School administrators must be spared unnecessary audit queries

Apart from managing learners which is their main responsibility, school administrators have been bequeathed with a huge task of accounting for finances channeled to their institutions.

Money for a manager is like blood for an organism wishing to continue seeing another day. No wonder the famous phrase, “money is everything”. No organisation can optimally achieve its both long and short term objectives without financial expenditure.

The chief financial officer in a school setup is the headteacher also baptized as the principal. Every coin received in our learning institutions is acknowledged by the principal. The Ministry of Education always accompanies their grants to schools with a circular stipulating how prudently each coin is to be spent. The circular has vote heads for all the mandatory accounts kept by the school. At the bottom of the circular are the footnotes. The footnotes in most instances serve as a warning on how the principal has to utilize the government monies.

Stress always disappears like morning dew when the capitation is released and received in the bank accounts. Artificial stress develops and germinates when adherence to the vote heads (during spending) fail to produce the expected matching.

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This always happens as a result of lack of enhanced training on financial literacy. It even becomes a nightmare for the newly appointed head of the institutions. Balancing and appropriation of finances as required by the MoE audit department is and won’t be a walk in the park without financial knowledge.

It is time our head of institutions are saved from this stress. Help from accounts clerks, school bursars have always saved the situation. High schools are a bit better as they can employ accounts clerk to oversee prudent use of finances. It is time the MoE either roll out an enhanced training on bookkeeping for our heads or stretch their budget to employ book keeping experts in schools.

With the upcoming of comprehensive school component, our big sisters and brothers in these formations are bound to develop more stress yet, “Hii kazi haitaki makasiriko”.  Also this will greatly help the MoE in ensuring that there is proper utilization of finances allocated to our schools. Enhanced training is a better option because the heads will be able to detect any fraud or abnormally easily in an event an accounts clerk is doing the work.

It is also time we halt our administrators from developing stress, depression, diabetes and mental ill health arising from pending consequences of audit queries.

By Joseph Kiptoo

Mr Joseph kiptoo is an Educationist from Sirwa, Nandi hills in Nandi county.

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