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Education For Newcomers In Canada: What to Expect?

The Canadian Government subsidizes public education from KG, i.e., kindergarten to the post-secondary level. On average, the government spends almost 6% of the Gross Domestic Product on education for newcomers in Canada.

In Canada, there is a necessary age for compulsory education, depending on the province. This means that, between specific age groups, children are required to attend school. Moreover, in some provinces, kindergarten is an option. However, children between the ages of seven and sixteen are required to attend school.

In Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Northwest Territories, the age for gaining education for newcomers in Canada goes to 18.

Different Levels Of Education

After the grant of the study permit, the candidate can apply for education in the public or private education system. However, this system is divided into three levels:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Post-secondary

Regarding primary education for newcomers in Canada, the classes begin from Grade one, i.e., age 6-7 and run through Grade eight, i.e., ages 13-14. The school year is usually between September & June.

Moreover, for secondary education for newcomers in Canada, the classes begin from Grade 9, i.e., ages 14-15 and go up to Grade 12, i.e., ages 17-18. Similarly, in Quebec, students attend high school until age sixteen. They may continue to CEGEP, a two-year college where students may prepare for a university degree or diploma.

In addition, Canada has a huge network of post-secondary education, including colleges and universities. There are many internationally recognized university/ college programs in rural & urban areas. So, the college runs from September to April/ May, comprising two terms.

In most cases, students also start post-secondary education in September.

French & English Education For Newcomers In Canada

Regarding education for newcomers in Canada, international students can choose to study either French or English. Interestingly, some educational institutions offer instructions in both languages. However, students are not required to be bilingual to attend school at any level in Canada.

Across the country, the primary language is English. However, French education is also widely available throughout the country. Regardless of the preceding language of instruction, the second language (French or English) is also taught from an early age.

On the other hand, language instructions work differently in Quebec. Students are usually required to attend school in French until the culmination of high school. However, a candidate can get English instructions if:

  • A child’s father/ mother pursued elementary education in Canada;
  • A child’s father/ mother attended school in Quebec after 26th August 1977 and was declared eligible for English instruction at that time;
  • A child or his/ her siblings has received a significant part of elementary education in English in Canada (If a child’s mother or father are Canadian citizens)

Regarding education for newcomers in Canada, the people who choose to settle in Quebec must attend public school in French. However, English might be available in private schools. In addition, children whose parents temporarily reside in Quebec may attend student counseling.

Canadian Education v/s The World

Canada is home to the finest educational institutions in the world. Moreover, it is also among the most educated countries in the world.

The OECD, i.e., Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development, and PISA, i.e., Program for International Student Assessment, measure 15-year old’s ability to use their reading, science, and mathematics skills to meet real-life challenges.

In 2018, PISA published the results, wherein students obtained high average scores in every subject. However, Canada is placed 6th in reading, 12th in mathematics, and 8th in science among 78 participating countries. This means Canada’s average scores were close to or above the 90th percentile among numerous countries.

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