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Student name: Julia Scherger

Student ID: 0689506


Course: WRIT-1005-03-14W
Professor: S. Thrasher
Date: March 30, 2014

Education System between Canada and Finland

Chanakya Indian philosopher said Education is the best friend. An educated person is
respected everywhere.. Education is regarded as a mechanism for promoting opportunities
and social communications. Canada and Finland are similar countries in geography and climate
but they vary greatly when it comes to education. However, both countries still have a welldeveloped education system. Finland is first place in education with 5.2 million people and a
score of 100%. Canada comes in second place with 35 million people and a score of 96.7%
(Basic education reform in Finland, 2010). Furthermore, according to Statistics Canada data, in
Canada there were approximately 15,500 schools. Whereas, in 2008 the total number of
schools was 3,170 in Finland (Building Blocks for Education, n.d.). Canada and Finland differ in
terms of Elementary, Secondary and University education systems.
First of all, Canada and Finland differ in terms of how long children attend elementary
schools. In Canada, children start school in the elementary system. Normally, school starts at 5
years of age in kindergarten and mandatory education is usually from age 6 to age 13. This
varies somewhat between provinces. Champions of public education across Canada state that
each year 520,000 children enter grade one (The Quality of Public Education in Canada, 2008).
On the contrary, Finlands education system has some differences in the elementary school.

Finnish children start school when they turn 7 years of age and continue to age 16. There are
approximately 56,700 children starting grade one each year (International comparisons of some
features of Finnish education and training, 2008). The other difference between Canadian and
Finnish elementary schools is a free school meal is provided. Across Canada there are no free
school meal programs. Moreover, parents have to provide a packed lunch for their children
every day or their children could return home at the lunch period. In most schools however,
they have an emergency food shelf for those children who forgot their lunch at home. In every
Canadian school peanuts are not allowed because many children are allergic to it. On the other
hand, in Finland every student has a well-balanced meal for free every school day. Also, 30% of
Finnish schools provide afternoon snacks. They also do not recommend soft drinks at school.
In short, Canadian and Finnish elementary schools differ from each other, but specific
differences are students age of attendance and meal programs at schools.
Secondly, Canada and Finland are different in the secondary school systems. In Canada,
students need to take four or five years to complete secondary education. During Secondary
school students need to complete 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits. Also they
must have 40 hours of volunteer work and students have to pass the provincial literacy test to
receive a diploma. According to Statistics Canada data, there are nearly 81% of secondary
students who graduated in 2010. On the contrary, Finland secondary schools dont have
yearlong classes and students could complete secondary school in less than a 3 year period.
Secondary students have a requirement to complete a minimum of 75 courses, also 47-51
compulsory courses and 10 other special subjects such as science, math, art, music, sport etc.
The graduating rate of secondary schools is 95% (Center on International education

Benchmarking, n.d.). Another difference between Finland and Canada secondary education
systems is the counseling system. Most Finnish schools have an enrollment of 100- 800
students. The average number enrolled is 400 students. Each counselor works approximately
with 80 to 100 students. At the beginning of the school year, the counselor plans with their
students the programs of study. In Canada there is counselling system as well, but counselors
usually only work with students when they need help in their study. It is the teachers
responsibility to work with students for the overall directions within the classroom. Abbotsford
school website states that there are approximately 800 to 1500 students in each secondary
school in Canada (n.d.). Finally, those two countries differ in secondary education skills and
rules which students must abide by.
Lastly, although Finland and Canada both have a good University education system, there
are some differences between the two. Canadian undergraduate full time students on average
paid $5.581 for university tuition fees in 2012-2013 (University tuition rising to record levels in
Canada). The cost which students pay for tuitions and other compulsory fees after four-years of
university education is approximately $80.000. However, in Finland citizen and international
students do not pay tuition fees for education at university, but a number of non- EU/ EEA
students must pay tuitions fees (Study in Finland, n.d.). The other difference between Canada
and Finland is the university admission system. Canadian citizens or permanent residents of
Canada must pay $90 application fees and $12 for transcripts. Also, there are some exemption
rules to apply at a university with the limit of three program choices which cost $44 per choice
(Ontario Universities Application Centre). In Canada applicants who do not submit full payment
to the OUAC will not be accepted to the university program. On the other hand, when Finnish

applicants apply to a university they do not have any application fees. Most of the Finnish
universities use an online electronic admissions system. Furthermore, students need to send
copies of their earlier certificates and other necessary documents. Applicants also have to pass
an entrance examination (Admission System, n.d.). In conclusion, Canada and Finland differ in
tuition fees and admissions for their perspective university education systems.
In summary, it is useful to contrast the educational systems of elementary, secondary and
university schools to better understand the differences between Canada and Finland.
Elementary, secondary and university schools in are different in Canada and Finland but they
are also the two most well- educated countries in the world. Getting a good education in school
and higher education is the best decision that people can make in their life. It can help them
grow as a well-educated person and will change the world in a better way.

References

The Quality of Public Education in Canada. Retrieved from


www.thelearningpartnership.ca/files/download/884a00fd2aa58b7
Building Blocks for Education. ( n.d.). Retrieved from
www.edu.gov.on.ca/bb4e/executive_summaries_en.pdf

Basic education reform in Finland. Retrieved from www.edu.gov.on.ca/bb4e/finlandEn.pdf


International comparisons of some features of Finnish education and training. Retrieved from
www.oph.fi/.../140518_international_comparisons_of_some_features_of..
Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-004x/2010004/article/11360-eng.htm
Center on International education Benchmarking. Retrieved from www.ncee.org/programsaffiliates/.../finland-instructional-systems

University tuition rising to record levels in Canada. Retrieved from


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/university-tuition-rising-to-record-levels-in-canada1.1699103

Study in Finland. Retrieved from


www.nationalexamination.com/study...info/00000032_study_in_Finland.pdf

Admission System. Retrieved from


http://www.studyinfinland.fi/how_to_apply/admissions/admissions_system
Abbotsford school district. Retrieved from
http://www.experienceabbotsford.com/page/secondary-schools
Ontario Universities Application Centre. Retrieved from
www.ouac.on.ca/docs/105/b_105_b.pdf