Published on International Journal of Teaching & Education
Publication Date: September, 2019
Pascal Wambiya, Catherine Machyo & Aduwi Obong’o Patrick
Senior Lecturer and Director of Post Graduate Studies, Mwenge Catholic University, Tanzania
Senior lecturers, Department of Educational Research and Evaluation at Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Master of Education in Research and Evaluation Candidate at Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya
The Kenya government and donor communities are investing large sums of money in free primary education which is vital to the general development of the school. It is against this background that this study sought to establish head teachers’ preparedness in managing finances in public primary schools specifically in Rachuonyo North Sub-county, Kenya. The study adopted concurrent mixed methods designs whereby concurrent triangulation strategy was applied. From the target population of 166 schools, stratified random sampling technique was adopted to select primary schools on the basis of zones, thereafter simple random sampling was used to select 33 (20%) schools and from each school the sample participants included; headteachers, parents’ association representative and Sub County Director of Education. Questionnaires was administered to the headteachers while interview guides were employed to collect data from the Parents Association representatives and the Sub County Director of Education. The result indicates that 18 (60%) of the head teachers indicated that they were not sufficiently exposed to financial matters when in college and have not undergone in financial management training courses, only a 12 (40%) noted to have gone to training courses two to three times and are exposed to financial management. This was quite different to BOM/ PA members where 21 (70%) had undergone training on financial management and are well exposed to the same. It is clear that most financial management aspects were covered to a little extent during the training of headteachers especially on Procurement, Books of account and Balance sheet. The results evidently indicate that most head teachers’ competency in financial management aspects were all at a moderate extent of competence and teachers with higher responsibilities like deputy and headteachers need to be well competent in all aspect of financial management. Appropriate ways of addressing challenges noted include; Schools to submit monthly or termly financial reports to the sub county director of education office; headteachers to come up with income generating activities to supplement government funds; Schools to have procurement committee with clear mandate; Schools to comply with the Ministry’s procurement acts and follow accordingly; Auditors to avail the audit reports to the school BOMs promptly; Schools ‘Accounts clerks to further their studies on financial management, as well as policy for tracing of resources that guarantees accountability to be enhanced.
Keywords: Headteachers, Preparedness, Financial & Management.
1.1 Introduction and Background of the Problem
Appropriate financial management is central to the overall development of the school and the responsibility for collecting and accounting for school funds in the school is held with the School Board of management (BOM); nevertheless, the BOM through the head teacher must seek out the approval of the County Education Board (CEB) in order to pull together and use the funds (Sigilai & Bett, 2013). The study by the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (2008) found out that public primary schools in Kenya have been slow in embracing prudent financial management policies. The same gap was also identified by Cheruto and Kyalo (2010) who perceived those primary schools’ management face challenges in the operation of the Free Primary Education Program which include: resistance from parents, shortage of staff, limited financial management skills and knowledge, poor physical facilities and delay in disbursement of funds by the government.
Chetambve and Sakwa (2013) on their study on effects of Financial Training on Financial Performance of Schools in Kenya states that the education sector in Kenya is facing crises. The arms of the management authorities such as the school management committees, schools ‘boards of managements and Parents Associations (Pas) are in question since there are numerous cases where head teachers having mismanaged school finances being reported and no action taken against them (Barasa, 2007). The capability of the head teachers in terms of skills, knowledge and training in matters financial as a factor of financial management preparedness is a gap in the study that the current study intends to address.
Abdulatif (2010) came up with several ways of effective financial management in public primary in Kilifi district in Kenya including provision of additional funds. There are number of challenges facing headteachers in managing finances of public primary schools especially with the lucrative 2003 government of Kenya initiative of free primary education (Ilahaka, 2006). Mbaabu & Orodho (2014) admit that head teachers having inappropriate academic qualifications experience many intertwined challenges that gravitated around lack of fundamental leadership acumen, nonexistence of skills in curriculum and instruction, in addition to inefficient physical, human and financial management. It is against this background that this study sought to establish Headteachers Preparedness and Appropriate ways of Addressing Financial Management Challenges specifically in Rachuonyo North Sub-county, Kenya.
Most studies that have been done looked at the processes of school financial management (Sigilai & Bett, 2013); financial management policies done by IPAR in 2008; challenges in the implementation of the Free Primary Education Program (Cheruto & Kyalo (2010) and Constraints faced by head teachers in managing primary schools (Mbaabu & Orodho, 2014), and factors influencing public primary schools head teachers’ competence in financial management (Abdulatif, 2010). No study has been done on head teachers’ preparedness in effective financial management in public primary schools in Rachuonyo North Sub County, Kenya, therefore it is against this background that this study sought to fill this imminent gap by establishing head teachers’ preparedness in managing finances in public primary schools specifically in Rachuonyo North Sub-county, Kenya.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The key problem in financial management is that head teachers in primary schools have no necessary training to manage large school funds and this has led to the mismanagement of school funds entrusted to them as supported by various readings (Ilahaka, 2006; IPAR, 2008; Sigilai and Bett, 2013). Whereas several studies have been done on the mismanagement of school funds in primary schools in Kenya, little has been done on head teachers’ preparedness to manage the funds and specifically in Rachounyo North Sub County.
Primary school head teachers in various sub-counties including Rachuonyo North manage large budgets and they are involved in procurement and accounting for funds given to them to manage (District Education Officer, 2007). Also reported in the District Education Officer (2007), Rachuonyo Distrct Audit Report; one of the weaknesses in primary school management in Rachuonyo North Sub-County was mismanagement of funds which involves exaggerated costs, diverting funds intended for FPE to construction, and because of these, cases of head teachers’ interdictions and demotions as a result of financial mishandling in public primary schools in Rachuonyo north sub county are on the increase (Odhiambo & Simatwa, 2012). This financial mismanagement might be caused by lack of head teachers’ preparedness to manage the funds. It is against this background that this study sought to establish head teachers’ preparedness in managing finances in public primary schools specifically in Rachuonyo North Sub-county, Kenya.
1.3 General Objective
The general objective of the study was to determine the level of Headteachers Preparedness and Appropriate ways of Addressing Financial Management Challenges in Rachuonyo North Sub-County Primary Schools, Kenya.
1.3.1 Specific Objectives
a. To establish knowledge and skills headteachers’ require for effective financial management in Rachuonyo North Sub-county.
b. To recommend appropriate ways of addressing financial management challenges facing headteachers in Rachuonyo North Sub-County.
1.4 Research Questions
a. What knowledge and skills do headteachers require in effective financial management in Rachuonyo North Sub-county?
b. What are the appropriate ways of addressing challenges facing headteachers in financial management in Rachuonyo North Sub-County?
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Theoretical framework
This study was guided by systems theory which Hegel developed in the 19th century to explain historical development as a dynamic process which was used by Marx and Darwin in their work. The Systems theory is supported by the New Public Management Model (NPM) by Boston et al., (1996) which is a management viewpoint model used by governments since the 1980s to modernize the public segment. System theory was used by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, who was a biologist, by way of the basis for the field of study known as ‘general system theory’, which is a multidisciplinary field (Bertalanffy, 1968). The Systems theory was also applied in America arms industry and later found application in education preparation, development and evolution amongst educationists (Kaufman, 1972). System theory is that which consists of various components and is the interdisciplinary study of systems in general, with the objective of elucidating principles that can be applied to all types of systems at all levels in all fields of research (Cole, 2004). Management of funds is not a stand-alone or an isolated activity but a process that exist in the school structure. Financial resources form the first important input in primary schools. Monetary resources are mainly derived from the parents and government. It is used in human and physical resources such as teaching and auxiliary staff, teaching and learning resources and school physical plant through a budget. The procedures within the system are the professional training and development offered by KEMI, regulation supervision services and professional growth. The output would be competence in financial management thus effective financial management system in place in public primary schools and in this case of Rachuonyo North Sub County, Kenya. Therefore, it emerges that the school head teachers play a most important role in the management of school funds in public primary schools.
The Organization Systems Theory is relevant to the study in that one of the main objectives of FPE is to ensure that the Government avails funds for running school curriculum. Nevertheless, it is through a combination of strict implementation, prudent budgeting and good reporting for FPE funds and all the other elements of primary education that primary schools in Rachuonyo North Sub-county can achieve their goals.
2.2 Empirical Review
2.2.1 Knowledge and skills on Financial management required by Head teachers of Primary schools
Head teachers of public primary schools play a vital and multifaceted role in setting the direction for schools that are positive and productive workplaces for teachers and vibrant learning environments for children. According to Norman (2010), in a study of the importance of financial education in making informed decision on spending conducted in Iringa in Tanzania established that head teachers and principals need to be educational instructional, visionaries and curriculum leaders, disciplinarians, assessment experts, community builders, public relations experts, financial managers and budget analysts, facility managers, special programs administrators, and expert overseers of legal and policy mandates and initiatives.
Kaguri, Njati and Thiaine (2014) on their study of financial management challenges facing implementation of free day education in Imenti North District, Kenya observed that a number of head teachers did not submit on a monthly basis a Trial Balance and expenditure analysis to the District Education office, also did not prepare monthly bank reconciliation statements as required by the Government. Consequently, most head teachers were not effectively managing school finance. Financial school explained by Bisschoff (2003) indicated that it is important to provide experience which can effectively assist the trained head teachers to obtain knowledge for financial management, headteachers should possess such as financial management course, effective communication, human relation, educational level, organizational knowledge, administrative experience and political positioning. South Worth (1999) looked into primary headship and argued along the same lines and points a great extent of ineffectiveness and inefficiency in financial management that is so common due to deficiency of formal preparation for institutions’ headteachers. Davies and Ellison (1998) also carried out a survey in six Sub-Saharan countries in Africa. Their findings established that school management in Africa, by means of all its uncertainties and complications, is significantly different from that found in the developed countries, where much of the theory originates and that current provision for head teacher training was insufficient. In their study they also emphasized that as an administrator and a manager of a school, head teacher is expected to be in the frontline in competencies necessary for effective management of the school and its resources.
Rotich and Kipkoech (2012) in their study on the role of the School Principal in the implementation of the free education, established that there exist a range of critics including headteachers themselves, and this has created litany of concerns about the quality and effectiveness of the leadership preparation typically provided at teacher training colleges and elsewhere in the country. Moreover, the study found out that curricula offered in teacher training institutions often fail to provide grounding of effective management skills among learners, and that mentorship and internships often lack depth or opportunities to test their leadership skills in real-life circumstances (Rotich & Kipkoech, 2012). This finding concurs with Okumbe (2007) who emphasized on the need for training teachers and those in charge of handling public primary school management of finances. Norman (2010) emphasized that head teachers are expected to broker the often-conflicting interests of teachers, parents, students, education officials, state agencies and unions, and they need to be sensitive to the widening range of student and stakeholder needs.
Okumbe (2007) reiterates that the Kenya Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s mission is to provide, promote and coordinate lifelong education, training and research for Kenya’s sustainable development which include Teacher Education and Management which touches also on how financials are managed in schools. Conferring to Kiprono, Nganga & Kanyiri (2015) in their assessment of school management committees’ capacity in the implementation of FPE funds in public primary schools: a survey of Eldoret East district, Kenya mentioned that most of the training programmes and workshops for career development of principals or school head teachers are either funded by outside donors or the ministry. The Ministry of Education Science and Technology (2006) commissioned a study which appeared to be a follow-up of the recommendations of Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005 and whose results showed that most head teachers and their deputies appointed to head public primary schools are not trained in basic financial management which is admittedly a key prerequisite for quality and effective management of education sector in the country. The finding of the study further showed that the head teachers are given headship positions without any formal preparation for the task ahead of them which include financial management, as also supported by UNESCO (2006) emphasizing that school heads in Africa work under the most difficult conditions and are often not well-prepared for the tasks they must undertake the finding of Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005 and UNESCO (2006) head teachers having no training financial management leads the researcher to probe on the required skills and knowledge of financial management system by head teachers in Rachuonyo North Sub-county.
School head teachers need to acquaint themselves with sound management of funds which includes budgeting, accounting and auditing (MOEST, 2004; Sisungo, 2002). Remarkably the researcher concurs with earlier studies of Rotich & Kipkoech, (2012), MOEST (2004) and Sisungo, (2002) that School head teachers and the governing bodies of the schools need to acquaint themselves with sound management of funds which encompasses budgeting, accounting and auditing.
The researcher also agrees with Norman (2010) in a study of the Importance of Financial Education in making informed decision on spending. Debatably the researcher also hypothetically takes the position of South Worth (1999) and The Ministry of Education Science and Technology (2006) that head teachers and their deputies appointed to head public primary schools are not trained in basic financial management which is admittedly a key reason for ineffective financial management, this might be the reason why Kaguri, Njati and Thiaine (2014) recently noted faults in reporting financial records on Imenti North Sub County schools. Good number of studies have been conducted on role of the School Principals in the implementation of the free education and some touching on factors influencing public primary schools head teachers’ competence in financial management, nevertheless little is covered on linking knowledge skills and head teachers’ preparedness in managing finances in public primary schools and especially in Rachuonyo North Sub-county. It is in the attention of the current study that the researcher aimed to determine whether the primary head teachers are fully equipped with all the necessary skills and expertise to regulate, direct, account and report on financial resources under their custody.
2.2.2 Appropriate ways of addressing financial management challenges
Kiprono, Nganga and Kanyiri (2015) assert that capacity building of school management committees and local communities is a critical element of the education programmes. Reading SASA Section 19 recognizes the need for the enhancement of capacity of governing bodies to ensure that their roles are carried out optimally as supported by Mestry, (2004) in the study on Accountability: The principal or school Governing Body Capacity building programmes of school governing bodies including the principals in South Africa which essentially revolve around that of financial management, learner discipline, legal matters, and duties of the school governing body, policy-making, communication skills, conducting meetings and conflict management
Segwapa ( 2008) in a study on Assessing the performance of school governing bodies of selected farm schools in the Limpopo province also points out that that school governing body must be able to control and raise funds, develop and draw up the school budget, manage rentals like water and electricity and also purchase learner support materials and other necessary equipment for school thus the need for Capacity which will need further development if FPE progress is to be sustainable as claimed with Grogan (2006) in the study on quest of who benefits from universal primary education in Uganda?
Because of the turnover of SMC members, boards and head teachers, capacity building cannot be limited to one-time training (Bertoli, 2008). It necessitates long term strategies, such as regular on-the-job training, advisory visits, support networks, and published guidelines. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to ensure that this occurs, as much as KESI gives in-service training to other school leaders such as deputy principals, heads of departments and principals, it seldom trains other school leaders such as BOM and school committees (Antonowicz.et al., 2010). Therefore, lack of capability can be traced to insufficient funding to KESI and lack of full time training facilities (Sessional Paper No. 1 2005: 65). Capacity development is needed for further progress if FPE progress is to be sustainable (Grogan, 2006) as also supported by Wango and Gatere (2012) in their study on School finance management: Fiscal management to enhance governance and accountability.
The researcher supports the need of capacity building as pointed out by Kiprono, Nganga and Kanyiri (2015) and Bertoli (2008) in addition to the need for skills to understand budgets, bookkeeping, financial records and administrative systems as noted by Segwapa (2008). Markedly it is evident that the mentioned ways of addressing financial management challenges have not been identified in Rachuonyo North Sub County public primary schools, therefore the current study aimed to fill this gap by investigating the appropriate ways of addressing challenges facing head teachers in financial management in Rachuonyo North Sub-County.
The study adopted concurrent mixed methods designs whereby concurrent triangulation strategy was applied. From the target population of 166 schools, stratified random sampling technique was adopted to select primary schools on the basis of zones, thereafter simple random sampling was used to select 33 (20%) schools and from each school the sample participants included; head teachers, PA representative plus Sub County Director of Education. The researcher administered questionnaires to the head teachers while interview guides was employed to collect data from the Parents Association representatives and the Sub County Director of Education. The questionnaire consisting rating scales was validated through the use of experts in research and assessment then pilot tested and modified before being utilized for data collection. The collected data were then analyzed in terms of frequency, percentages, means and standard deviations by the aid of computer software (SPSS) version 21 presented in tables and charts.
4. PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS
4.1 Knowledge and Skills Headteachers Require for Effective Financial Management in Rachuonyo North Sub-County
Primary school head teachers have a number of ways to acquire skills and knowledge for their management job. These ways include: reading books on management, self-discovery, observing others as they act and react to school situations, a mentor, course attendance in financial management and finally experiences on the job. Hence this study desired to establish the exposure of head teachers to financial management training, years of service before appointment to administrative position the head teachers had, head teachers’ training in financial management, administrative experience and head teachers’ competence in financial management head teachers’ administrative experience.
4.1.1 Years of Service Before Appointment to Administrative Position
The head teachers were requested to specify the number of years that they had been teaching before appointment to substantive positions of deputy head teacher. The Table 1 below shows the findings.
Table 1: Years of Service Before Heading the School
The findings show that most head teachers took a while as ordinary teachers before being promoted to the administrative position of head teacher the majority going up to over 25 years at 33. Therefore, it can be implied that these years were enough for them to get the experience of being an administrator. However, they were not exposed to management of school finances hence they might not have been prepared for it. In addition, the number of years taken before appointment to headship might have led to knowledge and theoretical obsolesce hence minimal application of required knowledge. The findings agree with that of Barnett (2000) who emphasized that, for headteachers to be competent in financial management they require continuous exposure on the same through training seminars, conferences, and workshops in order to improve their competence behaviour instead of depending on experience they have gained over the years during their teaching periods alone. Barnett (2000) added that it would be imprudent to consider experience as a classroom teacher as the only prerequisite in the promotion of primary school teachers.
4.1.2 Exposure of Head Teachers to Financial Management Training
The Teachers service commission promotes head teachers from the position of deputy head teacher. This knowledge can also be acquired by attending financial management training courses or can be can be acquired when undergoing training at the Teachers Training College. Therefore, the researcher performed a Cross tabulation analysis on respondents’ exposure to financial management training courses at Teachers Training College and Number of Financial Management training courses the respondents have attended in the last two years. The table 2 below shows the responses.
Table 2: Headteachers Number of Training Courses Attended and Exposure to Financial Management
Financial management training courses you have attended in the last two years
Exposure to financial management training courses at your Teachers training college
The findings are very clear that the head teachers assume this position without proper background on managing school funds. Most of the head teachers indicated that they were not sufficiently exposed to financial matters when in college 18(60%) and 12(40%) indicated to have exposure to financial management training courses at their Teachers Training College. It is also very clear that most head teachers have not undergone training in financial management training courses 18 (60%). Only six head teachers accounting for twenty percent noted to have gone to training courses two to three times and are exposed to financial management. This result concurs with Mulwa (2018), who studied the influence of headteachers’ exposure to management training on implementation of public procurement regulations in Kenya and found out that indeed headteachers are not well exposed on financial management. Thus, insufficient training may lead to mismanagement in the implementation of public procurement regulations. Cross tabulation analysis on respondents’ (BOM or PTA representative) exposure to financial management training courses and number of Financial Management training courses the respondents have attended in the last two years was done. The replies in Table 3 indicates that out of 30 respondents only 9 (30%) noted that they have not been exposed to financial management despite attending some financial management courses. Twenty-one BOM/ PA respondents noted to have attended financial management courses and are were exposed on the same and 50% noted to have attended financial management courses twice and more. This might be attributed to BOM or PTA representative attending short courses which fully cover financial management exhaustively. (Table 3)
Table 3: BOM/ PA Representative Training Courses and Exposure on Financial Management
4.1.3 Aspects of Financial Management Covered by Head Teachers During the Training
The respondents were asked what extent of financial management aspects which include; Procurement, Books of account, Trial balance, Balance sheet, and Record keeping covered during the training. A scale of 1 to 5 was used where 1=no extent 2= little extent 3=moderate extent 4=great extent and 5= very great extent. Descriptive analysis was conducted and the responses are given in Table 4.
Table 4: Financial Management Covered by Headteachers
It is clear that most financial management aspects were covered to a little extent especially Procurement, Books of account and Balance sheet, having 67%, 67% and 63% respondents respectively.
4.1.4 Level of Head Teachers’ Competency on Financial Management Aspects
To comfirm Level of competence on financial management, head teachers were asked to indicate their level of competence in the various areas of financial management which included: preparation of trial balance; budget presentation; record keeping; book keeping; budget preparation; and preparation of balance sheet. A scale of 1 to 5 was used, where 1= very high 2= High, 3=moderate extent 4=low and 5= very low. Descriptive analysis was conducted and the responses are given in Table 5.
Table 5: Headteachers’ Competency on Financial Management Aspects
The results clearly indicate that most head teachers’ competence financial management aspects were all at a low extent of competence with 17 (56%) headteachers who noted to have low Level of competence in book keeping followed by competency in budget preparation at 16(53%). However, 9(30%) headteachers were noted to be very high and high in preparation of balance sheet, followed by competency in record keeping at 7(27.4%). Teachers with higher responsibilities like deputy and headteachers need to be well competent in all aspect of financial management. Mullins (2002) emphasized that the induction training provides the necessary knowledge and skills for effective financial management in institutions of learning and offering an opportunity for training is very fundamental because it improves headteachers’ competence and performance.
4.1.5 Responsibility of Head teachers and BOM/ PA on Financial Management Aspects
Both head teachers and BOM/ PA representatives were asked to note their extent of agreement with various responsibilities on managing school finances in a five-point scale where 1=Strongly Disagree; 2=Disagree; 3=Undecided; 4 = Agree; 5 = strongly Agree. Table 6 shows the results.
Table 6: Responsibility of Head teachers and BOM/ PA on Financial Management Aspects
The results show that both head teachers and BOM/ PA representative who participated in the survey agree to 22(73%) strongly agree and agree that they are supposed to make school financial plan, followed by 19(63%) strongly agree and agree that they are needed to possess sound management of funds which involve budgeting. However, 9(30%) strongly disagree and disagree that they need to possess sound accounting and auditing skills and knowledge, followed by 7(23.3%) strongly disagree and disagree that they are needed to possess sound management of funds which involves budgeting. (Table 6). This results are in line with Cherongis (2009) findings that indeed BOM/ Parents associations are legal bodies thus should be empowered by Teachers Service Commission on taking their required responsibilities which includes financial management.
4.1.6 Financial Management Skills and Knowledge Required by Head Teachers and BOM/PA
To find out Financial management skills and knowledge required by head teachers, Head teachers were asked to indicate the extent they require various aspects financial management skills and knowledge. A scale of 1 to 5 was used, where 1= very high 2= High, 3=moderate extent 4=low and 5= very low. Descriptive analysis was conducted and the responses are given in Table 7.
Table 7: Headteachers Required Financial Management Skills and Knowledge
Table 7 clearly depicts that most aspects of financial management are required by the head teachers, this was realized when most of 50% and above agreed very highly and agreed highly on each and every aspect which include: 15 (50%) highly required preparation of trial balance skills and knowledge (M = 2.73, SD = 1.34, N = 30), 15 (50%) highly required budget presentation skills and knowledge(M = 2.63, SD = 1.29, N = 30), 15 (50%) highly required record keeping skills and knowledge (M = 2.60, SD = 1.30, N = 30), 17 (56%) highly required budget preparation skills and knowledge(M = 2.37, SD = 1.27, N = 30), 18 (60%) highly required book keeping skills and knowledge (M = 2.30, SD = 1.24, N = 30), and 19 (64%) highly required preparation of balance sheets skills and knowledge (M = 2.27, SD = 1.28, N = 30). The results findings concur with Bush and Oduro (2006) who emphasized on the need of school heads being well prepared and should be inducted to practice financial management aspects with required knowledge and skill in record keeping, preparation of financial statements and budgeting. BOM/ PA representative were also asked to indicate the extent they require various aspects financial management skills and knowledge. A scale of 1 to 5 was used, where 1= very high 2= High, 3=moderate extent 4=low and 5= very low. Descriptive analysis was conducted and the responses are given in Table 8.
Table 8: BOM/PA Financial Management Skills and Knowledge Required
Table 8 depicts that at 18(60%) PA or BOM representatives at very high and high ranking that they require book keeping skills and knowledge just as much as they require preparation of balance sheets skills and knowledge. Most aspects of financial management are highly required by BOM/ PA, this was realized when most of 50% and above agreed very highly and agreed highly on each and every aspect which include: preparation of trial balance skills and knowledge (M = 2.67, SD = 1.40, N = 30), highly require budget presentation skills and knowledge (M = 2.57, SD = 1.36, N = 30), require record keeping skills and knowledge (M = 2.53, SD = 1.36, N = 30), budget preparation skills and knowledge (M = 2.47, SD = 1.46, N = 30), preparation of balance sheets skills and knowledge (M = 2.33, SD = 1.35, N = 30) and book keeping skills and knowledge (M = 2.27 SD = 1.31, N = 30). The results point out that 9(30%) of head teachers to low and very low extent that the PA or BOM representatives require preparations of trial balance skills and knowledge. Same score was also noted that PA or BOM representatives require record keeping skills and knowledge.
4.2 Appropriate Ways of Addressing Challenges Facing Head Teachers in Financial Management in Rachuonyo North Sub-County
Both Headteachers and BOM/ PA representative were requested to give their own opinion on what are the appropriate ways of addressing challenges facing head teachers in financial management in Rachuonyo North Sub-county. Below are the main challenges they stated:
There is a prerequisite to develop a simple user friendly template that would be easy to understand by both heads and members of the school development committees. Schools should also be required to submit monthly or termly financial reports to the sub county director of education office so that the sub county can analyse and give reaction to schools. The government and education officers should encourage community sensitisation and participation on matters of financial management so as to provide a sense of school ownership to the community.
Headteachers should come up with income generating activities so that they do not rely on only one source of income; Schools should come up with procurement committee that knows its mandate and should be impartial in matters of vested interest; Schools should comply with the Ministry’s procurement acts and follow accordingly. Given that accounting challenges were the real financial management facing the newly appointed headteachers, it is recommended that when appointing the Board of Management, the County Education Board should clearly spell out their mandate as far as school management is concerned since this will limit their interferences in running of schools; Headteachers should delegate other duties to their deputies and other teachers so that they are offloaded off some burden of having to do almost all duties in schools; Headteachers should try to attend some in-service training so as to properly equip themselves with financial skills. Participants noted that since budgeting challenges were the real financial management challenges facing head teachers, they proposed that head teachers should try and look for alternative sources for some necessities in schools so that they can go for the most affordable commodity in the market; in addition head teachers should hold parents meeting frequently and convince the parents/ guardians to pay their levies to school as expected; and the Government should at least try as much as possible to release the FSE funds promptly to schools.
Given that auditing challenges are the real financial management challenges facing the head teachers, the participant surveyed noted that; the Auditors should try as much as possible to avail the audit reports to the school BOMs promptly; School accounts clerks should be encouraged to further their studies so that they may be well conversant with all matters of finances and their management; The Ministry of Education in conjunction with the school BOMs should provide complete range of accounting books to school. This will give the head teachers and the accounts clerks an ample time to execute their responsibilities. Some participant reacted that formally removing fees without a key increase in public financing can cause a devastating impact on quality and is unsustainable. It is essential therefore whenever the government abolishes fees it should review the revenue and budget and send these funds on time whereas some participants also pointed out that there is necessity for enhancement of policy for tracing of resources to guarantee proper, adequate and accountable use of resources budgeted for education and utilized in the right way which can be done through external auditing and the services may be outsourced.
5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Taking into consideration of the findings it was established that most headteachers took a short time as ordinary teachers before being promoted to the administrative position of head teacher, therefore, they were not exposed to management of school finances hence they might not have been ready for it. Most of the head teachers were not sufficiently exposed to financial matters when in college and have not undergone any financial management training courses. On way of addressing financial management challenges, it was noted that it is a prerequisite to develop a simple user friendly template that would be easy to understand by both heads and members of the school development committees. Schools should also be required to submit monthly or termly financial reports to the sub county director of education office so that the sub county can analyse and give reaction to schools.
It is evidently clear that most head teachers’ competence on financial management aspects are wanting that is why they tend not to own the responsibility of managing school finances. With sound financial management skills financial mismanagement cases will cease in Rachuonyo North Sub-County. Based on the findings, the researcher concludes that Headteachers of Rachuonyo North Sub-County are prepared to manage school finances to a little extent.
5.2.1 Recommendations for Actions
Appointment of professionals as head teachers should be encouraged and headteachers should be well trained on financial management so as to gain the required knowledge and skills. The Ministry of Education should therefore facilitate nationwide training of head teachers in financial management of public primary schools through Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI). The government should consider increasing fund allocation and timely disbursement of FPE funds. Policy on financial records tracing and audits reporting should be developed and strengthened.
5.2.2 Suggestions for Further Research
The following suggestions are made for further research based on the study findings;
a. Rachuonyo North Sub-County is largely in a rural set up, a similar study should also be carried on urban areas for comparative purposes.
b. This study was done on a comparatively small number of head teachers. The researcher recommends a similar study to be done on a larger sample including the private public primary schools to give more details on the area of schools’ financial management.