One of the prevailing reasons parents list in motivating immigrating to Canada is the promise of improvement of the quality of life for their children. This is not only true about their children’s access to a brilliant infra structure, medical services and a safe environment to grow up in, but certainly also gives the child an opportunity to benefit from one of the very best schooling systems in the world.
By law, children must go to school starting at the age of 5 or 6 and until they are between 16 and 18, depending on the province or territory. Since Canada is a bilingual country, English-language and French-language schools are available across the country.
The sheer assortment of schooling options in Canada is impressive and parents have a variety of top notch free public schools or some of the world’s best private schools to choose from, but parents also have the right to educate children at home, rather than in a school and should contact the ministry responsible for education in your province or territory to find out more
Public schools in Canada
Public schools are managed by the individual Canadian provinces or territories and expat students with a residence permit can attend Canadian public schools for free. Those without a residency permit will be required to pay tuition fees of around CAD 8,000 to 14,000.
Private and international schools in Canada
Though the majority of Canadian citizens utilise the free, public education system, expats who can afford it may also want to consider private schools for their children, including international schools, military schools and special-needs schools.
These institutions are primarily funded by student tuition and private donors and, as in many countries, it's assumed they boast better facilities, a more diverse and comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities, smaller class sizes and an elevated standard of education.
Inexpensive and government subsidised institutions can cost as little as CA$ 4,000 annually, while the prestigious boarding schools can be as much as CA$ 40,000 per year.
Enrolling in school
Expat parents should contact their local school board when deciding to enrol their children in a Canadian school. Parents are encouraged to enrol their children well before the beginning of the school year to ensure they get a place in their preferred school. If you are enrolling your children in a Canadian school for the first time, the school or school board will assess them to determine what level they should be placed at and whether they need free support such as English or French language classes.
School life in Canada
Canadian teachers usually have university education and in most schools, boys and girls learn together in the same classroom. Some private schools are for boys or girls only.
Typically very province and territory has official course work that students will be taught in each grade and some provinces have separate Catholic public schools, which students of any religion may attend. Most communities also have private schools with religious affiliations.
School busses are often available to students at no extra expense to parents!