Challenges and prospects of the revised retirement age for teachers in selected secondary schools in Mufulira district, Zambia.
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The study sought to explore challenges and prospects of the revised retirement age for teachers in selected secondary schools in Mufulira district. The objectives of the study were to: establish teachers and community members' views on the revised retirement age; determine challenges faced by teachers as a result of the revised retirement age; ascertain prospects brought about by the revised retirement age and suggest measures aimed at mitigating challenges faced by teachers in Mufulira district. A descriptive research design was employed by the study. Eleven (11) secondary school head teachers and twenty (20) subject teachers were purposively selected for the study. Two (2) members from the community were also included in the sample bringing the total number of respondents to thirty-three (33). The study used semi-structured interview to collect data from all the respondents. Since the study followed the qualitative approach, thematic analysis was used to analyse data and results presented in descriptions and narrations. The study revealed that majority of teachers were against the revision of retirement age and indicated some challenges brought about by the revised retirement age that the employees would become weak and afflicted by age related illnesses which may negatively affect productivity. They also stated that life expectancy in Zambia was short, which meant that people may die before they get their benefits. They further asserted that the revised retirement age would promote unemployment among the youths as there would be fewer vacancies for new teacher and stagnation in terms of promotions. They went on to indicate that there was a lot of stigma against older teachers on the assumption that they were unwilling to accept innovation and technological changes in education. The respondents indicated that the revised retirement age had prospects as it gave teachers more time to plan for their pension and that the government would also gain from the vast experience of older employees. The study recommended that the government should reduce the retirement age to 55 and the package for retirees should be made in the shortest period of time. It also recommended that the government should motivate old teachers by promoting them. The study further recommended that the government should introduce contracts for teachers who would like to work beyond 55.
The University of Zambia