Public expenditure monitoring in primary schools: a case of a primary school in Masaka Municipality- Uganda

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Geoff Tennant

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Marriote Ngwaru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Initiatives to increase the quality of education and number of children in schools, including ‘Universal Primary Education’, lead to the need for more teachers, school administrators and infrastructure. This necessitates hugely increased levels of funding. This in turn leads to the increasing importance of strong financial monitoring. This study sought to explore how public funds are deployed and monitored in a primary school in Uganda, and how key stakeholders are involved in spending decisions and how they perceive their roles. The study adapted a qualitative approach involving one public primary school. Data collection included document analysis, and also interviews and group discussions with key stakeholders. Key findings included that the school received funds from several sources. Whilst responsibilities were clearly set out in policy documents, in practice stakeholders were unclear about their roles in monitoring spending, with considerable power being wielded by the head teacher. Explanations considered include the perception that the sums of money deployed to schools are insufficient to justify extensive monitoring. Recommendations include ensuring training of the volunteering stake holders plus the introduction of instant inspections from the education office, as well as involving all responsible stake holders to ensure that all responsible committees get involved fully in monitoring of public funds.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library