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ABSTRACT The study sets out to investigate budgeting process and financial management in public secondary schools in Thika district. The study covered the five administrative divisions namely, Gatanga, Kamwangi, Gatundu, Kakuzi and Thika! Ruiru which make up Thika district. Specially, the investigation was on the degree to which teachers, bursars! accountants and B.O.G members are involved in the budgeting process and its effect on financial management. The research design used was descriptive survey. The sample size consisted of II principals, 11 bursars! accountants, 33 teachers and 22 B.O.G members. Random sampl ing was used to select respondents from a population of 112 principals, 112 bursars, 3920 teachers and 1344 Board of Governors. Proportionate sampling was used to select the sample of II public secondary schools out of the 112 public secondary schools in the district and purposive sampling was also used in the selection of the B.O.G members. The researcher gathered data using four questionnaires, the principals', bursars', teachers' and for the Board of Governors. These questionnaires were administered by the researcher through individual visits to the respondents. These instruments were validated using the results of the pilot study. The reliability of the study 0.93 for the teacher, 0.89 for bursars, 0.78 for the principal and 0.85 for the board of governors using the Pearson correlation co-efficient and spearman Brown prophesy formula. These computational results indicate that the questionnaires were reliable. The data collected was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).The results were quantified using tables showing frequencies and percentages. The research findings revealed that the principals exercised complete control over financial matters and the amount of participation allowed in the schools was not sufficient to give teachers, bursars and board of governors a chance to practice democratic skills. It was also found out that the principals minimally involved teachers, bursars and Board of Governors in the budgeting process. The study recommends the following: 1. All stakeholders should be involved in the budgeting process and financial management for transparency and accountability. 2. Financial management should form one of the main components of Bachelors of Education degree programme and in all Teacher Training Colleges. 3. An open forum or system through which principals are enlightened on the importance of involving all stakeholders in budgeting process and financial management. 4. Sensitizing the Board of Governor on their roles as the school manager and encourage them to attend Kenya Educational Research Institute (K.E.S.I) seminars to learn more on financial management issues. 5. Continuous in-service training of the principals to keep them abreast with the democratic and participatory administrative changes that are taking place in the education system of the world. 6. Participatory management practices such as budgeting and financial management should be encouraged in schools so as to enhance stakeholders trust and confidence on the principal. The study has the following suggestions for further study: I. A similar study should be carried out elsewhere on budgeting process and financial management to elicit more accurate information. 2. A study to investigate whether teachers' involvement in the budgeting process affects students' academic performance need to be carried out. 3. There is need to carry out a study on the perception of the educational planners and other stakeholder on the teachers' involvement in the budgeting and financial management in public secondary schools. 4. A comparative study could be undertaken to establish the extent to which budgetary and financial management are participatory in public and private secondary schools.

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