Stakeholders' experiences of school financial management in the context of free primary education : a case study of two primary schools in the rural areas of Berea district in Lesotho.
Malataliana, Margaret Maretselisitsoe.
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This is a case study that focused on the stakeholders' experiences of school financial management and how the challenging experiences were addressed in the face of Free Primary Education (FPE) programme. In order to answer the research questions, individual interviews at face-to-face basis and document analysis were utilised. The data was collected from the two principals, six educators and four parental representatives of the two primary schools participated in this study. The findings of this study revealed that the two primary schools experienced a severe lack of funds that emanated after the implementation of the FPE programme. The other important issue disclosed was that the government has to communicate with parents of learners and community members stating which basic educational needs are covered by the state funding and which are not catered for. This is hoped to bring understanding to parents and community members that the educational expenses of their children should be a shared responsibility with the government. The findings of this study warrant the following recommendations that the government has to develop a new policy for parental funding as a way of subsidising the government funding. There should be a fund raising policy for all primary schools. The FPE programme, as it does not cater for all educational basic needs. It would be better to call it 'Educational Support Programme' (ESP). The government subvention should be increased from R5.00 at least to three quarters of the former school fees before the implementation of the FPE programme. The findings of this study have implication to the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to review and evaluate the FPE programme so that the revealed gaps and suggestions made in this study should be used as a way forward to improve this programme to suit quality education to be provided to all Basotho children. In addition, this should be followed by provision of sufficient funds to cater for and cover all the financial needs of an individual school.