Although there can be seen a number of similarities in our education systems, it is noteworthy that there is not as much federal government involvement in schooling in Canada as compared to the US through the US Department of education. In Canada, which also has elementary, secondary and post-secondary education system- as we have in the US, the system is under the jurisdiction of the provincial and territorial governments; which in my view helps the schools to respond to the specific needs of the unique combination of cultural diversities that exist in each province or territory (Burke and Patrice, 2012).
The primary belief and commitment to equity for all is another basic pillar that has steadied the education system in Canada. This has ensured that every student receives better basic service, including housing, security and access to free education of up to 11-12 years depending on the province or territory. While in the US, statistics have indicated that access to good education has been tagged on family wealth. The same is not true for Canada, where the best elementary to university schools are equally accessible to every student (Burke and Patrice, 2012).
It goes without saying that the teacher is a vital thread in the tapestry of the education system and a pivot upon which the whole system balances. According to literature, there are four things that help to explain why Canadian teachers are great. These include better training, reasonably better pay, good job security and unionization. The Canadian system provides for rigorous training both before entry and throughout the entire career. Teaching is also tailored to meet the diverse student population. The teachers pay, working condition and facilities for effective teaching, when ensured help attract and retain strong and good teachers thus ensuring quality teaching. Teacher unions, apart from lobbying for teachers rights, also serve the vital role of qualification provision which is a requisite element in teacher development (Axelrod, 1997).
The aim of this article is not advocacy for unilateral adoption of policies that have succeeded elsewhere. In fact, there are many aspects of our own system that have worked better than those in Canada. It means we have a chance to improve.