Shared perceptions among female school governing body members of financial management conduct in rural South African schools
Why Financial management conduct in rural schools of South Africa has long been questionable and was proven to be defective. Many scholars who investigated this aspect argue that School Governing Bodies in South African schools cannot manage finances competently due to, inter alia, lack of proficiency and knowledge to exercise their powers effectively, irrespective of the training they have received. This is partly due to the consequences of high rates of adult illiteracy of particularly female parents that sit on School Governing Bodies of these schools. Following the interpretevist research paradigm, a qualitative research approach was adopted in this study for gathering and analysing data. The population was made up of five schools from the Marapyane circuit of Nkangala district in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Five female members from the finance committees of the School Governing Body of each of the five schools were purposively sampled. In addition, the sample also included one circuit manager, one district finance officer and one district School Governing Body coordinator. The total number of the sample was 28 (n=28). A literature review, interviews and document analysis were used to collect data. Data collected and analysed from the research subjects pointed out, inter alia, an immense improvement of financial management conduct in the sampled schools. This is largely due to an improvement in literacy levels of specifically female School Governing Body members who are currently teachers or former teachers as well as members who are exposed to management of finances in their working environments. The study concludes with recommendations on how the financial management conduct of School Governing Bodies can further be improved in order to enhance learning and teaching in all South African schools.
Keywords: Capacity building; financial mismanagement; legislation; literacy levels; policy framework; school governing bodies; Section 21 schools; female members