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 Canadians work in service occupations.
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province that is small in size, with a population of 140,000. The capital is Charlottetown. The largest economic sectors are manufacturing, agriculture, fishing and forestry. The island gained semi-independence
from Great Britain in 1851, and in 1997 the Confederation Bridge opened for traffic to the Island.
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 the Prince Edward Island, the primary language of instruction is English. The academic year is from September to June. The Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture oversees secondary education while the Post-Secondary and Continuing Education department oversees the country's higher education.
Primary and Secondary Education
Elementary Education is six years in length, encompassing grades 1-6, for those between the ages of 6 and 12.
Lower Secondary (Junior Secondary) Education is three years in length, consisting of grades 7-9, for those between the ages of 12 and 15. Higher Secondary Education is three years in length, encompassing grades 10-12, for those between the ages of 16
and 18. A High School Graduation Diploma is awarded at the successful conclusion of Grade 12.
Higher Education is provided by the following institutions: the University of Prince Edward Island; Holland College, a community college with 11 training centers, and a number of private vocational training schools (career colleges); Maritime Christian
College; and Prince Edward Island School of Nursing. The University of Prince Edward Island offers four-year Bachelor's degrees plus short courses of up to one year, and Master's degrees. The only doctoral-level degree of any type in Prince Edward
Island is the Ph.D. in Veterinary Medicine offered at the University of Prince Edward Island. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master's of Veterinary Medicine is also offered by the university.
Programs in French are offered by the Université Sainte-Anne (located in Nova Scotia) through its Prince Edward Island campus, Université Sainte-Anne de Wellington, by means of distance learning.
Pre-primary training is completed through a licensing system, often taught as a two-year program in community colleges. Elementary and Secondary school teachers are required to have a teacher Certificate 4, requiring the four-year undergraduate Bachelor
of Education which is not currently offered in the Province. The University of Prince Edward Island does offer a two-year post-degree Bachelor of Education consisting of 20 courses in education generally worth three semester hours each, which
also earns the holder a Certificate 5. Those with a Master of Education and further additional academic and professional training may receive the Certificate 5A and 6.
Accreditation and administration of education is the responsibility of the Department of Education.