OUT of the GHC 924,804,543 allocated to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the 2018 fiscal year, GHC477,511,600, representing 51.63 is to sponsor the payment of allowances of nursing and teacher trainees and “other education requirements.”
The payment of the trainees’ allowances in the past, according to our sources, used to be under the sponsorship of the Consolidated Fund.
The sponsorship of the allowances from the GETFund leaves the Fund with a ‘meager’ GHC447,292,943 for its educational projects and programmes for the year.
This was contained in a report of Parliament’s Committee of the Whole approved by the House in Accra on Wednesday.
The report states in part that “the remaining amount for the projects and programmes of the GETFund is woefully inadequate to enable the Fund implement its planned projects and programmes.”
According to the report, GHC 1.8 billion was estimated to accrue to the Fund from the two and one and half per cent of prevailing rate of the Value Added Tax.
“However, due to the provisions of Act 947 [Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017], the estimated accrual of 1.8 billion cedis to the Fund has been capped to GHC924,804,543,” the report noted.
Per the distribution formula, GHC328,136,603, representing 35.48, is allocated to the tertiary sector, GHC256,323,360, representing 27.72 per cent is for the Secondary level of education and GHC253,115,580 representing 27.37 will be used on basic education.
Other allocations include GHC66,604,000 representing 7.20 per cent will remain at the GETFund and the Ministry of Education for miscellaneous whiles GHC20,625,000 will cater for MPs emergency projects and monitoring.
The breakdown in the MPs emergency projects will translate into GHC60,000 for projects and GHC15,000 for monitoring of the projects.
The monies, the Committee observed, would focus on the provision of social interventions including capitation grant, feeding grant to special schools, subsidy for continuing students at the SHS level, subsidy for Basic Education Certificate Examination among others.
In line with section 8(2) of the GETFund Act which allows for investment of a fraction of the fund, the Committee entreated the GETFund to adhere to strictly to the provisions of the Section by allocating funds for investment “no matter how meagre the amount.”
Particularly concerned about the reliance on the GETFund to pay allowances, the Minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South, said the fund was being crippled as this year’s allocation is the lowest in the history of the Fund and demanded that government came clear on what it meant by “other education requirements.”
But the a Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Adutwum, agreeing with the inadequacy of monies to the Fund, said it was occasioned by the low revenue turnout of the government for 2017 and promised to use the funds judiciously for the intended projects.
The allowance for the trainees was a major campaign issue in the run-up to the 2016 general elections after the outgone John Mahama led National Democratic Congress formed government scrapped the payment of the allowance.
Then opposition leader, now President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, promised to restore the allowance if voted for honoured that pledge when he restored the allowance in October 2017.