Types of Schools in Canada and Benefits They Offer

In Canada, there are publicly funded, international, private, separate, and other types of schools. Students and parents can choose from a wide range of options, depending on their province or territory of residence.

Public Schools
The public schools are divided into primary, secondary and post-secondary schools (K-12- Kindergarten through Grade 12). Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada. In the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick the required age is 18. Public schools accept both international and domestic students and are run by elected boards. The majority of institutions are co-educational. Similar to other schools, they maintain adequate facilities and employ certified teachers.

Private Schools
Prestigious establishments exist in most provinces and territories. Many of the country’s professionals, political leaders, CEOs, and businessmen are graduates of private schools. You can choose from co-educational, girls-only, and boys-only schools. The main benefit for students is the high level of academic achievement and performance. Other benefits include individual attention, controlled class size, higher teacher satisfaction levels, and emphasis on discipline.

Separate Schools
Separate schools have a statutory status in Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories and constitutional status in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario. The school board is elected by the electorate and accountable to the territorial and provincial governments and the electorate. School boards have an incentive to offer quality education or otherwise separate schools would be doomed to disappear.

There are alternatives to public and private schools, and one of them is homeschooling. While it is permitted, the regulations vary from one province to another. In some provinces, parents are required to report on a regular basis. In Ontario, for example, it is not mandatory to keep education records, but the documentation required for college admission varies from one university to another. Parents from different educational and professional backgrounds choose to home school their children. Other options are to hire a tutor or to attend a non-registered school. Daycare and tutoring are legal in Canada and add to the variety of options available. There are after-school daycare providers as well.

Experts estimate that some 60,000 children are being homeschooled in Canada. In contrast, this number is between 1 and 2 million in the United States. Proponents claim that there are many benefits to homeschooling, including better socialization experience and lower peer pressure. The environment is more relaxed because of the close family bonds.

The Schools System and Entry Requirements
Students must meet some general requirements. Schools require a completed application form, along with an application fee. Some schools also require SSAT and TOEFL scores as well as interviews with applicants. Proof of guardianship or custodian may be required when the student is under the age of 16. Placement tests for French, English, or Math may be required for students with average marks. The specific requirements vary depending on the type of school, location, and other factors.