Financial management in public schools: utilization of grants in selected secondary schools of Mwinilunga district.
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The purpose of the study was to examine the management and utilization of school finances especially the grants given to secondary schools through the ministry of finance (MoF). Three specific research objectives guided the study; to establish how school grants were managed; to assess whether school grants were spent on priority areas; and to ascertain whether internal and external financial controls were in place to guide the use of school grants in selected secondary schools of Mwinilunga District. The study employed case study design of qualitative approach as the methodology so as to generate in-depth knowledge to the study. The methods employed during data collection were interviews, focus group and document review. Interview guides and questionnaires were used as tools for data collection. Purposive sampling procedures were used to sample data from the respondents. The study engaged twelve (12) participants who were purposively sampled; 4 headteachers, 4 deputy headteachers, and 4 accountants. Data collected through interview discussions, focus group and document analysis were categorized and emerging themes were analyzed. Key findings were that grants were mismanaged. They were not spent on priority areas in line with School budgets. There were ineffective internal and external control systems to guide the use of school grants. The study concluded that there was mismanagement in the utilization of grants. It was recommended that there should be finance management system which is a key factor to the efficient management and utilization of a nation’s public resources in particular grants given to schools through MoF. All school managers should ensure that grants under their custody are managed and utilized prudently.
The University of Zambia