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close this bookTeacher Education in Trinidad & Tobago: Costs, Financing and Future Policy (CIE, 2002, 40 p.)
close this folderChapter 2: The Teacher Education System
View the document2.1 Overview
View the document2.2 Output
View the document2.3 The Delivery of the Curriculum
View the document2.4 Costs of Training in the Colleges

2.4 Costs of Training in the Colleges

The recurrent costs of training are primarily made up of the salaries paid to trainees and those paid to lecturers. These are paid directly by the Ministry of Education. Other costs make up a small proportion of total costs.

The monthly salary ranges for graduate teachers and teacher trainers for the period 1992-1996 were between $TT 3,731 and $TT 4,941. In 1997, negotiations for improved salaries and working conditions were marked by sick-outs and protests by teachers. A new collective agreement was signed in 1997, covering salaries and working conditions for the period 1996-1998. In addition to the salaries shown, all untrained teachers were awarded a monthly allowance of $200, all trained teachers were awarded an allowance of $300, and all administrators were awarded $400. A flat cost of living allowance of $50 was applied to all teachers on a monthly basis. Thus average salaries for lecturers in the training Colleges were between $TT5,000 and $TT 5,500 at this time. Table 16 shows the salary scales from 1997.

Table 16: Salary Scales for Graduate Teachers and Training College Lecturers11 $TT


Minimum

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

Long1

Long2

Long3

1996

4053

4208

4344

4455

4565

4676

4787

4910

5022

5137

5263

1997

4134

4292

4431

4544

4656

4770

4883

5008

5123

5240

5368

1998

4258

4421

4564

4680

4796

4913

5029

5158

5277

5397

5529

11 Salary range increments A-G including three levels of longevity increments.

The latest salary agreement designates all teacher trainers as “Teacher Educators” and places them at higher grade levels than school teachers. The salary scale for lecturers at the Teachers Training Colleges remains an important issue since many still feel that the differences between them and teachers who do not hold post-graduate qualifications should be greater.

Data on College expenditure are given in Table 17. These payments were for a total of 62 lecturers on the staff of both colleges, two vice principals and two principals. Teachers in training are on scholarship and also receive a monthly salary. Those trainees who possess qualifications at the CXC/GCE O Level only (Assistant Teacher II) received a salary of $TT 2,411 per month. Those trainees who also possess A-level qualifications (Assistant Teacher III) are paid $TT 2,711 per month. No other allowances are paid to trainees.

Table 17: Expenditure on Salaries, Goods and Services, Equipment and Capital Projects Teacher Education 1994-97

Year

Salaries

Goods And Services

Minor Equipment

Capital

1994

17,418,772

65,456

15,462

1,459,100

1995

18,800,000

210,000

30,000

1,213,000

Since 1995 Teacher Training has not been listed as a separate item in the national accounts. The salary budget will have escalated in line with the number of staff on the establishment and the pay awards that have been made. On this basis by 1998 total salary costs can be estimated as about $TT 27.5 million.

Expenditure on goods and services is minimal and averages about $TT 100,000 per College. This amount does not seem to have increased since 1995. Data from Valsayn indicate that about 20% of this is allocated to maintenance of equipment, 10% to building maintenance, and 70% to stationery and other office consumables. Small amounts of money are raised to supplement this budget but these seem to amount to less than $TT 50,000 per year. Fund-raising is problematic with an adult student body from across the country and no natural community-based groups with allegiance to the College as might be true with a school parent -teacher association. College facilities are sometimes used by community groups for events unconnected with teacher training. It appears that significant charges are not levied for this ad hoc use of facilities. Some corporate sponsorship is received in at least one of the Colleges.

College libraries are supported from a separate vote from the Ministry of Education. In a recent year each College has received between $TT 150,000-250,000 for library books and equipment. This has enabled collections to be updated and the purchase of photocopiers and computers. However these allocations are unpredictable from year. It is perhaps surprising that the allocation can exceed that available for all other recurrent running costs including those directly related to learning and teaching material.

The costs of teaching practice are mainly concerned with travel allowances. $TT 30-40 cents per km is paid to tutors from Ministry funds against claims. This might amount to $TT 200 per lecturer per practice or $TT 600 per year and is therefore marginal to overall costs. Teacher Educators are not “travelling officers” and are only assisted by way of reimbursement for vehicle usage during Practice Teaching. Unlike many other public servants who travel, they are not given government loans to purchase cars minus purchase tax, nor given regular travelling allowances. This can be seen as inequitable.

On the basis of these costs it is possible to arrive at an estimate of the recurrent cost per trainee whilst they are enrolled in the Colleges. Since the staff-student ratios are similar, and non-salary costs are small, there is no significant difference in these costs between the Colleges. Overall it would appear that in 1995 overall unit costs were about $TT 26,700 ($TT 19,040 million/712). In 1998 enrolments were 791. There were 52 lecturers in post (including principals) and about 20 ancillary staff. Based on average salary costs (including the new salary scales) this would give a cost per trainee per year in 1999 of about $TT 35,000 ($US 5,550). Thus a trained teacher would cost about $TT 70,000 to produce over two years12. This is about three times GNP per capita.

12. Some of the costs of the Cert. Ed. and B. Ed. (primary) are borne by the student – about 15% of full economic cost. Some B. Ed. students are on scholarships awarded on the basis of their performance in the Teachers’ Colleges examinations; hence government pays full costs for these. Their numbers however, have dwindled over the years to about 10 per intake. Government bears the total cost of the Diploma in Ed. for secondary school teachers.