/* Schools in Canada */
== Schools in Canada ==
Canadian education starts with pre-schooling, including kindergarten, which is followed by primary, secondary and post-secondary education (universities and community colleges. Provinces use different terminology for the Intermediate level e. g. “Middle School”, “Junior
Secondary”or “Junior High”. Information on public educational institutions in each province is available online at the [http://www.cmec.ca/en/ CMEC website].
For historical reasons, the school system in some provinces includes constitutionally protected [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_school separate
or Catholic schools] (Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan). Quebec and Newfoundland have recently dropped denominational schooling and BC and the Maritime provinces (PEI, NS, NB) have never had them.
Secondary schooling, known as high school, "école secondaire" or secondary school, differs depending on the province in which one resides. Additionally, grade structure may vary within a province and even within a school division. Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada, except for Ontario and New Brunswick (where the compulsory ages are 18). Students may continue to attend high school until the ages of 19 to 21 (the cut-off age for high school varies between province). Those 19 and over may attend adult school. Also if high schoolers are expelled or suspended for a period of time over 2 months or so they could attend night school at the high school.
Primary education and secondary education combined are
sometimes referred to as K-12 (Kindergarten through Grade 12). This structure may vary from school to school, and from province to province. For instance, Prince Edward Island is the only province that does not provide Kindergarten. In contrast, Ontario and Quebec provides two levels of Kindergarten (Junior/Senior, prématernelle respectively). With the exception of Quebec, the provincial secondary school systems continue up to grade 12 (age 17 to 18). In Quebec, the typical high school term ends after Secondary V, the equivalent to grade 11 (age 16 to 17); following this, students who wish to pursue their studies to the university level have to attend [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEGEP CEGEP] which is a unique educational institution, between high school and junior colleges. Cegeps are often referred to as "junior colleges". Students take a two or three year community college vocational or professional program, or a pre-university CEGEP program which is for two years (university for Quebecers is three years rather than four in the other.
Most provinces have both anglophone and
fancophone public school systems, each province is divided into districts or divisions. Normally, all publicly funded schools are under the authority of their local district school board. These school boards would follow a common curriculum set up by the province. Only Alberta allows public charter schools, which are independent of any district board - instead, they each have their own board, which reports directly to the province. In Québéc, all students [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_French_Language must attend a French language (francophone) School] up until the end of high school unless one of their parents previously attended an English-language school somewhere in Canada (immigrants from other countries cannot use this exception). However this law applies only to public schools, and immigrants to Quebec can send their children to English 'private schools . Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada, except for Ontario and New Brunswick, where the compulsory age is 18. In some provinces early leaving exemptions can be granted under certain circumstances at 14. Canadian provinces generally have 180 to 190 school days in the year, officially starting from September (after Labour Day) to the end of June.
Canada spends about 4.8% of its GDP on education (UK 5.4%). Since the adoption of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_Twenty-three_of_the_Canadian_Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights 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), although French Second Language education/French Immersion is availble to English speaking (anglophone) students across Canada.
=== Private schools ===
In Canada there is no obligation for parents to place their children in the public school system, and about 5 to 6% of students are in the private system.
Nevertheless, there are more and more private schools in urban areas (high schools, especially). It is not unusual for the wealthy and prominent in Canada to send their children to public schools, especially in the lower grades. A far larger portion of private schools are religious based institutions. Private schools are also used to study outside the country . For example one in Italy has an Ontario curriculum.
Each province deals differently with private religious schools. In Ontario the Catholic system continues to be fully publicly funded, but other faiths receive no such funding. Ontario has several private Jewish, Muslim, and Christian schools, but all are funded through tuition fees. Since the Catholic schools system is entrenched in the constitution, the Supreme Court has ruled that this system is not unconstitutional. However, the United Nations has ruled that Ontario's system is unfair. In 2002 the government introduced a controversial proposal to partially fund all private schools, but this was criticized for undermining the public education system and the proposal
was eliminated after the Liberals won the 2003 provincial election.
In other provinces privately operated religious schools are funded. In British Columbia the government pays 50% of the cost of religious schools provided that they meet rigorous provincial standards. The province has a number of Sikh, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim schools. Alberta also has a network of charter schools, which are fully funded public (not private) schools offering distinct approaches to education within the public school system (note that the province does not grant charters to religious schools). These charter schools have to follow the provincial curriculum and meet all standards, but are given considerable freedom in other areas. In all other provinces private religious schools receive some funding, but not as much as the public system.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Private_schools_in_Canada Private education] is growing in Canada among both rich and poor families and at all levels. Recently, there has been a significant expansion in the number of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Private_schools_in_Canada private universities].
=== Homeschooling ===
[http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/supportgroups/a/hscanada.htm Home schooling], particularly at the primary school level has been a growing phenomenon in every province, particularly among religious groups. More than
[http://ontariohomeschool.org/faq.shtml 60 000] children are homeschooled in Canada.
=== e-learning ===
The now defunct Canadian Council for Learning published a report in 2009 [http://www.ccl-cca.ca/ccl/Reports/StateELearning.html Elearning in Canada].
Canada has been a leader in online learning being the first country to teach [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course MOOC]s (Massive Open Online Courses)
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