Teachers and parents undergo training on managing school funds.
As part of a larger plan to improve accountability and reporting, heads of public schools are receiving training on how to manage resources under their control.
According to the Saturday Standard, the training is being attended by headteachers of public schools, their deputies, chairpersons of school boards of management, and parents' representatives.
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Only 4,000 school managers are initially targeted in the two-day training being held across the country as part of the Kenya Primary Education Development (PRIEDE) project, which is supported by Global Partners in Education (GPE). Similar sessions will be held later for the remaining schools.
The PRIEDE program, which aimed to improve early grade Math competencies, also included a component to strengthen management systems at the school and national levels.
During the two-day meeting, school administrators will be trained on how to govern and manage learner capitation grants and other school funds in public primary schools.
The training was conducted after it was discovered that some school administrators did not understand proper financial accountability and reporting for the resources under their control.
In addition to capitation, the Education Ministry provides schools with funds for health and nutrition, the national school-based deworming program, infrastructure grants, low-cost boarding and mobile schools, and special needs and disabilities grants.
Other sources of funding include National Government Constituency Development Funds, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, donors, local communities, well-wishers, school income-generating projects, county government, and contributions from households.
The government issued new, stricter accounting guidelines for principals in 2017, requiring that every coin generated by public schools be accounted for using official receipts.
All donations, allocations, and grants received by schools must be receipted under the guidelines.
The guidelines state that all National Constituency Development Funds (NCDF), donations, or fundraising must be officially receipted and entered into the school cash books.
And now, school administrators are being guided through the process of transparency and accountability in the use of learner capitation grants and other school funds.
In accordance with this, they are being educated on laws governing transparency and accountability, accounting and reporting, safeguards and information disclosures, and the management of educational facilities and equipment.
Auditing of school books of accounts, as well as handing over and taking over in public primary schools, are also areas that managers are guided through.
The government contributes to schools on a per-learner, per-term basis. The funds are distributed in three tranches with a percentage ratio of 50:30:20 for the first, second, and third terms.
In accordance with this, they are being educated on laws governing transparency and accountability, accounting and reporting, safeguards and information disclosures, and school facility and equipment management.
Auditing of school books of accounts, as well as handing over and taking over in public primary schools, are all areas that managers are guided through.
Government funding is provided to schools on a per-learner, per-term basis. The funds are distributed in three tranches with a percentage ratio of 50:30:20 for the first, second, and third terms, respectively.
According to a Ministry of Education brief, the refresher training aims to ensure that key stakeholders internalize policy guidelines and that all schools implement them.
It also aims to provide skills to the chair of BoMs, headteachers, and deputy headteachers in order to ensure full compliance with the Policy Guidelines.
Separately, it was revealed that the training will be expanded to include all schools to ensure compliance with the recently released financial reporting format for public institutions, which also changed their reporting periods.
This follows the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB) recommending a financial reporting template for public schools in collaboration with the National Treasury.
According to the new plan, the financial reporting period for all public secondary schools will now be from July 1 to June 30, in accordance with the Government Fiscal Year.
Previously, public secondary schools reported their finances from January to December of each year.
Following the publication of the reporting format, the Ministry of Education issued a circular directing all public secondary schools to follow the new financial reporting format.
According to Basic Education PS Julius Jwan's circular dated August 19, 2021, the Ministry of Education will organize sensitization programs for school heads, bursars, boards of management, non-financial managers, and other stakeholders.
According to the new directive, schools that submitted their financial statements for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, must now prepare six-month financial statements from January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021.
And schools that have not submitted their financial statements for the fiscal year 2020 must do so within 18 months, from January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
The overall goal of the reporting initiative is to improve efficiency, transparency, and accountability in public secondary schools.
“Transparency and accountability in financial management is paramount to the continuity and sustainability of learning institutions as they seek to provide knowledge to the current generations and in posterity,” according to the guidelines for IPSAS implementation by public secondary schools.
PSASB Chief Executive Officer Fredrick Riaga has signed the document.
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