Understanding a prinicple's role in managing financial resources in a private school in the context of Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Considerable literature emphasizes the vital role of financial resources in improving the students' achievement in particular and school improvement in general. Nevertheless, this vital role may not be visible, unless the resources are properly managed. Therefore, financial management seems an important aspect of it. Moreover, the role of the principal as a school leader appears more considerable in financial management. However, the extent to which the principal has to be engaged in financial management varies from system to system and from school to school. A number of authors suggest that the principal's role in private schools in the context of Pakistan seems more visible in financial management than in government schools. This study focuses on understanding the principal's role in managing financial resources in one private school in Karachi. The study adopted qualitative design and case study as a method. The researcher used different data collection tools like observations, interviews, and document analysis to get rich data. The findings showed that the principal of the school has a crucial role in all the processes of financial management. In the context of school-based budgeting, the principal has to be engaged in various types of financial activities along with the academic matters. The findings revealed that the principal's role was less visible in financial resource generation, which is provided by the central office and the school is only responsible for fees collection in this regards. Moreover, it was found that, simultaneous with academics activities, the principal had multiple roles and responsibilities in technical, ethical, organizational and political aspects of fiscal leadership in the school. And yet these roles in financial management seemed to take away some time of the principal from academic activities. However, the findings showed that the system is attempting to balance the principal's role as academic leader and financial manager with a particular mechanism. Moreover, devolution of the financial responsibilities to the academic and non-academic staff seems to be one of the ways of decreasing the principal's workload. Summarizing, the challenges were identified and implications were drawn that provided recommendations for the future practices of the management staff, focusing the principal's role in financial management.

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