Public procurement policy and its impact on teaching and learning in secondary schools in Thika West District, Kiambu County
Mungai, Kariuki Elijah
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The purpose of the study was to establish the factors that affect Public Procurement Policy implementation in public secondary schools in Thika West District, in Kiambu County, and its impacts on teaching and learning in the schools. The objectives of the study were to determine the extent to which public procurement policy was being implemented in secondary schools in Thika West District; to examine how training of headteachers in financial management affected the implementation of public procurement policy in secondary schools in Thika West district; determine the working relationship between the procurement committee members and the school management, and how this affected the implementation of public procurement policy in secondary schools; examine the impact of the introduction of public procurement on the quality of teaching and learning resources in secondary schools and to establish challenges related to disbursement of funds by the government in relation to implementation of public procurement policy in secondary schools. The study employed a descriptive survey design. The study population was all the 31 headteachers, 31 bursars and the teachers who were members of school procurement committees in the 31 secondary schools in Thika West district. Stratified random sampling was employed to select the 20 schools from which the principal and the bursar were automatically selected for the study. The study therefore comprised of 20 principals, 20 bursars, and 40 teachers. Instruments used for data collection were questionnaires. Data was both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequency counts, percentages and means. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. The study established that that majority of the principals had been trained in fmancial management and the training led to successful implementation of public procurement in schools. The study also established that failure by the government to release funds on time and failure to release the expected amount of money were two challenges being experienced by most of the schools as this led the procurement committees to authorize procurement of goods on credit. Lack of adequate time for carrying out procurement, lack of adequate suppliers, and lack of training were among other challenges facing public procurement in schools. The study recommends that: the government should ensure that free secondary education funds are adequate and are released to the schools on time; the Ministry of Education should organize training courses on public procurement for key personnel in the school procurement committees; the school administration should ensure that all members of the procurement committee are provided with a copy of the public procurement policy and other documents used in procurement. The procurement committee members should be encouraged to read and understand the policy statements; among other recommendations.