The Quebec school system

The Quebec education system comprises four educational levels: elementary education (including preschool education), secondary school education (including general education and vocational training), college education (including pre-university and technical programs) and university education. Approximately 1.8 million people attend the education system either part time or full time.            

School board netwwork

The school board: a decentralised and local political institution

School boards are local democratic institutions which offer quality educational services adapted to the needs of youth, adults, businesses and organizations on their territory. School boards are governed by some 13 000 commissioners all elected through a general election. School boards organize pre-school, primary and secondary education along with vocational education for both youth and adults on their assigned territory. Their task also involves offering a variety of services to the community. They carry out a mission of prime importance, one which lies at the very heart of any community’s development.

The school board network is composed of:

  • 72 school boards, 9 of which are Anglophone and 3 have a special status
  • 2,340 public schools (pre-school, primary and secondary education)
  • 193 adult education centres
  • 195 vocational training centres
  • 170 vocational training programs in 21 training sectors
  • 1,176,820 registered students
  • 175,000 employees
  • 10,3 billion Canadian dollars of annual operating and investment budget.

College education

Quebec’s education system is characterized by the presence of college education, which lies between mandatory education levels (primary and secondary school) and university education.

There are forty-eight (48) public General and Vocational Colleges (or “Cegeps”) and twenty-one (21) private colleges which also benefit from public subsidies. Cegeps and private colleges offer pre-university training (2 years) and technical education programmes (3 year), which both lead to a DEC (college education diploma).

Cegeps are governed by a law which is specific to them and they are administered by a board of directors composed of teachers, students and local community representatives.

The college education networks consists in :

  • 48 public colleges (cegeps)
  • 21 subsidised private colleges
  • 132 technical training programmes
  • 169 000 registered students - 1,6 billion Canadian dollars of annual operating and investment budget.