Constraints of financial management in public primary schools of Manga District, Nyamira county, Kenya
Mungazi, John Phoscoh
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The purpose of this study was to find out the constraints that the school management committee members face that contribute to inefficient financial management in Kenyan public primary schools. The school management committee were enshrined in the Kenya constitution (1964) under the education Act cap 211 of 1968 which was revised in 1980. The school management committee functions as contained in the Act include financial management, planning and development of physical facilities in the school together with the human resource management. However, the Act does not specify training that school management committee members should undergo in preparations for their roles in school management. The objectives that guided the study sought to find out factors that influence the ability of financial management by SMC, establish source of financial management in public primary school. Effects of school financial management on the status of public primary schools and measures to improve school financial management were established. The research methodology employed for this study was descriptive survey. It employed random stratified sampling technique. The target population was 62 public primary schools. The sampled population had 20 public primary schools, 20 head teachers, 20 school management committee chairpersons and 1 D.E.O. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the head teachers and S.M.C Chairpersons while an interview schedule was used to gather data from the D.E. O. The data collected was validated and coded before analysis. Quantitative data was analyzed manually to establish the final constraints that faced the school management committee in Manga District. The findings of this study were that head teachers were not trained to carry out financial management roles in schools. This study further revealed that school management committee chairpersons had low levels of education that could not allow them to perform the expected roles in financial management in public primary schools. Sources of funds and lack of trained and qualified non- teaching staff rated highest as key factors among the S.M.C financial management constraints. Literature review revealed that although the roles of S.M.C in school financial management are spelt out, on the ground the functional relationship in the area of school financial management is not specific. The outcomes of the effective school financial management identified by the study include: ideal infrastructure, high enrolment, discipline, low staff turnout among others. The study concluded that low academic qualifications among the school management committee members impacted negatively on school financial management, thus setting up of strict nomination criteria for school management committee chairpersons will assist in financial management issues. Based on the finding, it was recommended that Ministry of Education to raise the minimum academic requirement for school management committee chairpersons to form four levels, budgeting the be a compulsory requirement before public primary schools are allowed to operate and the school administration should recruit qualified bursars / accounts clerks in the country.