Education in Canada
Education in Canada consists of ten provincial and three territorial systems, including public schools, separate schools, and private schools. Children are required by law to attend school from the age of 6 or 7 until they are 15 or 16. To make this possible, all non-private education through secondary school is publicly funded. In Quebec, general and vocational colleges are also publicly funded and only a minimal registration fee is required. Most other post-secondary schools charge tuition fees.
Canada has no federal educational system (each province or territory is responsible for its own educational system). Each system reflects its region, history and culture. The provincial departments of education set standards, draw up the curriculum, and give grants to educational institutions.
Local elected school boards or commissions are given administration responsibility. The boards set budgets, hire and negotiate with teachers, and shape school curriculum within the provincial guidelines.
The Government of Canada also plays an important role in education. It provides financial support for post-secondary education, labor market training, and the teaching of English and French, the two official languages. It is also responsible for the education of Aboriginal people, people in the armed forces, and inmates in the federal correctional facilities. They also help make it possible for people to continue onto post-secondary education by loans or scholarships like the Canada Loans Program, Millennium Scholarships, and the Canada Education Savings Grant.
Elementary and Secondary Schools
About five million children now attend public schools in Canada. In some provinces, children can enter kindergarten at the age of four before starting the elementary grades at age six. The elementary curriculum emphasizes language, math, social studies, introductory arts and science.
High school programs consist of two main streams: The first prepares students for university, the second for post-secondary...