Individual factors influencing board of management members’ effectiveness in financial management in public secondary schools in Athiriver District, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate the individual factors influencing Board of management member’s effectiveness in financial management in public secondary schools in Athi-river district, Kenya. The study objectives were to examine the extent to which management experience, exposure to training and professional qualifications influence Board of management members’ effectiveness in financial management in public secondary schools in Athi-river District. The study also sought to identify the challenges faced by members of Board of management in management of finances. The study adopted the descriptive survey design and the main tools for data collection were questionnaire for BOM members and principals. The target population constituted all the 104 Board of Management members and 8 principals in public secondary schools in Athi-river district. The sample size comprised of 8 principals and 52 BOM members representing 50percent of the total population. The study used both qualitative and quantitative data from the field which were summarized, coded, edited and computerized through synthesizing information from questionnaires. Quantitative data was analysed by use of descriptive statistics such as means, mode and percentage and reported in tables and figures. Qualitative data was analysed thematically where data was organized into topics guided by research questions. The data analysis was done by use of SPSS where the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to establish the relationship between variables which are management experience, exposure to training and professional qualifications and effectiveness of BOM members in financial management of secondary schools. The study established that 41percent of the BOM members were male while 59percent where female, for principals 86percent were male while 14percent were female. The study also established that 50percent of BOM members were aged between 31 - 35 years, 24percent aged between 36- 40 years, 12 percent aged between 41-45years while 14percent were aged between 46-50years. The data also showed that 29percent of principals were aged between 36-40years, 29percent aged between 41-45years and 42percent were aged between 46 and 50 years. The study established that the length of service of a BOM member in secondary schools does not really matter as far as effectiveness in financial management is concerned. The Pearson’s correlation between BOM member’s management experience and effectiveness in financial management showed that there is a weak negative relationship as indicated by a correlation of -0.302. On the exposure to training of the BOM member the study established that the current financial management status of BOM members helps in making strategies on financial management. On whether a BOM member had attended training in financial management, majority (about 55 percent) of the BOM members had received training. On cross examining the various aspects of financial management against the exposure to training, the study found out that there is a strong positive relationship between BOM members’ training exposure and financial management in secondary schools as indicated by a positive Pearson’s correlation of 0.564. On professional qualification of the BOM members, the correlation shows that when professional qualification is cross-tabulated with BOM self evaluation on effectiveness in financial management, it showed that there is a significant relationship between the qualification and financial management in secondary schools as indicated by a positive Pearson’s correlation of 0.433. This is attributed to the xii ability to interpret and implement policies and make prudent decision making. When professional qualification was cross tabulated with effectiveness on resource mobilization and also on budgeting, it was found that BOM members with diplomas and degrees were more effective than their counterparts with certificates. The researcher recommends that there is need to limit the length of service of a BOM member to a fixed five year term renewable once so that members do not relax on their job of overseeing school matters. Since exposure to training has a significant role in financial management, there is need to intensify the training/ seminars attendance of BOM members to sharpen their skills. On challenges faced by BOM members’ in financial management, lack of cooperation by principals was rated at 79percent, political interference at 76percent, partisan interest at 48percent and incompetence in financial management at 45percent. Hence the researcher recommends continuous trainings on team work and elements of financial management, and also change in policy to address the highlighted challenges. The study further concludes it is important to consider professional qualification and exposure to training in recruitment of BOM members since it enables members to modify behaviour and obtain knowledge for financial management with its new technology. The researcher suggested that a study on individual factors influencing BOM members in private secondary schools in Athi-river District should be carried out.