Canada has two very different systems of education. The Constitution Act, 1982 gives responsibility for education to both the provincial/territorial and the federal government. Each system is responsible for education within their areas of constitutional responsibility.The first one is the thirteen provincial/territorial education systems. These systems have a legislative base, policies, programs & services, personnel, and procedures. These are part of a three tiered administrative system - individual schools, regional school board/division, and a provincial/territorial ministry.department of education.The second system is the federal system of education. This system involves First Nations schools on reserves throughout Canada. This system does not have a legislative base. Historically, these schools have been underfunded. Many essential education programs and services are not recognized by the federal government, e.g., libraries, technology, science labs, and gifted programs. The federal government requires First Nations schools to provide comparable programs and services to nearby provincial schools but refuses to provide provincial levels of funding. The result is two very different systems of education - one with programs and services and one without. We do have racism is Canada in Canadian education.The state of First Nations schools is hidden from the world community by their exclusion in international education assessments such as PISA. Canada's place in the world of education would drop dramatically if First Nations schools were represented as Canada.
Ron Phillips, Nipissing University, Canada
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management and Administration
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