IMPACT OF SCHOOL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ON LEARNING OUTCOME OF STUDENTS IN LAGOS STATE

Chapter One: Introduction The sustainability of schools relies in part on the availability and utilization of funds available to support recurrent costs for systems upkeep at the school level. Studies (Bada and Oguguo, 2011) shows that heads of schools report shortages of funds which impact on the daily running of school programmes. Almost all institutions and organizations in Nigeria have been affected by recessions (Bada and Oguguo, 2011). During economic downturns, the world seems to focus on managing budgets. Since 2008 the federal government has taken dramatic measures to help the financial state of many institutions struggling with the current recession. Of those measures, massive bailout packages worth billions of dollars have been proposed and passed to help institutions across the nation. Educational leaders have long sought to understand how to allocate finance to improve school and students’ learning outcome. Schools receive funding for the sole purpose of improving educational opportunities and achievement for students. Yet the benefits of increasing that finance are widely disputed. Research conducted outside Nigeria indicates that the level of finance in a school does make a difference in student achievement (Odden, Goertz, & Goertz, 2008).  However, limited research exists in Nigeria on whether increases in funding, utilized effectively and efficiently, does increase student achievement. Financing is often challenging to study because of the lack of disaggregation of district and school level expenditures. Educational boards have not historically kept track of categories of expenditures and are unable to aide researchers in their quest for financial data separated by theme. Many issues amplify the importance of effective financing and management because of the implications on school funding for primary schools. Funding  for  basic  education  has  come  primarily  from  federal  and  local governments finance over the years; state governments have tended to prioritize tertiary education relying on local governments’ finance for primary education. A general lack of accountability inherent in current  practices  leads  to  inefficiency  in  use  of  finance.  Officials  estimate  that  these  challenges account  for  40%  –  45  %  of  allocated  funds.  Recurrent  capital  expenditure  imbalances  in  budgetary allocations  aggravate  the  challenges  and  stifle  the  provision  of  education  infrastructure. The  non-inclusion of performance conditions in the criteria for federal matching grants to state governments on basic education may lead to lack of incentives for performance and inefficiency.  Schools are under even greater pressure to do more with less and maintain a clear process to decide how to

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