Importance of Compulsory Courses

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Students need to complete 18 compulsory courses in an Ontario high school to get an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or OSSD. These courses can be completed from grades 9 to 12. They are different from the 12 optional credits, which students can choose according to their interests!

According to the OSSD, the 18 compulsory courses for Ontario high school students are:


(4) English

(3) Mathematics

(2) Science

(1) Canadian History 

(1) Canadian Geography 

(1) The Arts

(1) Health and Physical Education

(1) French as a Second Language

(0.5) Career Studies

(0.5) Civics

(1) Group 1 compulsory Credit

(1) Group 2 compulsory Credit

(1) Group 3 compulsory Credit

Wondering why there are compulsory courses that Ontario high school students need to complete?

If you go back to the list and look closely, you will notice that they are all general education courses. These are subjects that are designed to teach students essential academic knowledge and introduce them to a variety of disciplines. Exposing learners to different courses will help you determine which optional credits to take, subject areas to focus on, and programme or degree to take in college.

Build core skills

General education courses can build and fine-tune core skills that students will useful when they start pursuing a degreein college or working in the real world. English, math, and science courses in particular strengthen a student’s employable skills such as theability to analyse, solve problems, lead, think critically, collaborate, and communicate.

Become active and responsible members of society

History and civics may look like the least important courses, but they are as essential as the rest. Learning about the country’s history lets a student understand cultures and traditions as well as present-day issues. Meanwhile, civics encourages students to be well-informed, to vote wisely, and to be active citizens who care about the country’s welfare!


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