Many immigrants relocate to Canada because of the positive reputation of the education system. In all provinces in Canada, government heavily subsidizes education across the three levels — primary, secondary and post-secondary education. Public education which gets a dedicated 6% of the national GDP is managed by individual provinces. In effect, there are varying statistics about education from province to province but that does not take the shine off of Canada as one of the most educationally advanced countries in the world.
There is no hard and fast rule about choosing either public or private school for your children as a first generation Canadian. It’s simply a matter of personal choice and perception. Opinions vary on the subject even though public perception leans more towards private schools.
But are private schools really better than public schools?
When it comes to education and the choices you make for your children it should be driven by you and your child’s interests and what is it that you are looking for in their education.
Legacy is what you leave in your kids and for that you make decisions that align with your values. There are no rules in life, just exploration and decisions to be made.
Three things to consider before choosing either public or private school for your child:
- What are my education objectives for my child? Do I want a school that promotes academics, or one that has better strength in sports, music, religion, language, etc.? Or even both.
- What is the financial implication of my choice?
- Will my child’s ultimate happiness, fulfillment and well-being be enhanced by my choice?
The answers you give to the above questions will guide you appropriately in choosing the best kind of education for your child.
In Canada, the government invests in public education system and is free for all.
But if you have special interests, your child has special needs or you would like to pursue something different that is not offered in the other system of education, private schools might be for you.
Private schools have special focus – some focus on language, some on arts, or in sciences. However, pursing private school education means paying out of your pocket.
Before you consider private schooling option you will have to think of the need for it, interests etc. and be aware that you will have to check your pockets and ensure that you can sustain paying for private education through their school years.
The third option available for education of your children is Home Schooling, which also follows the curriculum and exams are held in a standard way. If you have the time and ability to home school you can choose to do it.
If your children are at that point where they have an understanding and can give an opinion about their preferences, that will help guide your decision as well.
This article is an excerpt from Episode 97 of The Immigrant Life Podcast.
Written by Yinka Bakare