Education in Canada

Education in Canada is provided, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments.Fact|date=September 2008 Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the province. [Citation | first2 =
author2-link = writen by curtis evertt
title =Canada 1956 the Official Handbook of Present Conditions and Recent Progress
place=
publisher =Queen's Printer
year =1956
location =Ottawa
volume = Canada Year Book Section Information Services Division Dominion Bureau of Statistics
edition =
url =
doi =
id =
] Education in Canada is generally divided into Elementary (Primary School, Public School), followed by Secondary (High School) and Post Secondary (University, College). Within the provinces under the ministry of education, there are district school boards administering the educational programs. [Citation
last =Minister of Trade and Commerce
first =The Right Honourable C. D. Howe
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Canada 1956 the Official Handbook of Present Conditions and Recent Progress
place=
publisher =Queen's Printer
year =1956
location =Ottawa
volume = Canada Year Book Section Information Services Division Dominion Bureau of Statistics
edition =
url =
doi =
id =
] 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. In some provinces early leaving exemptions can be granted under certain circumstances at 14. Canada generally has 190 school days in the year, officially starting from September (after Labour Day) to the end of June (usually the last Friday of the month, Wednesday in some Ontario schools).

Canada-wide

Elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education in Canada is a provincial responsibility and there are many variations between the provinces. Some educational fields are supported at various levels by Federal Departments. The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for the education of first nations. [ [http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/edu/index-eng.as INAC Canada website] . Retrieved 2008-05-24.] [ [http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/nr/prs/j-a2003/2-02248_e.html INAC Press relase on education] . Retrieved 2008-05-24.] North West Territorial education is the mandate of the Department of Resources and Development which later came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources. Vocational training can be subsidized via the Department of Labour. [Citation
last =Minister of Trade and Commerce
first =The Right Honourable C. D. Howe
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Canada 1956 the Official Handbook of Present Conditions and Recent Progress
place=
publisher =Queen's Printer
year =1956
location =Ottawa
volume = Canada Year Book Section Information Services Division Dominion Bureau of Statistics
edition =
url =
doi =
id =
] [Citation
last =Minister of Trade and Commerce
first =the Right Honourable C. D. Howe
author-link =
last2 =Dominion Bureau of Statistics
first2 =Department of Trade and Commerce, Canada
author2-link =
title = The Canada Year Book 1951
place=
publisher =Queen's Printer
year =1951
location =Ottawa
volume = The Official Statistical annual of the resouces, history, institutions and social and economic conditions of Canada.
edition =
url =
doi =
id =
] Junior Kindergarten (or equivalent) as an official program exists only in Ontario currently. Kindergarten (or its equivalent) is available in every province, but provincial funding, and the number of hours provided varies widely. Starting at grade one, at age six or seven, there is universal publicly funded access up to grade twelve (or equivalent). Dependent on the province the age of mandatory entry is at 4-7 years. Children are required to attend school until the age of sixteen (Age 18 in Ontario and New Brunswick). About one out of ten Canadians does not have a high school diploma — one in seven has a university degree — the adult population that is without a high school diploma is a combination of both immigrant and Canadian-born. In many places, publicly-funded high school courses are offered to the adult population. The ratio of high school graduates versus non diploma-holders is changing rapidly, partly due to changes in the labour market that require people to have a high school diploma and, in many cases, a university degree.

Canada spends about 7% of its GDP on education. Since the adoption of section 23 of the Constitution Act, 1982, education in both English and French has been available in most places across Canada (if the population of children speaking the minority language justifies it), although French Second Language education/French Immersion is availble to Anglophone students across Canada. And recently, Canada has opened doors to foreign students. According to an announcement of Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Canada is introducing a new, fast-track system to let foreign students and graduates with Canadian work experience become permanent eligible residents in Canada. [ [http://www.education-blog.net/2008/08/19/canada-is-opening-doors-to-students/ Canada Is Opening Doors To Students] ]

Divisions by religion and language

Originally all the provinces had educational systems divided by religion, but most provinces have abolished these. Ontario, Alberta, and certain cities in Saskatchewan are exceptions to this, as they still maintain publicly funded Separate district school boards (usually Catholic but occasionally Protestant). In Quebec, the Catholic/Protestant divide was replaced with a French/English one in 1998. Québécois must attend a French School up until the end of high school unless one of their parents previously attended an English-language school somewhere in Canada (immigrants from other countries cannot use this exception). However Bill 101 applies only to public schools, therefore immigrants to Quebec can send their children to English private schools.

Length of study

Most Canadian education systems continue up to grade twelve (age seventeen to eighteen). In Quebec, the typical high school term ends after Secondary V, the same as to grade eleven (age sixteen to seventeen); following this, students who wish to pursue their studies to the university level have to attend CEGEP.

Authorities

Normally, for each type of publicly funded school (such as Public English or Public French), the province is divided into districts (or divisions). For each district, board members (trustees) are elected only by its supporters within the district (voters receive a ballot for just one of the boards in their area). Normally, all publicly funded schools are under the authority of their local district school board. These school boards would follow a common curriculum set up by the province the board resides in. Only Alberta allows public charter schools, which are independent of any district board. Instead, they each have their own board, which reports directly to the province.

Pre-university

Primary education and secondary education combined are sometimes referred to as K-12 (Kindergarten through Grade 12). It should be noted that this structure can vary from school to school, and from province to province. For instance, Prince Edward Island school systems is the only province that does not provide Kindergarten. In contrast, Ontario is the only province which provides two levels of Kindergarten (Junior and Senior).

In Canada, secondary schooling, known as "high school", "école secondaire" or "secondary school", differs depending on the province in which one resides. Additionally, grade structure may vary within a province and even within a school division. Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada, except for Ontario and New Brunswick (where the compulsory ages are 18). Students may continue to attend high school until the ages of 19 to 21 (the cut-off age for high school varies between province). Those 19 and over may attend adult school. Also if high schoolers are expelled or suspended for a period of time over 2 months or so they could attend night school at the high school.

Ontario had a "Grade 13" known as Ontario Academic Credit (OAC) year, but this was abolished by the provincial government to cut costs. OAC was last offered for the 2002-2003 school year. As a result, the curriculum has been compacted, and the more difficult subjects, such as mathematics, are comparatively harder than before. However, the system is now approximately equivalent to what has been the case outside of Quebec and Ontario for many years. Secondary education in Quebec continues to Grade 11 (Secondary V), and is typically followed by CEGEP, a two or three year college program taken after high school. Pre-university CEGEP programs are two years in Quebec (university for Quebecers is three years), and vocational or professional programs are three years in duration (see Education in Quebec).

Post-secondary education

Post-secondary education in Canada is also the responsibility of the individual provinces and territories. Those governments provide the majority of funding to their public post-secondary institutions, with the remainder of funding coming from tuition fees, the federal government, and research grants. Compared to other countries in the past, Canada has had the highest tertiary school enrollment as a percentage of their graduating population.

Nearly all post-secondary institutions in Canada have the authority to grant academic credentials (i.e., diplomas or degrees). Generally speaking, universities grant degrees (e.g., bachelor's, master's or doctorate degrees) while colleges, which typically offer vocationally-oriented programs, grant diplomas and certificates. However, some colleges offer applied arts degrees that lead to or are equivalent to degrees from a university.

Post-secondary education in Quebec begins with CEGEP (collèges d'enseignement général et professionnel), following graduation from Grade 11 (or Secondary V). Students complete a two- or three-year general program leading to admission to a university, or a professional program leading directly into the labour force. In most cases, bachelor's degree programs in Quebec are three years instead of the usual four; however, in many cases, students attending a university in Quebec that did not graduate from CEGEP must complete an additional year of coursework. When Ontario had five years of high school, a three-year bachelor's degree was common, but these degrees are being phased out in favour of the four-year degree.

The main variation between the provinces, with respect to universities, is the amount of funding they receive. Universities in Quebec receive the most funding and have the lowest tuitions. Universities in Atlantic Canada generally receive the least funding and some, like Acadia University, are almost wholly reliant on private funding.

The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), is the military academy of the Canadian Forces and is a full degree-granting university. RMC is the only federal institution with degree granting powers.

"See also: List of universities in Canada, Group of Thirteen (Canadian universities)"

Private schools

In Canada there is no obligation for parents to place their children in the public school system, and about 8% of students are in the private system. A minority of these are elite private schools. These schools are attended by only a small fraction of students, but do have a great deal of prestige and prominence. It is not unusual for the wealthy and prominent in Canada to send their children to public schools, especially in the lower grades. A far larger portion of private schools are religious based institutions. Private schools are also used to study outside the country. For example CCI has an Ontario curriculum, but the students study in Italy.

Private schools have historically been less common on the Canadian Prairies and were often forbidden under municipal and provincial statutes enacted to provide equality of education to students regardless of family income. This is especially true in Alberta, where successive Social Credit (or populist conservative) governments denounced the concept of private education as the main cause of denial of opportunity to the children of the working poor. These rules lasted longer than Social Credit; it was only in 1989 that private K-12 schools were allowed to operate inside the boundaries of the City of Calgary.

Private Universities

At present, all private universities in Canada maintain a religious history or foundation. British Columbia’s Quest University will become the first privately funded liberal arts university without a denominational affiliation (although it is not the first private liberal arts university). Many provinces, including Ontario and Alberta, have passed legislation allowing private degree-granting institutions (not necessarily universities) to operate there.

Many Canadians remain polarized on the issue of permitting private universities into the Canadian market. On the one hand, Canada’s top universities find it difficult to compete with the private American powerhouses because of funding, but on the other hand, the fact that the price of private universities tends to exclude those who cannot pay that much for their education could prevent a significant portion of Canada’s population from being able to attend these schools.

Religious schools

Each province deals differently with private religious schools. In Ontario the Catholic system continues to be fully publicly funded, but other faiths receive no such funding. Ontario has several private Jewish, Muslim, and Christian schools, but all are funded through tuition fees. Since the Catholic schools system is entrenched in the constitution, the Supreme Court has ruled that this system is not unconstitutional. However, the United Nations has ruled that Ontario's system is unfair [ [Citation
last =
first = CBC
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =UN says funding of Catholic schools discriminatory
date =1999-11-09
year =
url =http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/1999/11/05/schools991105.html
accessdate =2008-03-31
] . In 2002 the government of Mike Harris introduced a controversial program to partially fund all private schools, but this was criticized for undermining the public education system and the program was eliminated after the Liberals won the 2003 provincial election.

In other provinces privately operated religious schools are funded. In British Columbia the government pays 50% of the cost of religious schools that meet rigorous provincial standards. The province has a number of Sikh, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim schools. Alberta also has a network of charter schools, which are fully funded schools offering distinct approaches to education within the public school system. Alberta charter schools are not private and the province does not grant charters to religious schools. These schools have to follow the provincial curriculum and meet all standards, but are given considerable freedom in other areas. In all other provinces private religious schools receive some funding, but not as much as the public system.

An example of how schools can be divided by religions in the Durham Region, the Durham Catholic District School Board, and Durham District School Board.

History of religious schools

The role of religion in Canadian education has been controversial for centuries. The first schools in New France were operated by the church. In the early nineteenth century the colonial governments moved to set up publicly funded education systems. However, soon religious divisions became problematic. At the time religious study was considered an integral part of education, but Protestants and Catholics were deeply divided over how this education should be delivered. In Upper Canada the Catholic minority rejected the Protestant practice of Biblical study in schools, while in Lower Canada the Protestant minority objected to the education system instilling Roman Catholic dogma. Thus in both these areas two schools systems were established, a Catholic and a Protestant. Upon Confederation these schools systems were enshrined in the British North America Act, 1867.

In the three Maritime provinces, schools were mainly Protestant, and a single Protestant oriented school system was established in each of them. In Newfoundland there was not only the Catholic/Protestant split, but also deep divisions between Protestant sects, and nine separate schools systems were set up, one catering to each major denomination. Eventually the major Protestant boards merged into an integrated school system. The three Prairie provinces adopted a system based on Ontario's with a dominant Protestant system, and smaller Catholic ones. In 1891, however Manitoba moved to eliminate the Catholic board, sparking the Manitoba Schools Question. Eventually the Catholic school system in that province was merged with the Protestant one. British Columbia established a non-sectarian school system in 1872.

Overtime the originally Protestant school boards of English Canada, known as the public schools, became increasingly secularized as Canadians came to believe in the separation of Church and state, and the main boards became secular ones. In Ontario all overt religiosity was removed from the public school system in 1990. In two provinces the sectarian education systems have recently been eliminated through constitutional change. Newfoundland, after a close and controversial referendum, eliminated its multiple school boards, merging them into a single public board. In Quebec the Catholic/Protestant divide was replaced with a French language/English language one.

Residential School System

The Canadian residential school system consisted of a number of schools for Aboriginal children, operated during the 20th century by churches of various denominations (about sixty per cent by Roman Catholics, and thirty per cent by the Protestants) and funded under the Indian Act by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, a branch of the federal government. The schools' purpose was, according to the Indian Act, to "civilize" aboriginals, teach them English or French, convert them to Christianity, and end their traditional ways of life.

Levels in education

Canada outside Quebec

*Pre-School or Nursery School (age 5 and under)
**Junior Kindergarten (only in Ontario) (4-5)
**Kindergarten (5-6): students in the Prairie Provinces are not required by statute to attend kindergarten. Kindergarten is not often available in smaller towns or in the Territories.
*Elementary school: refers to grades 1 through 6, but may also include grades 7 and 8
**Grade 1-6 (ages 6-12)
*Junior high school: also called "middle school" or "intermediate school". In many places, junior high school and high school are merged into one consisting of a high school with grades 8-12. In other areas, the junior high grades are merged into elementary schools consisting of grades K-8. In parts of Ontario, "senior public schools" exist (basically the same as US middle schools), consisting only of grades 6, 7 and 8 or grades 7 and 8. This particular split is driven by demographics and school building capacity. In the Prairie Provinces, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, however, junior high schools (which are not called middle schools) include only grades 7, 8, and 9, and never grades 6 or earlier; there are, however, combination elementary and junior high schools that include grades 1 to 9 and, occasionally, kindergarten.
**Grade 7 (12-13)
**Grade 8 (13-14)
**Grade 9 (Senior 1 in Manitoba) (14-15) (in Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces, this may be the first grade of high school)
*High school (in some areas, usually areas with no junior high schools, from grade 8 to 12):
**Grade 10 (Senior 2 in Manitoba) (15-16)
**Grade 11 (Senior 3 in Manitoba) (16-17)
**Grade 12 (Senior 4 in Manitoba) (17-18)
**Grade 12+ (21 and under) (Ontario only)
**OAC Equivalent of Grade 13 (18-19) (only in Ontario, this is now defunct as of 2003)
*College or University
**College: Two to three years leading to a diploma. In some cases, an Associate's degree (not common in Canada) or a Bachelor's degree may be possible at the institution
**University:
***In Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces, university normally consists of three years leading to a Bachelor's degree; four years leading to an advanced major degree, a double degree or (in Ontario) an Honours Bachelor's degree (the latter is in Ontario usually required for Graduate school).
***In Western Canada, university normally consists of four years leading to a Bachelor's Degree (whether Honours, With Distinction, or otherwise), and five years for a double major or for a Bachelor's Degree in certain specific fields. However, at many universities in Western Canada students are permitted to take up to ten years to complete a Bachelor's Degree part-time. It is also more common in Western Canada for students to apply to university years after graduating from high school than it is in Ontario or the Atlantic Provinces.
**Graduate school
***One or two years leading to a postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma, sometimes called advanced graduate or post-baccalaureate in some universities. This qualification is usually taken after the Bachelor's degree, but before a Master's degree.
***One or two years leading to a Master's degree, depending on programme requirements.
***Four years leading to a Doctoral degree.

Special Notes
* In some provinces, such as Nova Scotia, kindergarten is referred to as "Grade Primary", and in Manitoba, secondary school grade levels are referred to as S1 through S4.

* Ontario schools offer what is known as junior kindergarten for children four years of age. Alternatively, junior kindergarten is referred to as pre-kindergarten, while kindergarten is used interchangeably with senior kindergarten. French schools in Ontario sometimes use pré-jardin and jardin in the place of Quebec and New Brunswick's maternelle."'

* Prior to 1984, Ontario included an additional year at the end of high school for preparing students for entrance into University. From 1984 to 2003, the Ontario educational system replaced "Grade 13" for what was called the "OAC Year", in which students took specialized pre-university courses for which Ontario Academic Credits (OACs) were awarded. These specialized courses have been since incorporated into the Province's current 12-year scholastic curriculum, thus effectively eliminating Grade 13.

* A victory lap in Ontario often refers to a twelfth-grade student who returns for a second year of Grade 12. Another option for students who choose to take a "victory lap" is to do a single semester of study, leaving for some time to prepare for post-secondary education, work, or explore other personal interests. Many see this as a result of the elimination of the OAC year.

Quebec

*"garderie" (Pre-school); Under 5
*"maternelle" (Kindergarten); 5-6
*"école primaire" (literally "Primary school", equivalent to "Elementary School")
**Grade 1; 6-7
**Grade 2; 7-8
**Grade 3; 8-9
**Grade 4; 9-10
**Grade 5; 10-11
**Grade 6; 11-12
*"école secondaire" (literally "Secondary school", or "High School")
**Secondary I; 12-13
**Secondary II; 13-14
**Secondary III; 14-15
**Secondary IV; 15-16
**Secondary V; 16-17 Secondaries I-V are equivalent to grades 7-11. In most English High Schools, the different terms are used interchangeably.
*CEGEP
**Pre-university program, two years (typically Social Sciences, Natural Sciences or Arts)
**Professional program, three years (e.g. Paralegal, Dental Hygienist, Nursing, etc.)both leading to a "Diplôme d'études collégiales" (DEC) some professional programs can lead to an "Attestation d'études collégiales" (Associate's degree) for one additional year.
*University (Must have DEC or equivalent)
**Undergraduate
***Three years leading to a Bachelor's degree. Non-Quebec students require an extra year to complete the same degree because of the extra year in CEGEP.
**Graduate (or postgraduate)
***One or two years leading to a Master's degree.
***three or more years leading to a Doctoral degree.

English schools in Quebec have the same grade system as French schools, but with English names. For example, "elementary school" is not called "école primaire" in an English school, but has the same grade system.

Grade structure by province

The following table shows how grades are organized in various provinces. Often, there will be exceptions within each province, both with terminology for groups, and which grades apply to each group.

Notes:
*In Manitoba, S1 = "Senior 1" ("fr:Secondaire 1") = "Grade 9"
*In British Columbia some schools may group together the higher Elementary and lower Secondary Grades. These schools are refereed to as Middle Schools or Jr. Secondary Schools. Some Elementary Schools consist solely of Grades K-5. Likewise, some Secondary Schools may only have grades 11 and 12. In addition, some school districts may use just elementary (K-7) and secondary (8-12) schools.
*In Nova Scotia the terms for groups, and grades they apply to varies significantly throughout the province. A common, but not universal, organization is shown.
*In Quebec CEGEP is two or three years, depending on what a student selects, based usually on what their post-secondary plans are. CEGEP in Quebec overlaps what other provinces consider the boundary between secondary education (high school) and post-secondary education (college and university). "Sec I" = "Secondary Year One" = "Grade 7"
*Non-original source (when not citing individual Ministry of Education): [http://www.cmec.ca/tguide/1998/english/ Council of Ministers of Education, Canada] Verify credibility|date=July 2007

Provincial and Territorial Departments and Ministries

[ [Citation
last =
first = Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
author-link =cmec@cmec.ca
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =CMEC Provincial and Territorial Departments of Education in Canada
date =2003-08-18
year =
url =http://www.cmec.ca/educmin.en.stm
accessdate = 2007-04-12
[ [Citation
last =
first = Government of Canada
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =About Canada - Society - Learning Resources - Provincial-Territorial Ministries
date =2002-08-05
year =
url =http://canada.gc.ca/acanada/ViewCategory.htm?lang=eng&font=0&categoryId=88
accessdate = 2007-04-12
]

ee also

* Education in Québec
* Education in Alberta
* University and college admissions
* List of universities in Canada
* List of colleges in Canada
* Alberta charter schools - Currently, this is the only province to have charter schools (Alberta Diploma Exam)
* Ontario rubric
* Higher Education in Canada
* Higher education in Quebec
* Higher education in Ontario
* Higher education in Nova Scotia

ources

* [http://www.cicic.ca/postsec/indexe.stm CICIC - Postsecondary Education in Canada]
* [http://www.the-happy-immigrant.com/education.html The Public School System in Canada]
* [http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy] --provides frequent reviews of and policy discussions about a wide range of educational issues in Canada.

References


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