Cost saving measures in puplic secondary schools : a case of Kakamega district
Musoga, Ruth Alusa
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Proper use of the available resources in secondary schools could ease the financial burden placed on parents and make secondary education affordable and accessible to an increased number of people. The purpose of this study was to establish cost saving measures in the utilization of resources in public secondary schools in Kakamega District. The survey design was used and the sample comprised 19 public secondary schools. The study employed stratified sampling technique in selecting the sample and random sampling was used to get the specific schools for the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the headteachers and document analysis used to corroborate responses given in the questionnaire. Data collected from the field were analyzed using descriptive statistics in which frequencies and percentages were used and then interpreted. The study found out that resources in the schools were not efficiently utilized. The average class size for a number of schools was below 40 and the majority of schools had pupil-teacher ratios below 25:I.A number of teachers had low teaching loads and most schools had pupil-worker ratios below 30:1. A number of schools had unauthorized levies in their fees structure and records on expenditure lacked detail on specific items money was spent. No proper records were kept for income generating activities, most schools lacked consistency in making bulk purchases and tendering committees in some of the schools were not functioning. Time was not efficiently utilized. Inadequate funds was reported as the main problem faced in implementing cost saving measures and that, it adversely affected the schools' efficiency in meeting financial needs. This was attributed to poor school fees payment. Other problems included destruction of the available facilities by students, lack of enough space, lack of commitment to duty by teachers and other workers, extra costs in employing BoG teachers in understaffed subjects. Unreliability and lack of transparency in the accounts office and misuse of funds were also revealed. From the findings it was therefore concluded that, inefficiency in the utilization of resources in schools contributed to the costly education. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that schools use resources efficiently. They should adhere to the Ministry of Education Science and Technology's (MoEST) school fees guidelines and use funds efficiently. Class size should be at least 40 to ensure maximum utilization of resources and lower unit costs, pupil-teacher ratio should be raised to 40:1. Underutilized teaching staff should be redeployed to schools where their services are required. Schools should employ workers with the right qualifications and adhere to MoEST' S guidelines on pupil-worker ratio. Where sharing and improvisation of facilities are used, the procedure should be efficient so as not to compromise the quality of education and, students should be counseled to appreciate proper use of facilities. MoEST should ensure that schools have functioning and efficient tendering committees. The inspectorate should be prompt on and intensify school inspections to enhance efficiency in schools.