Financing puplic secondary schools development projects in Meru North district, Kenya
Mingaine, Stephen Laaria
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how the major development projects undertaken by secondary schools had been financed and the extent to which they had been accomplished. The major development projects under study included Classrooms, school libraries, science laboratories and administration offices. Development cost had been controversial for long in Public Schools. Concern among various stakeholders in the education sector over the financing of school development projects, was one of the major factors that stimulated interest to venture into this research. The study was guided by four research questions that were generated at the conceptual phases of the study. These were: 1. How were the major development projects undertaken by schools financed? 2. To what extent had those development projects been accomplished? 3. What problems, if any, were encountered in securing funds for school developments projects? 4. How were the problems illustrated in relation to question three (3) solved? The study was conducted using a survey design. The data for this study was collected using questionnaires from 264 respondents who included 12 headteachers, 12 PTA chairpersons, 60 teachers and 180 form four students. In addition, there was an observation schedule for school development projects in all the sampled schools, as well as an interview schedule that involved the 12 headteachers. Data from research instruments were analyzed using descriptive statistics like means, frequencies and percentages. The major Finding of the study was that: parents were the main contributors towards school development projects. But due to their low Income and rapid price hikes of materials used in the development of education facilities, most schools in the study had financial constraints that made completion of the required development projects difficult. More specifically, the study found out that: 1. There was adequate land owned by public secondary schools for development projects. The average acreage was found to be 25 acres. 2. Classrooms, school libraries, science laboratories and administration offices were found to be inadequate. 3. Government was playing a very minimal role in financing school development projects. The only way that the government was involved was through giving bursaries to very few needy students. From the findings, it was concluded that the financing of public secondary schools in Meru North District had not been able to accomplish the development projects planned by schools. It was recommended that the government needs to reconsider its position in financing school development projects. It should identify at least one needed major development project in every secondary school in Meru North and accomplish it. More specifically, the study recommended that: 1. There was need to organize inter-visits at all levels among the schools, parents and communities, to learn from each other as to how far each has accomplished the development projects started, and the various ways (sources) each school has used to accomplish whatever development projects they had. 2. There was need to disseminate information on research findings on the "alternative sources of financing school development projects" to the public secondary schools in the District. 3. There was need to organise and co-ordinate major fund-raising (Harambees) at the school level to finish the uncompleted development projects.