Education in Canada

General Information

Education in Canada is provided, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Generally the curriculum is overseen by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided by Elementary (Primary School, Public School), followed by Secondary (High School) and Post Secondary (University, College). Education is compulsory up to an age of 16. 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).

Education in Canada is a provincial responsibility and there are many variations between the provinces. Junior Kindergarten (or equivalent) as an official program exists in some, but not all, provinces. 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 about age six, there is universal publicly funded access up to grade twelve (or equivalent). Children are required to attend school until the age of sixteen. About one out of ten Canadians does not have a high school diploma and only one in seven have a university degree (the adult population that is without a highschool 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).