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IMPACT OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background of the Study
The principal is the executive head of a secondary school. He is responsible for coordinating all school activities ranging from student enrolment, planning of the school time table, keeping of school records like the class registers, log book, visitors book, updating his staff with information from the ministry of education, instructing the students, making budgetary and fiscal plans, sourcing for fund to run the school and managing the funds made available to run the school with the aim of realizing educational goals and objectives.
One of the responsibilities of the secondary school principal is financial management. The principal is expected to source for funds for running of the school, he is expected to expand the sources of the school income from school magazines, school workshops, school canteens, students arts and crafts, school poultry and farms rather than over dependence on government grants. Beyond sourcing for funds the principal has the responsibility of managing the available cash in the school to avoid waste and displacement of priorities in attending to
What then is financial management? Financial management is the application of conventional principles in unwasteful spending of organizational funds with the aim of achieving institutional plans and aspirations. Pandey (1995) defines financial management as activity which is concerned with the planning and controlling of an organisation‟s financial resources. According to Ogbonnaya (2005) financial management implies liability to be called upon to account for or answer for funds entrusted to one‟s care.
Principals of secondary schools in Benue State depend on school fees as a source of generating fund for the school. Other sources of funds include government‟s monthly or quarterly subvention and P.T.A. levies. Irrespective of all the sources of funds available to secondary school principals, some school activities and programmes are not being handled effectively because of lack of adequate funds. Insufficient funds hinders the provision of infrastructural facilities, laboratory equipments, computers, power plants, audio-visual aids and stationeries among other facilities that enhances the operation of the school. Lack of these facilities frustrates school programmes and ultimately aborts educational goals and objectives. Osuala (2007) opined that the financing of education is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders.
The school principal is expected to complement government‟s effort by diversifying their income basis and utilizing the available funds judiciously for the attainment of educational goals.
The problem of inadequate instructional facilities in secondary schools in Benue State do not exclusively rest on funding as often depicted, rather the problems are most likely made complex due to poor financial management by the principals. Some of the principals are accused of lacking the necessary training required of financial managers while others are accused of imposing illegal levies on the students, neglecting budgetary plans, delaying disbursement of funds for fraudulent purposes. This situation apparently crates a turbulent atmosphere for the success of teaching-learning process. According to Nwankwo, (1999) the school administrator needs specific skills in financial management which are as follows:-Revenue generation, Assessment of the school needs, Planning and programming, Prioritizing areas of pressing needs, Cost benefit analysis, Stock taking, Market survey, Budgeting, Financial record keeping, Receipts, Banking strategies, Delegation of staff for financial matters, Auditing and Accountability.
Financial management practices of principals in Benue State has become a sensitive issue over the years because of the growing public and government interest in the provision of funds for the implementation of school programmes.
The public expects the school administrators to ensure prudent management of school funds but on the contrary there are speculations and accusations of financial mismanagement by principals such as lack of initiative by principals to create other sources of funding the school, neglect of budgetary plans in financing school programmes, poor disbursement of funds, lack of trained personnels such as the bursars and cashier, lack of training in financial management by some principals, illegal levies imposed on students, incompletion of projects already approved and paid for by the government, abuse of P.T.A funds, poor record keeping and poor auditing and accounting system. It is against this background, that this study is designed to investigate the financial management practices of secondary school principals in Benue
Statement of the Problem
The present state of some secondary schools in Benue State is quite deplorable, most books in the library are obsolete, there are out-dated equipments in the laboratories, school buildings are yearning for renovation. It seems all these could be attributed to poor financial management practices by principals in Benue State. There are speculations and accusations that some principals lack the capability of developing other sources of funding the school, while others lack requisite training in financial management in terms of budget preparation, fund disbursement, financial record keeping, auditing and accountability. The Executive Secretary of the Teaching Service Board hard in a meeting with secondary school principals indicted them of apparent lack of capability in developing other sources of funds.
The financial management practices of secondary school principals in Benue State has attracted criticism from parents and the general public and need to be reviewed. This study, therefore intends to investigate the financial management practices of principals in Benue State. It will also proffer solution for financial mismanagement in secondary schools.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the financial management practices of the secondary school principals in Benue State
Specifically this study intends to:
- Find out the sources of funding secondary schools in Benue State.
- Identify the procedures of budget preparation by principals in Benue State.
- Find out the factors hindering financial management in the schools
- Establish how funds are managed by the principals in Benue
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study have both theoretical and practical significance. The theoretical significance is hinged on classical management theory. This theory creates a platform that equips the managers with principles and guides to run the organization. These principles includes: objectives, specialization, coordination, authority, responsibility, efficiency, Unit of command, span of control, chain of command and balance. The educational administrator uses these guides as a bases for decision making in regard to quality and number of staff to employ per time, prioritizing areas of expenditures as determined by school needs, market survey and available cash for both recurrent and capital expenditures. In terms of the principles of coordination, authority, and responsibility the school administrator will see the need to employ staff and appoint department heads in areas of their specialization ranging from the bursary, kitchen, and security department to all the other departments in the school to ensure efficiency and maximum output.
The study will practically benefit school administrators, proprietors, the ministry of education, Parents Teachers Association (PTA), researchers and even international organizations like UNESCO and UNICEF. The study will guide the government and school proprietors in making decisions of fund allocation to schools.
The study will provide information to accounting officers like vice chancellors, Rectors, provosts, and principals for the purpose of applying for grants, prioritizing capital projects, when to embark on and when to discontinue with such projects and when to seek financial assistance in running the school. it will enable school administrators to keep proper record of their stewardships. by the instrumentality of auditing financial accounting and record keeping.
The study will prevent wastage in educational institutions and guide school leaders on when to employ more staff, disburse funds, by the application of planning and programming of school finance through budgetary plans stocktaking, market survey and savings. The findings of this study will sensitize principals on the need to acquire necessary skills in Information and Communicator Technology (ICT).
This study will be useful to Parents/Teachers Association that has to rendered continuous financial assistance to the schools and anticipates that the funds meant for projects are properly utilized and accounted for.
The findings will equally be of immense help to the office of the accountant general of the state and official of state ministry of finance and state pay office (S.P.O.) so that they should improve on their methods of disbursement of funds to schools to check delays that hamper the implementation of good educational programme.
Researchers on financial management and other areas of school administration will benefit from the findings of this study as it will broaden their knowledge. It will serve as a reference material and possibly help for the recognition of relevant gaps yet to be filled in the study.
International organization like UNESCO and UNICEF could use the findings of this study as a cue for financial dealings with educational institutions. The way and manner funds should be used could be specified by UNESCO and UNICEF for school administrators.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study includes the geographical and content scope.
The geographical scope includes three hundred and twelve (312) Junior Secondary schools and three hundred and twelve (312) Senior Secondary
Schools in Benue State while the content scope will focus of source of Funding Secondary Schools, Financial Management Practices of Principal, Factors Hindering Financial Management Practices in the Schools, Practices that can enhance financial management practice in the schools, Revenue Generation, Budgeting, Auditing, Financial Controlling, and Accounting,
The following research questions guided the study.
- What are the sources of funding secondary schools in Benue State?
- What are the procedures of budget preparation in secondary schools in Benue State?
- What are the factors hindering financial management in the schools?
- How are funds managed by the principals in secondary schools in
The following null hypotheses was formulated and was tested at 0.05, level of significance.
HO1: There will be no significant difference between the mean rating of junior and senior school principals on the source of funding secondary schools in Benue State.
HO2: There will be no significant difference between the mean ratings of junior and senior school principals on the financial management
practices of principals in Benue State
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