Education

Education

 

The post-secondary education sector is a critical component of Halifax’s economy. Access to a skilled workforce is a top priority for businesses. The stream of talented young people graduating from our institutions is a key selling point in attracting investment to the city, as are the opportunities for collaboration with the many experts

conducting research in our schools. Furthermore, Halifax is an educator to the world, drawing students from around the globe. 

 

Halifax has one of the highest post-secondary attainment rates in Canada: 70% of those ages 25 to 64 have at least some post-secondary education, and 38% of this age group hold a university degree or certificate. Halifax is in the top five among Canada’s 35 census metropolitan areas in terms of population percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and population percentage with a degree or certificate from a college or university.

 

Declining numbers of people with no certificate, diploma, or degree and increasing numbers with college diplomas and university degrees are positive developments from a

labour force perspective. Given that successive generations have become increasingly well-educated over the past several decades, these broad trends are expected to continue as older people with less education age out of the 25 to 64 group. 

 

The most striking changes are the large increases in the numbers of females with university degrees at both the bachelor’s and graduate levels and the relative levels of growth in attaining university degrees between females and males.

 

Elementary and Secondary Schools

 

Halifax’s success in the near term is linked to the quality of our post-secondary institutions and the talented young workers graduating from them. The pipeline for

our longer term success is our elementary and secondary (P-12) school system.

 

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education, formerly the Halifax Regional School Board, provides data for a variety of student assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics across several grade levels, although consistent annual long-term data does not exist. One means of examining performance trends in our P-12 public school system is to look at how scores at a particular grade level have changed over time.

 

Scores for mathematics and for all four dimensions of writing were higher in 2017-18 than in 2014-15. Mathematics shows a general trend of improvement over the four years, whereas the writing scores featured up-and-down swings from year

to year. Reading comprehension declined from 2014-15 through 2016-17, but then rebounded in 2017-18

 

In 2017-18, more than one-quarter of students were below expectation in mathematics and more than one-fifth were below the standard for reading comprehension. The percentages of students below expectation in the four writing categories ranged from 21% to 38%.