Education in Canada

Education in Canada

This article was last updated on March 20, 2023

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Education in Canada

In Canada, there exists both public and private education systems. Public education is subsidized by the Canadian government from kindergarten to post-secondary level, with an average of almost six percent of the country’s GDP being spent on education. The age of compulsory education varies between provinces, with children between the ages of seven and 16 being required to attend school in every province, and in some provinces, kindergarten is optional. Manitoba, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, and Ontario have an age of compulsory education that extends to 18.

Education in Canada is divided into three levels: primary, secondary, and post-secondary. Primary education, also known as elementary school, ranges from kindergarten or Grade 1 to Grade 8. Secondary education, also known as high school, is from Grade 9 to Grade 12, except in Quebec, where high school attendance is until the age of 16. Quebec also has CEGEP, a two-year college where students can pursue a university preparation diploma or a vocational diploma. Canada has a vast network of post-secondary education, with many internationally recognized university programs available in urban and rural areas throughout the country.

International students can study in either English or French, with many institutions offering instruction in both languages. In Quebec, students are required to attend school in French until the end of high school, but may be eligible for English instruction under certain circumstances.

Canada has some of the world’s top educational institutions and is among the most educated countries globally. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Canadian students perform well in reading, mathematics, and science, ranking 6th, 12th, and 8th respectively among 78 participating countries.

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