An exploration of how secondary schools in the Qacha's Nek District of Lesotho manage their finances : a case study of three schools.
Makhasane, Sekitla Daniel.
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This research explored the phenomenon of school financial management in three secondary schools located in the Qacha’s Nek district of Lesotho. In particular, the study focused on ways in which secondary schools obtain their finances. In addition, this study also discussed ways in which the said schools budget their finances. It explored measures that the schools put in place to monitor and control their budgets. Through the use of purposive sampling, three schools were selected as cases in order to ensure that there was a representation of the type of schools that are found in the Qacha’s Nek district of Lesotho. The principals of the three schools were selected as participants since they are chief accounting officers and as such they have knowledge relevant to this study. Document reviews were used to supplement information obtained from interviews with the principals. This study concluded that the three case study secondary schools obtain financial resources from a number of sources which include, inter alia, sponsors, school fees and fund raising activities. The government also allocate subvention to its schools. Furthermore, the three case study schools prepare their main budgets and department budgets. However, principals play a major role in decisions regarding school budgets. In two schools, for example, the principals provide teachers with guidelines to follow in preparing departmental budgets. With regard to budget monitoring and control this study revealed that there are no clear measures in place regarding schools’ main budgets in the three case study schools though departmental budgets seemed to be well monitored and controlled by the principals. It was also found that there seems to be a lack of policies that guide schools on the management of finances. Schools were also found to use secretaries as bursars though secretaries have limited knowledge of financial matters. In addition, the study revealed that principals, school secretaries and heads of departments need capacity building on financial matters. This study recommends an in-depth investigation of experiences of principals on the use of subvention. The study also recommends, inter alia, formulation of financial policies by schools and changes to the law on school funding by the Ministry of Education and Training.