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close this bookThe Costs and Financing of Teacher Education in Malawi (CIE, 2000, 57 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMulti-Site Teacher Education Research Project (MUSTER)
View the documentAbstract
View the document1. Overview of National Issues
View the document2. Recent Development of the Teacher Education System
View the document3. Current Status of Colleges
View the document4. The System of College Funding and Sources of Costs in Colleges
Open this folder and view contents5. Internal Efficiency of the Colleges
View the document6. Selection, Admission and Placement of Untrained Teachers
View the document7. Analysis of Teacher Supply and Demand
View the document8. Cost per Trainee Analysis
View the document9. Postscript on Recent Developments
View the document10. Conclusions
View the documentReferences

4. The System of College Funding and Sources of Costs in Colleges

Under the decentralised budget system Colleges of Education receive money through the Regional Offices for the supply of services. Salaries of all teaching staff are paid from the Ministry payroll directly. A small number of ancillary employees are paid from College funds in some Colleges.

In principle each year Colleges estimate how much they will need to spend for budget line activities. In the accounts we have seen this is calculated on a historic basis adding a percentage to the previous year's expenditure headings unless an unusual commitment is anticipated. In the past these estimates were then negotiated with the Ministry and an amount agreed. Presumably this will now take place with Regional offices.

According to the 1997/98 approved estimates the budget for Blantyre T.T.C amounted to MK8,958,953. This in general covers items distributed under personal emoluments such as salaries and allowances and under goods and services which include among other things boarding, maintenance, water and sanitation, heating, transport, office services, teaching/learning materials, consumable stores and fuel. Table 9 is a typical example of budgeting for Blantyre T.T.C

Table 9: 1997/98 Approved Estimates For BTTC

Salaries etc

MK

% of Total

Salaries

1390375

15.6

Wages (non established staff)

138750

1.6

Professional Allowances

62500

0.7

Student Allowances

250000

2.8

Housing Allowance

187500

2.1

Sub-Total

2029125

22.7

Goods and Services



Boarding

3387125

37.9

Consumable stores

171250

1.9

Maintenance of buildings and equipment

557750

6.2

Maintenance of Motor Vehicles

419000

4.7

Teaching/Learning Materials

286875

3.2

Stationery

106375

1.2

Internal Training

743750

8.3

Leave and allowances

85500

1.0

Travel and subsistence

211750

2.4

Telephone Charges

63750

0.7

Heating and Lighting

345250

3.9

Water and Sanitation

531250

5.9

Sub Total

6909625

77.3

Grand Total for BTC

8938750

100.0

Table 9 above shows that about 23% of the total budget is allocated to personal emoluments and specifically 17% of the budget is staff salaries. The personal emoluments are paid out directly to individuals by the Ministry of Education via the Divisional Offices. Goods and services are paid directly in the case of grant-aided colleges like St. Joseph's, or the colleges have to claim their expenditures from the divisional Offices as in the case of government colleges like BTC. This means that St. Joseph's runs a modest cash account while BTC never handles any cash.

Staff salaries at the Colleges are shown in Table 10. It should be noted that teachers' salaries at demonstration schools are also included in the college budgets. Each College has an attached school that it oversees and uses for teaching practice activities. The costs of these schools represent a greater proportion of the total costs in the smaller Colleges than in the larger ones. The costs per MIITEP student (3 cohorts) do not vary much on estimated expenditure. There are differences in the proportion of senior staff, which explain some of the variation. The different Colleges have different facilities, some of which require more support than others. The number of support staff varies but no data is available on this. Average staff salaries in the Colleges were about MK 30,000 in 1998/9 (data from St Joseph's and St Montfort). On-costs (pensions and other benefits) add perhaps 20%-25% on top of basic salaries.

Table 10: Average Salaries of Staff in Colleges per Staff and per Student

College

Number of Professional Staff

Total Establishment salary Budget MK(1998/9 Estimates)

Enrolment (3 cohorts)

Salary/Student MK

Karonga

28

1196600

1001

1195

Kasungu

28

1719431

1602

1073

Lilongwe

32

1921098

1575

1220

Blantyre

26

1821594

1502

1212

Blantyre TTC is supposed to run on a monthly subvention of MK577,485 excluding the salaries and allowances. In reality this far from being met as Table 11 shows. A similar trend of funding is experienced at St. Joseph's College. From January to December in 1998 the college claimed MK3,450,000 from the government grant. In total the government was able to release only MK810,000. Table 12 shows the funding regime for St. Joseph's College. It is clear from the two Tables that the funding regime is grossly inadequate when compared to the amounts needed identified by the budgeting exercise. BTC receives only 19.6% of its budgeted allocation and St. Joseph's only 23.5% of its claims. To make it worse the funding is very unpredictable. St. Joseph's has gone without funding for some months. Such erratic flows of funding have given rise to severe management problems at the colleges that in turn adversely affect the implementation of the curriculum.

Table 11: 1997/98 Funding For BTC

Month

Funding MK

Difference Income and Budgeted Requests MK

July

300000

277485

August

150000

427485

September

325000

252485

October

120000

475485

November

170000

387485

December

120000

457485

January

130000

447485

February

40000

407485

Total

1355000

3132880

Table 12: 1998 Funding For St. Joseph's College

Month

Funding MK

Difference Income and Monthly Exp. MK

January

300000

0

February

none

227709

March

40000

292550

April

20000

224123

May

150000

76408

June

none

343176

July

50000

282155

August

150000

113586

September

100000

174567

October

none

279496

November

none

315506

December

none

310725

Total

810000

2640000

This state of affairs is threatening the continued operation of the colleges. The meagre funds available have to be allocated to supporting boarding facilities and the related utilities. The dilapidated state of BTC is due to lack of maintenance, and absence of proper sanitation has left the college on the brink of closure. The food provided in the Colleges is described by both lecturers and students as the worst experience of college life. There is a glaring absence of expenditure on teaching and learning aids and books to the extent that at St Joseph's in 1999 nothing appears to have been spent. This indicates that support for the implementation of the curriculum has to take second place to other more pressing needs.