Education tops public sector employment with 387,029 staff …consumes GH¢10bn in salaries

The country’s education sector – under the Ministry of Education – in 2020 would employ the highest workforce with a staff strength of 387,029 who would take GH¢10.4billion in salaries, an amount which is almost half of the entire budgetary allocation on public sector workers.

The Ministry of Finance will spend GH¢26.5billion on the entire workforce in the public sector of the country in 2020, as captured in the budget presented by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

A B&FT analysis of the 2020 budget presented to Parliament by the minister revealed that of the GH¢26.5billion, education sector workers’ salary alone will consume GH¢10.4billion representing 39.2 percent. The education sector leads other key sectors such as health, agriculture, roads, aviation and transport in terms of public employment figures.

The health sector, another critical sector of the economy, which comes second with a staff strength of 128,016, took a total of GH¢4.1billion in salaries. The huge amount of money that goes to pay workers’ employment under the education sector has largely contributed to the sector’s low infrastructural development over the years.

It has always been a fact that between 70 and 90 percent of the annual budgetary allocation to the education sector goes into the payment of teachers’ salaries, related allowances and study leave – leaving little for goods and services as well as infrastructural development.

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Although the education sector budget continues to increase yearly, the majority of the budget goes into payment of salaries and compensations.

In 2017, the budget allocation to the education sector increased by 11 percent from GH¢8.33billion to GH¢9.26billion in 2018; however, much of the increment went into payment of remuneration compared to goods and services and capital expenditure.

The share of allocation to remuneration increased significantly from 91.4 percent in 2017 to 98.5 percent in 2018. This development raises serious concerns about government’s commitment to deal with infrastructural and logistical constraints which contribute directly to educational outcomes.

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