Study in Canada-The Imperium of Education

Rachit Agrawal
Modified on 2017-11-03 in Canada
Read time: 4 mins

Study in Canada

Talking about the world’s top performing education systems and observing debates on the same, it is noticed that the Asian powerhouses such as Singapore and South Korea are usually successful in finding a position on top. But with much less recognition, Canada has climbed into the top tier of international rankings making Canada the imperium of education.

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 Major Reasons

The major reasons of Canada slowly but notably paving its way to the top is worth observing. The major ones being-

  1. In the recent International Pisa tests, Canada was one of the few countries to appear in the top 10 for mathematics, science and reading.
  2. The tests, run by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), show Canada’s teenagers as among the best educated in the world who are fluent in multitasking as well.
  3. They are better in execution and implementation of educational policies and are far ahead of geographical neighbours such as the US and European countries and countries having strong cultural ties like the UK and France.
  4. Canada also, has the world’s highest proportion of working adults who have been through higher education (55% ) compared to the average in OECD countries of 35%.

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Students from other Regions-The Migrants

The performance of Canadian students in school tests is also worth appreciation. The top performers are often cohesive, compact and highest achievers. Canada does not even really have a national education system; it is based on autonomous provinces.

The OECD, trying to understand Canada’s success in education, described the role of the federal government as “limited and sometimes non-existent”. Also, it is a fact worth noticing that Canada has a high level of migrants in its school population.

More than a third of young adults in Canada are from families where both parents are from another country. For instance, large number of migrants from India. However, these children of migrant families seem to be compatible enough to perform at the same high level as their classmates and outnumber their potential.

Pisa rankings suggest that, at regional rather than national level, the results for Canada are even more remarkable. So how has Canada overtaken so many other countries in education?

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The answer being Canada’s theme of- “Big Uniting Theme-Equity”.

There is a strong sense of fairness and equal access in Canadian masses and this is seen in the high academic performance of migrant children who somewhere imbibe this thinking. Thus, despite the different policies in individual provinces, there is a common commitment to an equal chance in school.

If Canadian provinces entered Pisa tests as separate countries, three of them, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, would be in the top five places for science in the world, leaving behind other educational hubs like Finland and Hong Kong.

Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s education director, says within three years of arriving, the Pisa tests show the children of new migrants have scores as high as the rest of their schoolmates and sometimes prove to be even better than them.

Another distinguishing feature is that Canada’s teachers are well paid by international standards – and entry into teaching is highly selective. Thus, it makes Canada one of the few countries where migrant children are equal to their non-migrant counterparts in mentally as well as physically.

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The Big Uniting Theme of Equity

Canada has a “strong base in literacy”. To achieve this objective of making Canada the notable base of literacy, Canadian authorities took various initiatives. There were availability of staffs and teachers, systematic efforts were taken, libraries were made and assessment to judge the progress was taken.

There is mere gap between the economical sectors of Canada, the effect of which clearly shows in the educational results. The main factor of rising positive results in education sector is relatively little difference between advantaged and disadvantaged students. In the most recent Pisa results for science, the variation in scores in Canada caused by socio-economic differences was 9%, compared with 20% in France and 17% in Singapore.

This binding theme of equity works very well and clearly supplements the fact that why Canada is doing so well in international tests. It does not have a tail of underachievement, often related to poverty and economic imbalance. Therefore, showing little variation in results between schools, compared with the average for developed countries. The migrants coming to Canada are mainly from countries like China, India and Pakistan who are extremely ambitious and orientated towards their goal. Their families have “hunger” to succeed, and their high expectations are likely to boost school results for their children. Thus, these factors of migration somewhere adds on to the success story, making Canada-The Imperium.

As stated by Prof Booth from the University of Toronto, “Many families new to Canada want their children to excel at school, and the students are motivated to learn,” he said pointing out to the high expectations of these migrant families.

Thus, with a Canadian winner of the Global Teacher Prize, with Maggie MacDonnell using the award to campaign for indigenous students Canada has come a long way. It has emerged as an educational superpower and is now seen as the North American alternative to United States, thereby marking its 150th anniversary by being successfully called as “The Imperium of Education”.

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Study in Canada

About the Author

Rachit AgrawalRachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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