\ To help you keep track of your children’s education in the Canadian school system, Akwaba Community has compiled some information here for you, the parents:
      1. Community support programs and organizations;
      2. Financial planning for your children’s education;
      3. Workshops on specific themes;
      4. Information or workshops to help you understand how school boards work
      5. Programs such as French or English immersion

#BacktoschoolwithAkwaba – Back to school for parents/guardians

Worried about how to prepare your child for the next school year? Do you feel that you’re not getting enough information about your child’s future at school? Don’t worry, Akwaba Community has everything you need! As an immigrant, it’s difficult to understand the different systems in this country, let alone the education system. We’ll be looking at points such as :
      • Sanitary measures for the 2021 – 2022 school year
      • Primary/Elementary School
      • Secondary School
      • Additional resources to guide your children
Akwaba Community is here to provide you with all the information you need to help your child succeed at school!

Sanitary measures for the 2021-2022 school year

However, before we delve into the heart of the matter, with the coronavirus still with us, things are going to be a little different this year. The orientations of the plan for the start of the 2021-2022 school year are established according to the current health situation and the progress of the vaccination operation for the general population. They take into account the fact that at the start of the school year, 75% of the population aged 12 and over will have been vaccinated, and that a majority of students aged 12 to 17 will have received both doses of vaccine. A number of restrictions have been put in place in both primary and secondary schools to ensure the protection of all students and staff, some of which are as follows:
      1. Masks must be worn at all times
      2. Adding distancing measures
      3. Assigned seats on school buses 
For more information, please see this Radio-Canada article with details of current safety measures. \ \

Primary/Elementary School

\ \ \ There are 12 French-language school boards in Ontario, serving over 111,000 students in 471 French-language schools. What’s more, Ontario offers the option of public or Catholic elementary and secondary education in every region of the province. Elementary school is generally aimed at children aged 5 to 12. This group usually comprises the following levels:
  • Preschool (optional);
  • Kindergarten;
  • Grades 1 to 6.

As a parent or guardian, it’s up to you to choose a type of school for your child. Depending on where you live, you’ll have the following choices:

  • Free public school;

  • Private school;

  • Home education;

  • French or English school.

Please refer to the  Ministry of Education for more information on schooling opportunities.

What is the Primary Program?

The Primary program (PP) IB is a student-centered approach to education, intended for children aged 3 to 12. It fosters the development of all learners, encouraging them to express themselves, make choices and take ownership of their learning. The program is based on the best educational research, informed by thought leadership and the experience of IB World Schools. PP has evolved into one of the world’s leading forward-looking education programs. It illustrates international best practice in education and responds to the challenges and opportunities faced by young students, with several schools in the French-speaking district offering this program. School uniforms School uniforms are an important part of your child’s enrollment, but it depends on what kind of school they’re enrolling in. Public schools do not require uniforms, but most high schools and some Catholic elementary schools do. Uniform rentals and rules depend on the school you choose to attend. 
      • Mccarthy produces uniforms for Catholic schools in Ontario
      • DNG Kilters 
Avec les uniformes, la plupart des uniformes scolaires demandent des chaussures de couleur spécifique à porter à l’intérieur de l’école,  souvent c’est la couleur noir.  SVP sports gives great deals on shoes, school shoes and sportswear (they also have backpacks). If the school you’ve selected isn’t in any of the  links listed, we suggest you go to the school’s website and find the school’s clothing sponsor information. 

Secondary School Programs

\ Secondary education is aimed at students aged 14 to 18, and there is a wide range of programs in this category, so it’s hard to know which one is right for your child. Akwaba can help you sort it all out! \ What is the Intermediate Education Program? The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a challenging program that encourages students aged 11 to 16 to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. The program is designed to be inclusive, benefiting all students who follow it, whatever their interests and academic skills.  Taught over five years, the IEP can be implemented within the framework of a school partnership. Students who successfully complete the program are well prepared to follow the IB Diploma Programme or the IB Programme d’Orientation Professionnelle (POP). \ \ \


The IB International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a 2-year programme of study, comprising six subject groups and the core curriculum, for students aged 16-19 (grades 11-12). The latter includes the Theory of Knowledge (ToK), the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) program and the Memoir.  LEARN MORE The aim of this very tough program is to produce students who possess an excellent foundation of diverse and profound knowledge, and who thrive physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically, who will then be assessed internally and externally for graduation. Obtaining this diploma brings a plethora of advantages for your child’s future, such as :
      • The broad, balanced, conceptual and connected curriculum encourages students to develop critical and analytical skills and apply them in real-life situations. 
      • Students experience a complete academic journey that develops their critical thinking skills and exposes them to a variety of viewpoints, in order to become confident and capable individuals.
      • Emphasize academic rigor and international openness, and help students develop a unique set of skills, attitudes and perspectives they need to succeed at university and in life. 
However, as we all know, every good thing has its drawbacks.
      • Requires constant hard work and solid results over a two-year period, culminating in a final exam covering all the material taught from start to finish.
      • An intense and rigorous program of study that demands a high level of hard work and study, commitment, organization and initiative.
      • A very demanding, content-rich course, which requires students to deal not only with coursework and assignments in the six compulsory subjects, but also with the numerous essays, presentations and projects in the three core components: Dissertation, ToC and CAS.


The IB Career-Oriented Programme (POP) is an international education framework that addresses the needs of students who have chosen a career-oriented education. It provides a gateway to higher education, apprenticeships and the world of work, and encourages young people to develop their skills and knowledge. students aged 16 to 19 to follow a vocational education pathway, while acquiring knowledge in a given field as well as transferable skills in critical thinking, communication and intercultural engagement that they can use throughout their lives. LEARN MORE POP students take at least 2 IB Diploma Programme courses, 1 core curriculum of 4 components and 1 career-oriented course. Diploma Program courses provide POP students with a theoretical foundation as well as a rigorous academic curriculum, this professionally oriented training provides students with practical, hands-on approaches to learning. \


The Specialist High Skills Major (MHS) program is a specialized program,  approved by the Ministry of Education, which enables students aged 16-19 (grades 11-12) earn credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, while focusing their learning on a specific industry. There are HSM programs in the following 19 sectors, the majority of which lead to a well-paid career in a specialized trade MHS PROGRAMS Some MHS programs include:
    • Business
    • Aviation & Aerospace
    • Construction
    • Health & Wellness
    • Arts & Culture
    • Justice, community safety and emergency services
    • Information and communication technologies
    • And much more
LEARN MORE Ontario high schools offer a wide range of vocational skills programs tailored to students’ needs, interests and strengths. These programs actively engage students in their learning while preparing them for graduation, life after high school and future employment. Graduating from high school with a Specialist High Skills Major enables students to obtain:
      1.  Ontario Secondary School Diploma with seal of major ;
      2.  Transcript of marks from the Specialist High Skills Major confirming its successful completion
      3.  Official attestation on your Ontario Student Transcript.

How to get involved in your children’s education?

Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s education by getting involved with the school and school board. There are many opportunities to get involved in your child’s schooling:
      • Volunteer at your child’s school;
      • Attend parent-teacher evenings organized by the school;
      • Become a member of the school committee.
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