Financial management practices in Kenya secondary schools : problems and issues
Kamau, Kenneth Wanjau
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Education is one sector that has gone through tremendous growth and continues to do so. Providing education to the children has always been an expensive undertaking to both the government and the community. To implement the curriculum there has to be a provision of educational facilities, equipment and services whose costs have been soring with time. The population has also been rising sharply implying that there has been a tremendous increase in the demand for education. This has resulted to budget slices of money going to financing education. The cost-sharing policy where the community shares the burden of financing schools has as a result been given more impetus. It was on this score that the researcher formulated the problem of the study in liqht of the limitation placed on the headteachers in their attempt to effectively finance their school programmes. This study also sought to look into the fiscal management practices and the problems experienced in the process. Implications of these problems to schools' administrative tasks were also reviewed. The study was conducted through field research which covered 30 secondary schools in Nairobi Province. Questionnaires were provided to headteachers of these schools to respo~d to. Interview schedules were also arranged for education and audit officers for the purpose of providing supplementary information. There was a review of literature made which was related to the study being undertaken. This dealt with the general funding of schools and management of funds as well as limitations usually straining headteachers in this area. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics like means and percentages. This facilitated extracting major findings of'the study from the analyzed data. It was found out that the government grants and fees paid by students formed the main sources of revenue for schools. The late arrival of grants and the community's inability to pay were the main limitations to effective funds acquisation. Although the headteachers prepared budgets and made attempts to administer them, they were greatly hampered in the area of accounting The researcher concluded that for there to be effectively run schools, there had to be financial back up. Revenue-raising programmes became therefore a chief concern to educators. Little was done to upgrade head teachers and make them better versed in accounting procedures. All schools' administrative tasks ,were to some degree influenced by the amount of revenue a school was able to muster. There were a few recommendations that were made. The researcher recommended that there should be more involvement by the government in formulating policy to streamline funding and revenue collection in all schools. That headteachers be guided in improving their budgeting processes and accounting procedures. The researcher recommended that there should be further research carried out in this area of study.