many other countries these details are the same throughout the country.  Even the overseeing branch of government that regulates education in each Canadian province is called something different.

Nevertheless, some similarities do exist across the board and education in Canada is mandatory for children of certain ages.  Children are required by law to begin school between the ages of 4 and 7, depending upon the province in which they live.  Canadian children must stay in school until they are 16 unless they live in Ontario or New Brunswick.  These two provinces require education until age 18.

Some Canadian provinces allow a child to leave the educational system at the age of 14, given certain circumstances, but these exemptions are usually granted as a result of some sort of hardship to the child or his or her family.  No province approves leaving school at age 14 for all children within its jurisdiction.

A full year of education in Canada consists of 190 days in the classroom.  The first day of school for all Canadian children comes after the Labour Day holiday and the school year continues until the last Friday in June.

Divisions of education in Canada come in three levels – elementary, secondary, and post-secondary – but, again, the details of division are left to individual provinces and vary from one to the other.  As a general rule of thumb, however, children attend elementary school until adolescence, when they move up to secondary school, which finishes with grade 12.

The post-secondary system of education in Canada includes college or university.  Canadian colleges are more vocation in tone and issue diplomas upon completion.  Universities are more academic and issue degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels.  An associate’s degree, for two years of post-secondary study, is rarely offered in Canada.

Federal money invested in education in Canada accounts for about 7% of its gross domestic product, or GDP.  About one-tenth of all Canadian children grow up without earning high school diplomas but one in seven of all Canadian children earns a university degree.