Influence of Financial Management and Learners' Performance in Primary Schools in Kenya

Dr Reuben Nguyo Wachiuri & Jedidah Nyawira Kimathi
Financial Management and Learners' Performance

ABSTRACT

Financing education is the primary responsibility of the central, local and NGOs', private sector and community. According to economic Survey (2004), education is a major consumer of government budget. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of financial management on learners’ performance in public primary schools in Narok County. Descriptive survey design was used. The study adopted purposive sampling technique since the head teachers, class teachers and zonal Pupils are believed to be having reliable information relevant for this study. Documents from the education offices were also analyzed. The study used two instruments namely Questionnaires and observation schedule. The researcher analyzed the data by use of the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The study used quantitative techniques (measures of central tendency) and qualitative techniques which are basically descriptive. The investigator found out that there was poor management of funds in schools and as a result employees were not paid on time and teaching and learning materials were not also purchased. Financial reports were never presented to parents this had made them either transfer their children to other schools. This had also caused conflicts between the schools administration and the parents. It was further revealed that inadequate funds were one of the major reasons behind poor results. This has forced the head teachers to levy extra charges on pupils whose parents are unable   to pay. Consequently, pupils waste a lot of time at home waiting for parents to raise the money or they end up dropping out of school completely. The study recommends that free primary education should be made totally free for example in providing uniforms, meals, sanitary pads as the extra charges makes pupils drop from schools or be absent from schools of which affects performance. The NGOs and well-wishers should also offer to help the learners with the basic requirements. Financial management should be introduced as a course in teacher training programmes to help those teachers who become head teachers manage the school funds properly. Refresher courses should be offered to head teachers on financial management.
Key Terms: Financial management, budgeting, accounting, learners’ performance, financial aid

Introduction

Questions have been raised with regard to financial management of schools in developing countries (Lockheed & Verspoor, 1991), with reports indicating that education systems in many developing countries are unable to meet their objectives due to problems associated with costs. Since the early years of their independence, challenges facing education systems in developing countries included high levels of expenditure already reached (Hallack, 1972) and the constant rise in unit cost.
According to the Ministry of education (1999) Head teachers must understand the importance of managing and maintaining school resources. Head teacher are charged
with the responsibility of managing resource, whether tangible or intangible which
physical, time, school projects and programmes and people.
UNESCO (2002), defined education performance as the ability to perform well or  achieve a result without wasted resources., efforts, time or money, that is using the smallest quantity of resources as possible, it can be measured m physical terms (technical  performance)  or  in terms  of cost  (economic  performance).   Gender educational performance is achieved when the same amount / quantity and standard of educational services are produced at a lower cost, if a more useful educational activity is substituted for a less useful one at the same cost or if unnecessary educational activities are eliminated.
Financing education is the primary responsibility of the central, local and NGOs', private sector and community. According to economic Survey (2004), education is a major consumer of government budget. The recent statistics in education indicate an increased expenditure from 35 of public expenditure budget in 2000 to 39 percent in 2004 with 79 percent going towards administration, planning and staff salaries. Head teachers play a major role in the management of all school financial activities, which involve the disbursement of money. The money is obtained through various sources such as fees.
According to Orlosky (1984), financial management determines the way the school is managed and whether or not the school will meet its objectives. The head teacher is responsible for budgeting, accounting and auditing function of financial management. With the introduction of free primary education, schools get some funding from the government while are required to meet various other costs such as school development projects (Republic of Kenya, 2005). It is not clear whether this arrangement is friendly to the schools.
With the introduction of the free secondary education, schools get some funding from the government while parents are required to meet various other costs such as school development projects and boarding fees (Republic of Kenya, 2005a, 2005b). The issue of finance is crucial to retention and the provision of quality education since it determines the quality of physical facilities, teaching and learning materials, quality of teacher motivation and teachers employed in the time of shortage (Mobegi et al., 2010)
Karemesi (2010) observed that costs such as examination fees, salary top ups, textbooks, teaching materials, school uniforms, feeding, transportation and sports are major constraints to achieving universal basic education especially for the poor. School levies are the biggest hindrance to students’ regular school attendance. In much of Sub-Saharan Africa, having been deprived of their right to Free State education, some of the world’s poorest people have to pay for the privilege of sending their children to schools that lack qualified teachers, books and the basic infrastructure that can support learning. Such children endure shockingly poor quality education.
Nzoka & Orodho (2014) established that school managers used various strategies to improve students’ academic performance. The strategies included: inconsistent monitoring of instructional processes and student assessment; subsidizing Government funding through free day secondary education using income generating activities; and uncoordinated guidance and counseling programmes. Despite these efforts, the expected improved students’ academic performance was not realized due largely to the fact that most school managers had not undergone management skill training.
Munda & odebero(2014) found that a significant positive relationship existed between unit cost and academic performance, and government efforts to provide financial subsidy to education were still not adequate to cover vulnerable groups. Therefore innovative funding approaches involving a wide range of stakeholders need to be devised to help shore up government efforts and mitigate the deprivation that vulnerable groups endure.
Ayoti, Koteng & Odhiambo (2016) revealed that the inadequacy of financial resources in schools in Vihiga County had a negative impact on acquisition of relevant and adequate educational resources and this also impacted negatively on performance of students in KCSE exams. From the study it is concluded that procurement of resources mainly depend on fee collection, proceeds from income generating activities, fund raising activities (Harambee), bursaries, donations and government subsidies which is never attained in time thereby having a negative influence on performance of students in KCSE exams.
Mbatia (2004) Poor management of funds leads to ineffectiveness and low production of teaching resources in schools. Money is also needed to pay staff, maintain the organization and keep services going. RoK, (2011) observed that through CDF and subsidized secondary education which was introduced in 2008, the government has been remitting finances to all secondary to acquire educational resources. Even if the Government has been contributing funds to schools in form of subsidized secondary Education, the contribution may be inadequate unless well managed.
Despite the importance of finances in promoting acquisition of other resources, the draft report on cost and financing of education (RoK, 1995) highlighted that schools have a slim revenue base which basically consists of school fees. School fees contribute over 90% of total revenue collected by the schools (Selina, 2012). Eshiwani (1993) cited by Uwezo (2010) points out that fees collection varies from school to school. He notes that where collections are not enough, the state of infrastructure will be developed poorly, compromising content delivery, and this ends up putting a lot of pressure on existing resources thereby compromising academic performance of the school.

Fee defaulting happens a result of the high poverty index in a region, an issue
experienced by all the third world countries, Kenya included. Bush Odiiro (2006) found out that new principals face serious problems created by non-payment of school fees. Leu and Byren (2005), who did a study in six sub-Saharan countries namely, Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar found out that parents are reluctant to pay fees and again it is the heads who must ensure that the fees is paid. During interviews schedule with the District Quality Assurance and Standards officer they all complained of huge fee arrears caused by poor fees payment and that was a great challenge to the newly appointed principals. Six of the principals said this was as a result of the poor economic backgrounds of the students and the high number of orphans in schools who lacked proper sources of finances.

Statement of the problem

Financing education is the primary responsibility of the central, local and NGOs', private sector and community. According to economic Survey (2004), education is a major consumer of government budget. The recent statistics in education indicate an increased expenditure from 35 of public expenditure budget in 2000 to 39 percent in 2004 with 79 percent going towards administration, planning and staff salaries. Head teachers play a major role in the management of all school financial activities, which involve the disbursement of money. The money is obtained through various sources such as fees. According to Orlosky (1990), financial management determines the way the school is managed and whether or not the school will meet its objectives. Therefore the research will investigate the impact of financial management on learners’ performance in primary schools of Narok County.

Purpose of the study

The purpose was to investigate the influence of financial management on learners’ performance of public primary schools in  Narok County
Objective of the study
The objective of this study was-
To establish the effect of financial management on learners' performance in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in Narok County.
Research Question
What is the influence of financial management on school performance in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in Narok County?

Research Methodology

This study used descriptive survey design which is appropriate because it facilitates data gathering by administering questionnaires from a sample of individuals (Orodho & Kosibo, 2002).
The target population in this study consisted of forty five (45) public primary schools in Mau Division of Narok North District with a population of 16,058 which includes teachers, pupils and Head teacher (DEO’s Office –Mau Division, 2013). A sample is a smaller group of the population selected for study- Researchers suggest that for descriptive research and correlation studies, 30 percent of cases (population) are the minimum (Mulusa, 1988).
The study used two instruments namely Questionnaires and observation schedule. The questionnaires were both structured and closed to guide responses and also give room for more information.
Observation schedule - This instrument was used in collecting information by way of own investigation, observation without interviewing respondents (Orodho, 2008). In this study, observation schedule was used to collect information about physical infrastructure
Validity is the degree to which the empirical measure or several measures of the concept, accurately measure the concept (Orodho, 2008).  For this study, the questionnaires and observation schedules were presented to independent experts for examination and approval. The recommendations were incorporated in the final instruments.  
The researcher sought clearance from Narok North District Education Office. The ethical standard was adhered to requiring, the purpose of study to be explained to respondents and the respondents consent sought. The research instruments were administered in person.
The researcher analyzed the data by use of the Statistical Package for Social Science
(SPSS). The study used quantitative techniques (measures of central tendency) and
qualitative techniques which are basically descriptive. The qualitative data was first coded using 3 likert scale; 1, 2, 3 and then analyzed.

Theoretical Framework

This study is guided by the Production Function Model which was advanced by Mace
in 1979. This theory states that the output of education system in terms of graduation and completion rate depends on various variable inputs. It further explains that learners performance of education system is closely related to the quality and quantity of inputs. The theory however did not explore the relationship between learner's performance and wastages especially in public primary schools and their performance thereof

Data Analysis, Discussion and interpretation

The quantitative data obtained was presented using descriptive statistics such as percentages, frequency distribution tables and using inferential statistics. Content analysis was used to present the qualitative data which was later presented in prose form.
This is an indication that inadequate funds were one of the major reasons behind poor results. This has forced the head teachers to levy extra charges on pupils who are not able to pay. Pupils waste a lot of time at home wailing for parents to raise the money or they end up dropping out of school completely.

The study further established that poor financial management is a strong cause of pupil's dropouts. This is because majority of the pupils dropping out of the school are unable to afford the basic requirements in the schools such as the school uniform, geometrical sets, sanitary towels among others. Inadequacy of finances leads to sharing of learning resources which discourage pupils.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
Due to poor management of the funds, employees were not paid on time and the required materials were not also purchased to aid learning. Financial reports are never presented to parents which has made the either transfer them to other schools. It was further revealed that inadequate funds were one of the major reasons behind poor results. This has forced the head teachers to levy extra charges on pupils who are not able to pay. Pupils waste a lot of time at home waiting for parents to raise the money or they end up dropping out of school completely.
From the research it was established that parents and the community took the largest share in supplementing the FPE funds. The fends from PTA and sponsor churches are not enough to hire qualified trained teachers and hence the schools would go for form four leaves that are yet to join training institutions forming the bulk of teaching staff justifying the high levels of indiscipline among the pupils and poor performance in KCPE.
The study further established that poor financial management is a strong cause of pupil's dropouts. This is because majority of the pupils dropping out of the school are unable to afford life basic requirements in the schools such as me school uniform, geometrical sets, sanitary towels among others. Inadequacy of finances leads to sharing of learning resources which discourages pupils.
The study further revealed that pupils were rarely sent home to home to bring money
for financing school programmes majority of those sent do not stay home for less than a week. This shows that such people who stays at home for longer periods are  likely to drop out Even those who stay at home for a week lose a lot in terms of syllabus coverage and may not perform well in exams. This may result to high dropout rate. It was also revealed that schools provided sanitary towels rarely. This show that majority of the girls did not attend schools during their menstrual period and may end up losing a lot in of Some use materials which  could affect their health status later in life. The text book ratio is 3:1 as was not favourable for effective students learning. The school needs to invest on books since it's the only way out of conveying knowledge to young ones when the teachers are not available.

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