Effective financial management as a component of ABET in the education system of the North West Province
Guma, Tamsanqa Marshall
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Training ABET centre managers in mobilisation of financial resources and financial management skills is central to the transformation of ABET centres, from night schools to Public Adult Learning Centres. Training ABET centre managers in effective financial management will ensure that resources (human, physical and financial) are managed effectively to provide quality education and training programmes to the target group. ABET centres, much against the state's intent to transform them into Public Adult Learning Centres, continue to remain night schools. The failure to transforming ABET centres is due to inaccessibility of resources and equipment, use of outdated equipment, use of educators who are not relevantly trained in the ABET scenario and reliance on tuition fees paid by learners for an ABET centre running costs. Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) educators lack financial management skills as dictated by the current legislation. As a result, ABET educators cannot mobilise and utilise financial resources effectively at ABET centres, to enable them to provide quality education and training programmes to meet the education and training needs of the target group in ABET As a result the very organs of change (ABET centres) which are supposed to help skill the adult learners to create jobs for themselves and for others in their locality, remain night schools, thus making transformation a pipe dream. The aims of the research study were to determine: • The training and development needs of ABET educators at state registered public ABET centres in the North West Provincial Education Department in financial management. • The type of financial records kept at ABET centres in the North West Provincial Education Department to ensure proper financial resources management in view of the current legislation and regulations. • Whether state registered public ABET centres have sufficient resources and equipment so as to provide quality education and training programmes to meet the education and training needs of the target group. • Whether there are any control measures in place at state registered public ABET centres to prevent fraud, corruption and mismanagement of finances. • Whether financial activities at state registered public ABET centres in the North West Provincial Education Department are effectively monitored. • Whether there are training and development programmes for the purpose of equipping ABET educators in the province with financial management skills, with the aim of designing such programmes where they do not exist or to improve on existing programmes. In the literature, the financial management of state registered public ABET centres as non profit organisations (NPOs) was closely studied. The purpose was to establish whether state registered public ABET centres as NPOs operate within the framework of the non-profit organisations Act and treasury regulations in the Province. Focus was also placed on existing pre- or in-service training programmes for ABET educators, to establish whether they provide training in line with training needs of ABET educators in financial management. ii The empirical research was conducted in the North West Provincial Education Department state registered public ABET centres in all area project offices in the five regions the province is comprised. The requisite data was collected through a postal questionnaire. Questionnaires were sent to five ABET centre managers in each area project office which are currently practising at state registered public ABET centres. During the research process, legislation in the form of gazettes, regulations, policies, reports, circulars and treasury regulations as availed to the researcher, or downloaded electronically from the internet, were studied. Different training programmes from different institutions of Higher Education and Training, for the training of ABET educators were also studied. The data collected through literature study and empirical study enabled the researcher to draw a conclusion that there is a dire need to design a training and development programme for training ABET educators in financial management. Beyond the phases of literature study and empirical research, the researcher had to decide on the kind of model which could be used to design a training and development programme for training ABET educators in financial management in line with the current legislation. Some of the findings in the research study are: • ABET centre managers at state registered public ABET centres have not been trained in financial management. • No proper financial records are kept at state registered public ABET centres in the North West Provincial Education Department. • There are no internal monitoring and control of financial activities and expenditure respectively. • Risk management is not practised in ABET in the Province. • Insufficient funds are raised by ABET centres. • ABET centres do not have access to vocational training Centres, administration offices, media centres and technology. • Financial records at state registered public ABET centres in the Province are not submitted to chartered accountants for audit purposes. • There is a dire need for the design of a training and development programme for ABET centre managers at state registered public ABET centres. A model for training ABET educators in financial management was developed by the researcher. It was also discovered that the mini education- and-training-system was an effective model in providing for the specific training needs of ABET educators, with specific focus on financial management.
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