How Canada Education system work

Much of Canada’s success as a prosperous, modern, and industrialized nation can be attributed to the country’s strong tradition of high-quality schools, which remain among the most respected in the world.

Canada has a strong and well-funded public education system, largely administered by the province. As a result, some aspects of the education system may vary from province to province. However, as education is overseen by the federal government,Visit online E-HallPass kiosk for more details, the level of education remains consistently high across the country.

Canada has a private and public education system. The Canadian government heavily subsidizes education from kindergarten to post-secondary level, spending on average nearly 6% of its GDP on education. Canada has spent proportionately more on education than in comparison to the average of OECD countries.

The education system of Canada is divided into three levels:


Private education and other school systems – for example, religious schools – are also available at all three levels.

Canada offers education to children as they turn 5 years old (except in Quebec and Ontario). Depending on the province, kindergarten may be optional. The table below shows, in general terms, the ages between which children must attend school (note that the requirements may differ for homeschooling, which is legal across Canada):



Age of Compulsory Education


6 – 16

British Columbia

6 – 16


7 – 18

New Brunswick

5 – 18


6 – 16

Northwest Territories

5 – 18

Nova Scotia

5 – 16


6 – 18

Prince Edward Island

5 – 16


6 – 16


7 – 16


6 – 16

Primary Education

Also known as elementary school, this level ranges from Kindergarten or Grade 1 (ages six to seven) to Grade 8 (ages 13 to 14). The school year starts from September to the following year’s June.

Secondary Education

Also known as high school, this level runs from Grade 9 (14-15) to 12 (17-18). Ontario has a grade 12 and up. Students in the high school of Quebec province attend the school until the age of 16 years. They can then continue their studies at CEGEP, a two-year public college where students can pursue either a college preparation diploma or a professional diploma.

Post-secondary Education

Canada offers some of the best post-secondary education through its wide network of colleges and universities.

Canada has many internationally recognized university programs located in both urban and rural areas of the country. The degrees awarded by Canadian universities are generally recognized as equivalent to those of other universities around the world.

The academic year generally runs from September to April or May and consists of two semesters or terms. Most of the post-secondary institutions offer the students an option of taking courses in a third semester during the tenure of summer months. Generally speaking, students can start a study program at a university in September (in most cases) or January.

College programs can run throughout the year and students may be able to start a course at different times of the year.

Choose to study in your preferred language – English or French

International students can choose to study in either of Canada’s two official languages. Some schools may offer instruction in both languages, although students do not need to be fluent in both languages to attend school at any level in Canada.

In most of Canada, the primary language of school instruction is English. However, education in French is widely available across the country. Regardless of the primary language of instruction, English or French as a second language is generally taught from an early age.

The Province of Quebec needs students to attend schools in French until they have passed out from high school. There are a few exceptions under which a child can obtain a certificate of eligibility to receive instruction in English:

If the mother or father of a child has pursued elementary studies in English in Canada;
If a child, or a child’s sibling (s), received most of their elementary or secondary education in English in Canada (if the child’s parents are a Canadian citizen);
Whether the mother or father of a child attended school in Quebec after August 26, 1977, and could have been declared eligible for instruction in English at that time (if the child’s parents are a Canadian citizen).

Top Universities in Canada 2021

Every province in Canada has at least one “good” university, in the sense that it is an institution of reputation and prestige. There is no such thing as a “Canadian Oxford” or a “Canadian Harvard”, but there are at least a dozen universities that make up a fairly well-understood elite group of roughly equal status and recognition. These include the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta in Alberta, the University of Waterloo, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Queen’s University and McMaster University in Ontario, McGill University, and the University of Montreal in Quebec, and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

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