Financial management by public school principals in Nkangala District of Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
Matshika, Mokhulu Lawrence.
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The South African Schools Act of 1996 makes provision for school governing bodies (SGBs) of public schools to become progressively more responsible for managing aspects of their schools’ regular expenditure. Experience has taught us that school principals are often at the forefront when there are financial irregularities, and they become liable for any mismanagement of school funds. One of the biggest changes that has taken place in educational management since 1994 is the local management of school funds by the SGBs, financial committees and the school principals. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate financial management by school principals in Nkangala district of Mpumalanga province in South Africa. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 245 school principals and acting principals using a self-administered anonymous questionnaire. The study revealed that there were differences between the application of financial policies and financial management practices in most schools. Most principals were battling to implement effective and efficient financial management systems in their public schools. In order to amend financial management in schools it is necessary for the school principals to enhance their knowledge and skills by enrolling for short courses on financial management, or attending tailor-made financial administration workshops organised by the Department of Basic Education in collaboration with non-governmental organisations or institutions of higher learning.
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