In my opinion, the budget should be spent smartly and the budget plan should be flexible. Traditional policies with lots of bureaucracy must be removed. For example, we need to consider a part of the budget for new aspects of education which can be appeared due to new technologies.
Finance is one of the important resources of an open school. Therefore the open school’s financial resources should be managed well. To manage the financial resources of an open school, it is important to have what is called a ‘financial management’. This is a process of managing the fund of the school. The financial management should be clearly stated in the Open School Quality Assurance Policy so that there is accountability and transparency in the utilization of the school’s financial resource.
Effective management of financial resources is critical for the success and sustainability of open schools. Financial resources should be managed in a way that ensures transparency, accountability, and efficiency. This includes developing and implementing sound financial policies and procedures, such as budgeting and financial reporting, and establishing internal controls to prevent fraud and mismanagement of funds. It is important to prioritize expenditures based on the needs of the institution and its students, and to ensure that funds are allocated appropriately. Additionally, open schools should explore ways to increase their financial resources, such as through fundraising and grant applications. Regular monitoring and evaluation of financial performance can help identify areas for improvement and ensure that financial resources are being managed effectively. Overall, effective financial management is crucial to ensure that open schools are able to provide high-quality education to their students and operate sustainably over the long term.
Various models on financial management on which the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Aberta, and India hinted at promoting quality assurance (QA) and policies that establish standards. These standards are the bases on which clear and efficient Financial Management may be facilitated.
As in the Pakistan model in the COL, the Open School are better managed through the Finance Department, which will ensure that the school’s objectives and targets are achieved through sound allocation and management of financial resources. The financial books of the school shall be audited on an annual basis. This resonates with your suggestion for accountability and transparency.
I agree Farid, that budgets for open schools need to accommodate new developments in education, like appropriate technologies. It is also important for open schools to embrace OER to improve teaching and learning resources. Staff development in these two areas of technology and OER is very important, so budgets have to take into account the need for such staff development.
You can see from the examples of Pakistan and Bangladesh you give, that open schooling is mainstreamed in the education system of the countries and therefore enjoys dedicated funding. Budgets are set aside for open schooling and appropriate financial management systems with checks and balances are put in place.
I see that you all support the idea of having a sound financial management system for open schools, where there is transparency and accountability. Having the finances of the school audited on a regular basis is also good practice in managing the finances of any organisation and in enhancing the trustworthiness of an open school. Note that the structures that are put in place in an open school go a long way in facilitating the prudent management of a school’s finances. There is a link therefore between governance and management structures we discussed in Unit 2 and management of a school’s financial resources we are discussing in this Unit.
A proper financial management is needed in schools. Funds should be allocated department wise. All departments should make a request funds from the school depending on the department need. They should provide a detailed submission on why the fund is needed. The department head should make list of things the department needs. The school funding department should look look into the request and allocate the funds accordingly. In return the department head needs to provide all the receipts to the school admin, or make income and expenditure account and submit it to the accounts, attached with receipts. Surplus money should be returned to admin or should be carried forward by the department for the other year. In doing this the school will have proper understanding on the amount of money spent and where did the money go and what is amount left from the allocation.
in my view, and largely based on my context, there are very many competing needs for available resources. There are not enough resources anywhere in the world, much less in my context even for physical traditional F2F learning let alone the open schooling. Despite its advantages there are still a lot of odds against the concept of open schooling. Hence the use of any resource budgets available for open schooling must indeed be deliberate in the first place, smart secondly and finally prudent.
Really good points on management of financial resources. I agree it should be used to ensure the best outcome for learners especially economic accessibility to the vulnerable of society. It should be transparent and timely with record keeping being an imperative for efficient and effective overall management of ODL.
Management of financial resources for open schools-
Most countries from the articles included in their policy document the critical role of effective financial management. Audits are important so facilitate proper accountability for all involved. Some countries included regular monitoring so that crucial decisions can be made on the data received. Proper Budgeting and prioritizing the needs of the institution main goals and objectives can make sure funds go to the areas that need it the most. Long term planning also gives rise to sustainability factors and explores ways to minimize the risk factors associated with ODL. Monitoring and evaluating the use of the finances to ensure that the institution provides high quality education for those it is intended for.