by #SirPeterBirkett #May #2021 #Education
Canada is a Class-Act
Compared with the UK’s population of almost 67m, Canada sustains a population of just over 38m across its vast landscape of 10 provinces and 3 territories. It is a country which embraces values of integration and equality, particularly within its education system of which 11% of school-age children are immigrants.
So, how does Canada remain a Class-Act within the league tables of the best Educational Systems in the world?
The 10 provinces are autonomous, with very little interference from federal government as they and the 3 territories regulate their own individual standards in education. The high level of migrants are quickly integrated into the school systems so that they enjoy the same chances as the other students and absorb the general expectation that all students can attain the highest standards, which in turn, influences the attitudes of both teachers and pupils alike.
From Kindergarten to Secondary school, Canada boasts a world-class educational system as well as ranking top in Quality of Life, low pollution levels and Safety of its citizens. In spite of its notoriously cold climate and high travel expenses, the general attitude is relaxed and welcoming. The country consistently attracts top level academics and educationalists from around the world, most having international degrees. Canada believes it is worth investing in its students, its teachers and its country through education.
Two of the most educationally successful provinces, Ontario and British Columbia (BC) excel owing to the cultural diversity of their students who are engaged in career focused programs and experiential learning. Leadership development is also considered an important factor in ongoing teacher training programs.
Across BC, personalised learning for each student from a high-quality teaching force places choice, flexibility and technology at the heart of its education system.
School is compulsory until the age of 16, or 18, depending on the province or territory, and is free for all students in the public school system. Alongside the compulsory curriculum, citizenship education is included and business and financial studies are also offered in many schools. In some of the larger cities such as Calgary, schools have a specialist focus on science, art or sports, and coursework plays a dominant role in the curriculum.
Children with Special Needs are generally kept within the mainstream school system where possible, and given remedial education if necessary.
Outside of school life in the world’s second largest land mass, recreation is offered in the most outstanding natural spaces; whether on the ski slopes or playing Ice hockey, from Niagara Falls to the Rocky Mountains, Canadians can socialise over a bowl of Poutine. A perfect antidote to the endless assignments of a busy school curriculum.