Financial controls in public secondary schools in Mombasa district
The government of Kenya is committed to ensuring that resources are used for the intended purposes effectively and economically. To enhance efficient resource utilization in schools effective financial management practices have to be put in place. Mbithi (1974) defines administration as a formalized system, intended to control, supervise, plan and make decisions about the various activities of an organization on the basis of established authority. The principal of a School should be knowledgeable in managerial skills which will enable him to direct, plan, supervise, monitor, control, organize and make proper decision for the school as a part of enhancement of better performance. The overall objective of this study was to establish the financial control being used by those charged with management of school resources. To achieve the above objective a census was conducted and data collected by use of structured questionnaires that was administered to respondents who were able and willing to fill them on their own. Factor analysis was used in data analysis. The significance of this research was to strengthen and streamline financial controls in educational institutions in Kenya. In particular; to provide heads of Educational institutions with a guide that will assist them in establishing systems of internal accounting and administrative controls that comply with governments standards for financial management. The study established that most public secondary schools do not have a strategic plan to guide them towards achievement of both long-term and short-term objectives. Also evident despite directive of government abolishing charging fees and other levies, public secondary schools continues charging fees to students. The heads of public secondary schools had received^ training in financial management; however, all head teachers who participated in the study were of the view that the training was not adequate . Financial control factors identified for use in public secondary schools will assist school managers in identifying areas of financial concern and weakness. These financial red flags , if identified and acted upon in timely manner, can enable a school to avert possible financial disaster. The study recommended that the government should be organizing more training sessions in financial management for the headteachers and make it compulsory for teachers in training colleges to do courses in financial management of schools. Also, further research should be carried to explore the role of government,trade associations, professional associations, independent consultants or NGOs that focus on business development in assisting public secondary schools to become more self-aware, assessment oriented and fiscally viable.