Canada- Facts And Figures
Canada- Facts And Figures

Canada- Facts And Figures

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  • Published: November 4, 2018
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Education in Canada

Education has two main goals: to give individuals the opportunity to develop

themselves, and to provide society with the skills it needs to evolve in its best

interests. Canada’s educational system is based on finding a coordinated approach

to the pursuit of these sometimes conflicting goals. Comprehensive, diversified, and

available to everyone, the system reflects the Canadian belief in the importance of

education.

Education in Canada consists of 10 provincial and two territorial systems, including

public schools, “separate” (i.e., denominational) 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 it possible to fulfil this obligation, all non-private education

through secondary (or “high”) school is publicly funded. In Quebec, general and

vocational colleges (CEGEPs, or Colleges d’enseignement gnral et professionnel)

are also publicly funded and require only a minimal registration fee. Most other

post-secondary schools, however, charge tuition fees.

A provincial responsibility

Unlike many other industrialized countries, Canada has no federal educational

system: the Constitution vested the exclusive responsibility for education in the

provinces. Each provincial system, while similar to the others, reflects its particular

region, history, and culture. The provincial departments of education–headed by an

elected minister–set standards, draw up curriculums, and give grants to educational

institutions.

Responsibility for the administration of elementary and secondary schools is

delegated to local elected school boards or commissions. The boards set budgets, hire

and negotiate with teachers, and shape school curriculums within provincial

guidelines.

A broad federal role

The federal government plays an indirect but vital role in education. It provides

financial support for post-secondary educ

...

ation, labour market training, and the

teaching of the two official languages–especially second-language training. In

addition, it is responsible for the education of Aboriginals, armed forces personnel

and their dependants, and inmates of federal penal institutions. Overall, the federal

government pays over one-fifth of Canada’s yearly educational bill.

One important part of this contribution is the Canada Student Loans Program,

which assists students who do not have sufficient resources to pursue their studies.

The program provides loan guarantees and, in the case of full-time students, interest

subsidies to help meet the cost of studies at the post-secondary level. Provinces have

complementary programs of loans and bursaries.

Another federal initiative, scheduled to take effect in the year 2000, is Canada

Millennium Scholarships. Through an initial endowment of $2.5 billion, this

program will provide scholarships to more than 100,000 students each year over 10

years. This represents the largest single investment the federal government has ever

made in support of universal access to post-secondary education. Scholarships will

average $3,000 a year, and individuals can receive up to $15,000 over a maximum of

four academic years. These scholarships could halve the debt load that recipients

would otherwise face.

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. General and fundamental, the elementary curriculum emphasizes

the basic subjects of language, math, social studies, introductory arts and science.

In general, high school programs consist of two streams. The first prepares students

for university, the second for post-secondary education at a community college or

institute of technology, or for the workplace. There are also special programs for

students unable to complete

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the conventional courses of study.

In most provinces, individual schools now set, conduct and mark their own

examinations. In some provinces, however, students must pass a graduation

examination in certain key subjects in order to proceed to the post-secondary level.

University entrance thus depends on course selection and marks in high school;

requirements vary from province to province.

Other schools

For parents seeking alternatives to the public system, there are separate as well as

private schools. Some provinces have legislation that permits the establishment of

separate schools by religious groups. Mostly Roman Catholic, separate schools,

which in 1995 accounted for about one-fourth of Canada’s public school enrolment,

offer a complete parochial curriculum from kindergarten through the secondary

level in some provinces.

Private or independent schools have a current enrolment of over a quarter of a

million students, and offer a great variety of curriculum options based on religion,

language, or academic status.

Teacher training

Canada’s elementary and secondary education systems employ close to 300,000

full-time teachers. Their professional training generally includes at least four or five

years of study (a Bachelor of Education degree normally requires university

graduation plus one year of educational studies). Teachers are licensed by the

provincial departments of education.

Post-Secondary education

For most of Canada’s history, post-secondary education was provided almost

exclusively by its universities. These were mainly private institutions, many with a

religious affiliation. During the 1960s, however, as the demand for greater variety in

post-secondary education rose sharply and enrolment mushroomed, systems of

publicly operated post-secondary non-university institutions began to develop.

Today in Canada, some 200 technical institutes and community colleges complement

about 100 universities, attracting a total post-secondary enrolment of approximately

1 million. Student fees, owing to substantial government subsidies, account for only

about 11% of the cost of Canadian post-secondary education.

Canada’s universities are internationally known for the quality of their teaching and

research. Examples include the neurological breakthroughs of Wilder Penfield at

McGill University and the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto by

Frederick Banting, C.H. Best, J.J.R. Macleod, and J.B. Collip. Full-time enrolment

in Canadian universities stands at over half a million, with enrolments at individual

institutions ranging from less than a 1,000 to over 35,000. Women are well

represented in the universities: they receive more than half of all degrees conferred.

Canada’s school system: a national asset

The Canadian belief in education is general and deep. And this belief is reflected in

a considerable financial commitment: Canada ranks among the world’s leaders in

per capita spending on public education. Canada maintains this level of investment

because it continues to generate healthy returns. Almost everywhere, the quality of

education is directly related to the quality of life. In Canada, the high educational

level (almost half the population over the age of 15 now has some post-secondary

schooling) has proven to be a powerful contributor to the country’s favourable

standard of living, its growth of opportunity, and its reputation as a place where

intellectual accomplishment is fostered and profitably pursued.

Canada

Canada’s Landmass

Canada is the world’s second-largest country (9 970 610 km2), surpassed only by the

Russian Federation.

Capital

Ottawa, in the province of Ontario.

Provinces and Territories

Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories, each with its own capital city (in

brackets): Alberta (Edmonton); British Columbia (Victoria); Prince Edward Island

(Charlottetown); Manitoba (Winnipeg); New Brunswick (Fredericton); Nova Scotia

(Halifax); Nunavut (Iqaluit); Ontario

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