Factors contributing to financial mismanagement in public secondary schools: a case study of selected schools in Lusaka district.

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Chishimba, Hildah
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The University of Zambia
This study sought to establish factors leading to financial mismanagement in public secondary schools. To achieve this objective, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), the Internal Auditor (Kabwe), six Head teachers, six accounting officers, 60 teachers, 12 parents and 12 pupils. Data were analysed by comparing and categorising respondent’s opinions. Emerging themes from data collected were analysed using Microsoft Excel to obtain graphs and pie charts. The findings revealed that financial management was a lack of knowledge of legislation and skills, poor monitoring and control of funds, unavailability of financial policies in schools, a lack of political will to take culprits to book and mere lack of honesty, openness and trustworthiness. The study further showed that teachers and parents were not incorporated in the management of funds. The study furthermore indicated that financial management was more tied to the Head teachers and accounting officers. It was also revealed that parents were not given the powers to monitor the utilisation of school funds, hence, the management of funds was being done behind closed doors. This meant that there was lack of transparency and accountability. It was furthermore discovered that most stakeholders including DEBS and Head teachers lacked financial management skills and it was only when local stakeholders were skilful and qualified enough to manage the funds that the decentralised financial management could be implemented.
Financial mismanagement.