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Education & Schools

Manitoba has comprehensive education from kindergarten to Grade 12, offering a high standard of basic, academic and vocational instruction, both at the public and independent (private) levels. Excellent post-secondary institutions draw thousands of students annually.

Winnipeg’s Universities and Colleges

Winnipeg is a university and college city and a centre for learning and education. The city’s universities and colleges are as distinct and diverse as the students who are educated in them. Winnipeg’s big six learning institutions, University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Collége universitaire de Saint-Boniface, Red River College, Winnipeg Technical College and Canadian Mennonite University, combine to offer students a variety of learning opportunities and curriculums.

From the oldest university in western Canada, University of Manitoba, to the highly-ranked urban campus of University of Winnipeg, to the unique learning environments of Collége universitaire de Saint-Boniface and Canadian Mennonite University, to the largest applied learning institute in the province, Red River College, Winnipeg truly is a university and college city. Drawing some 70,000 students annually, Winnipeg continues to weigh in with some of the nation’s best and brightest leaders of tomorrow.

Public Schools

These schools operate directly under the Minister of Education, Citizenship and Youth. These schools are governed through elected school division/district boards. Public schools are funded by a combination of direct provincial funding and special taxation levies. All Canadian citizens and landed immigrants have the right to attend public schools subject to provincial regulations.

Independent Schools

Some schools are affiliated with a specific religious or denominational group. They have their own governing bodies or boards. Independent schools are eligible for provincial funding if they implement the Manitoba curriculum and meet a number of additional requirements. A student who wishes to enter a private school must meet the admission requirements and pay the admission fee set by the specific institution. Only funded independent schools are authorized to issue Senior Years course credits recognized by Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth.

Manitoba schools are organized according to the following school programs, languages of instruction, grade groupings, and school systems:

School Programs

Manitoba has four school Programs:

  • English Program
  • French Immersion Program
  • Français Program
  • Senior Years Technology Education Program (available for the English, French Immersion, and Français Programs)

Languages of Instruction

English and French are the languages of instruction in Manitoba. Schools that provide French language instruction fall into one of two program models:

  • French Immersion schools are intended for students for whom French is a second language
  • Français schools are intended for students for whom French is a first or home language

Grade Groupings in Manitoba Schools

Manitoba schools offer 13 grades, (Kindergarten to Senior 4), which are grouped as follows:

Kindergarten* to Grade 4 are part of the Early Years Division with students with ages ranging from 5 to 10 years.

Grade 5 to Grade 8 are part of the Middle Years Division with ages ranging from 11 to 14 years.

Senior 1 to Senior 4 are part of the Senior Years Division with ages ranging from 15 to 18 years.

Kindergarten is not mandatory

School Systems

Senior Years schools in Manitoba may use either a full-year (non-semester) system or a semester system to organize their programming. In a full-year system, courses generally run for the full school year, from August/September to June. In a semester system, the school year is divided into two semesters, from August/September to January and from January to June.

Source: A Handbook for International Students: An Overview of Education in Manitoba, Manitoba Education, Training and Youth, 2002