The school system of Canada is very much like the one in the USA, but there are certain differences. Education in Canada is general and compulsory for children from 6 to 16 years old, and in some provinces – to 14. It is within the competence of the local authorities, and therefore it may differ from province to province.
For example, Newfoundland has an 11-grade system. Some other provinces have 12-grade systems, and Ontario has even a 13-grade system. Grades 1-6 are usually elementary schools, and grades 7-12 are secondary schools. In some provinces there is a kindergarten year before the first grade. Elementary education is general and basic, but in the junior high school years the students can select some courses themselves.
Most secondary schools provide programmes for all types of students. Some of them prepare students for continuing their studies at the university. Vocational schools are separate institutions for those who will not continue their education after secondary schools.
There also exist some commercial high schools. Some provinces have private kindergartens and nursery schools for children of pre-elementary age. There also exist Roman Catholic schools and private schools in some provinces.
In most provinces private schools receive some form of public support. Admission to the university in Canada is after high school with specific courses. Getting a degree in law, medicine, dentistry or engineering usually takes 3-4 years of studying.
University tuition fees vary among different provinces. All provinces also have public non-university institutions. They are regional colleges, institutes of technology, institutes of applied arts, colleges of agricultural technology and others.
Criteria for admission to these institutions are less strict.