Schools Fixed Assets Classes, keep changing with every new decade and the new technologies developed. This means that the Fixed Assets cluster for Schools has become more complex, and requires a robust elaborate Assets Management practice, to help minimize losses, reduce wastage and maximize on usage of the full-life cycles of the Assets.

The largest asset class for Schools is normally furniture, generally needed by all students in Class, namely desks and chairs for each student. Then you have Libraries, Science Laboratories, IT laboratories, Kitchen- Dining hall, Sports Equipment store, Staff Room, etc.  All these departments hold Fixed Assets, which are critical for the smooth running of the operations of the school, and delivery of quality service l. The complex collection of Assets that exist in a school, requires and organized Fixed Assets Management Standard, to help reduce loses and breakages by the Students.

To help maximize the life cycles of the Fixed Assets, Schools need to adopt and implement the globally accepted Physical Assets Management Standards and collaborate with organisations such as Southern Africa Assets Management Association. It’s a practice that has been crystallized into ISO 55001, which is the global standard developed for Physical Assets Management. It includes the development of an Assets Management Policy, which indicates the life cycle of every Asset. This helps with annual budget planning for Asset replacement and disposal guidance. It also guides on the Framework for Assets Sustainability, which will affect the decision on the type of Asset or the materials used in its production- this affects the repair and maintenance practice too.

Public Schools in Africa always struggle with funding, and the adoption of a Fixed Assets Management practice can help them improve the usage of the Assets and help reduce maintenance and costs, helping them to save and reallocate the ever-scarce funds. An annual or periodic Inventory of all the Assets in the School can help to update the Assets Register, capturing the comprehensive data for each asset.


It’s a common practice that even in Schools in possession of a semblance of an Assets Register some assets may be up-to-date on paper, but they may not exist on-site in reality. In other words, if you have an asset on paper but can’t locate it, then it’s not actually an asset in the school anymore, this is called a Ghost Asset. Ghost assets most often occur when items are disposed of or lost but never removed from the fixed asset tracking register. The opposite is a Zombie Asset which is an asset that the School owns but doesn’t exist on the Assets Register. This can lead to re-purchasing an asset because no one was aware of its existence. An example is a new Scanner that was purchased by a school but then got “lost” in a closet in the library, and because there is no practice or policy of registering new assets in the register, plus no one is responsible for managing the practice when the school needs to use the Scanner again and doesn’t readily see one, they will buy another one assuming the “older one” doesn’t exist anymore.

To help enhance environmental sustainability, Schools can migrate to the usage of Desks and Chairs made from Bamboo trees (apparently scientists classify it as grass) which is an emerging trade industry in Africa. This would help give the trees a “break” from being used for the production of furniture, and of course, the forests would become healthier. To implement this migration, it would be first developed as part of the Assets Management policy, which would describe the types of materials to be used for the production of desks & chairs. This shows you how far Fixed Assets Management Policies can sometimes impact our daily lives, the environment and how we do things.


  • Reducing wastage & Saving money
  • Disaster Preparedness-Helps to establish the true list of the assets and the value affected by the disaster
  • Financial Reporting & Compliance -While it may not be a requirement by Government Education departments in Africa yet, developing this practice will help the Schools improve the quality & class of their financial reporting
  • Improved Planning & Budgeting – the school will know when each asset needs to be replaced or repaired



The culture of fixed asset management practice can help ensure that public schools have the necessary equipment for their staff and students to do their jobs well. Developing the practice, and implementing it in your school can help you get the most out of your assets while reducing the amount of time and complexity needed for tracking. The practice can be introduced by Teachers, IT Department, Students, Parents, The Principal or the Board. Any stakeholder can champion the cause and involve the rest for support.


More from the Author Quicks Nyakwaka

CEO: BlueBox Ltd – Fixed Assets & Infrastructure Assets Management Services experts

Maximizing Efficiency and Profits with Effective Fixed Asset Management

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