An investigation of the causes of poor financial management by head teachers of public secondary schools in Nairobi province.
Kinuthia, Eric K
MetadataShow full item record
There have been a number of cases mainly reported through the local print and electronic media of mismanagement and misappropriation of finances in public secondary schools. The purpose of this study was to establish the causes of poor management of finances and their remedies. Another purpose of this study was to investigate whether there is any significant differences or relationship between selected characteristics of the headteachers including age, gender, academic qualifications, professional qualification, administrative experience and effective financial management of public secondary schools in Nairobi Province. Other factors including competence of the school boards, bursars and headteachers training in financial management and preparations of school budgets were also investigated. Additional areas of investigation included . Collection of school fees and other monies due to the school Budgeting and forward planning Project funding and management Skills in writing of accounts books and accounting procedures Tendering of goods and services School governance Supervision of accounts staff Authorization of expenditure; and Auditing of school accounts amongst others In the review of the literature for this study, the areas highlighted included financing of education, budgeting, financial accounting, auditing, and malpractice in the management of finances. A conceptual framework was developed encompassing the reviewed theoretical dispensation. target population was sampled to • include all the 47 headteachers in public secondary schools in Nairobi Province. The questionnaire return rate was 100% for the primary respondents, the headteachers and 80% for the secondary respondents, the school bursars. The sample consisted of 45 headteachers and 41 school bursars with 5headteachers and 5 bursars participating in a pilot study. The pilot study helped in enhancing the validity and reliability of the questionnaires. The reliability of the headteachers questionnaire was found to be 0.88, a level which is acceptable Analysis of variance A, and two-tailed t-test and correlation coefficient were used to test the ten null hypotheses. This was to establish whether there is any significance relationship between headteachers selected characteristics and other factors and effective financial management. The results revealed that there were no significant differences or relationships between any of the selected headteachers characteristics and effective financial management. Though there were limitations due to the confidentiality of some aspects of the chosen area of study, attempts were made to access authentic documents, which supported various arguments advanced as to the causes of poor management of public schools finances. Remedies were suggested which may when implemented improve on financial management in public secondary schools. Other sources of school finances were also suggested. The study was ex-post factor in design. The basic instruments used to collect data were two questionnaires with one designed for the headteachers and the other for bursars. Both questionnaires contained three parts with part I and part II of both questionnaires containing questions extracting demographic information, Part II of the headteachers questionnaire contained matrix and unstructured questions with part III of the bursars questionnaires containing unstructured questions . The items in the questionnaires were tested for content validity and reliability by using the pilot study. Likert Rating Scale was used in the structuring of some items in both questionnaires. The study came up with research findings and recommendations. The findings included: No significant relationship was found between effective financial management and age, gender, academic and professional qualifications and training in financial management of the headteacher . No significant relationship was found between effective financial management and school size, BOG members competence, headteachers budget preparation, school type, bursars age and academic qualifications . Most headteachers attached more importance to areas related to financial management that include budgeting, collection of school fees, receipting and banking daily and entry of accounts books in relation to school administration and management. The following were indicated as major causes of poor financial management; Inadequate training in financial management, insufficient understanding of accounting procedures and incompetent accounts personnel. Most school bursars were carrying out tasks or activities, which were not within their jurisdiction and leaving out tasks, which were their responsibility. Recommendations included the following; Employing adequate and skilled accounting personnel with requisite academic qualifications, who should also be regularly in-serviced with relevant contemporary skills . Computerizing accounts departments in schools and using ICTs in financial management of schools wherever feasible. Appointment of competent school boards and divorcing politics from such appointments . Having regular and transparent audit inspections and cash surveys . Empowering and involving PTAs in financial management, and Following the set guidelines and policies in management of school finances, including proper budgeting and writing of accounts books. In addition to the above, the following additional remedies were recommended; Working as per the budget Buying school items and merchandize III bulk and applying the set procurement procedures MOST to give more financial support to school Schools to charge fees according to their needs and to be more accountable Better remuneration package for accounts personnel School fee to be paid on time through banks and using cheques wherever possible and Appointing qualified, transparent and accountable individuals as headteachers