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Canada: Nova Scotia

Overview

Located in North America, Canada is comprised of ten provinces and three territories. It is the world's second largest country in geographic size, yet its population is over 32,805,000 - slightly less than that of California. In terms of its natural resources, Canada is the world's second richest country on a per-capita basis, behind Australia.

Most of the population lives in the southern part of the country, and over 75 percent live in metropolitan areas. Among the largest cities are: Toronto, Ontario; Montréal, Québec; Vancouver, British Columbia; Ottawa, Ontario; Hull, Québec; and Edmonton, Alberta.

Canada's indigenous population is referred to as the Indians or First Nations. In fact, Canada is an Iroquis word for "community." French and English are the country's official languages, reflecting the Canada's early colonial history. Since the second half of the 18th century when the British ousted France from Canada, the country's main political and ethnic ties have been with the United Kingdom. Increased immigration from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries boosted Canada's ethnic diversity, and since the 1970s, most immigrants have come from Asia.

Canada gained full independence in 1931, although it still is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is both a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Canada's official head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, although its citizens directly elect legislatures at the federal, provincial and territorial levels.

Manufacturing and resource-related industries are the foundation of Canada's economy. Transportation equipment is the leading manufacturing industry. However, most Can adians work in service occupations.

Nova Scotia is one of 10 provinces (and three territories) in Canada. It lies on the east coast of the country and is almost completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Neighboring Canadian provinces are New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Together, they are often called the Maritime provinces of Canada. The population of Nova Scotia is approximately 936,025 people.

Education

Primary and Secondary Education

Canada's educational system, along with the language of instruction - English or French - varies according to each province. There is no centralized education ministry. Instead, provincial governments administer education, although church-run schools exist throughout the provinces. In Nova Scotia, elementary and secondary education are divided into three segments, as follows:

 

Elementary and Secondary Education
Grade LevelSchool TypeSchool Duration
1 — 6Elementary SchoolSix Years
7 — 9Junior High SchoolThree Years
10 — 12High SchoolThree Years

Post-Secondary Education

Higher education in Canada is the constitutional responsibility of the provinces. Education is compulsory through grade six. The three main types of institutions in Nova Scotia are universities, community colleges and private career colleges. The universities are independent, degree-granting institutions, with full autonomy on admission policies and all other academic matters. The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) provides a variety of post-secondary programs usually leading to a Certificate or Diploma. It is a self-governing institution operating under the direction of a board of governors with a mandate to meet the province's occupational training needs. Private career colleges are independently operated for profit business institutions that operate under regulations established by the province.


THE CONTRIBUTORS
LesLee Clauson Eicher
LesLee Clauson Eicher

Associate Director, AACRAO International

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