Decentralised financial management in South African schools : an examination of implementation by selected primary and secondary schools in the Kwa Ndengezi area of KwaZulu-Natal.
Mngoma, Sipho S'phiwe Ignatius.
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The purpose of this study was to examine Financial Planning and Management in public schools in the Kwa Ndengezi Ward in Kwa Zulu Natal. According to the South African Schools’ Act No 84 of 1996, the School Governing Body (SGB) is responsible for Financial Planning and management in a public school. Each public school must establish the Finance Committee, composed of the chairperson of the School Governing Body, the principal, the treasurer and the finance officer. This committee reports to the SGB on regular basis. The investigation was based on thirty schools in their respective levels; eleven junior primary, six combined primary, seven senior primary and six high schools. The questionnaires were given to the school principals and the chairpersons of School Governing bodies. The most significant findings of the study were as follows: · 85% of schools were satisfied with the way in which they keep their accounting records although no school had a part time or full time bookkeeper. · 85 % of schools did not keep fixed assets registers. · 70% of schools did not conduct stock-taking on furniture and equipment. · 60% of schools did not keep petty cash. · 75% of schools were not satisfied with the conditions of buildings and furniture. · School fees are the main source of schools’ income. · 60% of school principals were not satisfied with the school financial management training they had. · 60% of chairpersons of governing bodies were satisfied about their working relationships with the school principals. Some of the recommendations from the research are as follows: 1. It is necessary for the schools to have persons with good understanding of finance in the finance committees. 2. It is necessary for schools to acquire school management computer software so that they are efficient. 3. It is important for school principals to upgrade their existing knowledge of financial management 4. In order to improve their financial planning and management skills. 5. Other recommendations include cash management, petty cash, working relationships between governing bodies and school principals, financial reporting, fixed asset management, stock management and fundraising. It is the responsibility of the department of education to provide support to the school governing bodies and principals in matters of governance and management.