Challenges of integrating retired teachers in Rubabo County -Rukungiri district.
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Retirement is one of the commonest fonns of exit from an organization. The Teaching Service in particular experiences massive exit of its employees whose post-retirement life, pose great challenge not only to retired teachers themselves but also to the government that employed them. It is against this background that this research focuses on the challenges of integrating retired teachers in Rubabo County. The study was conducted in a rural setting. An exploratory survey with qualitative and quantitative aspects was used in which a sample of 105 respondents and 10 key respondents in Rubabo County participated in the study. Semi structured questionnaires were filled. Direct personal interviews were also arranged. The research study found out that pension for retired teachers was too small to enable them integrate easily into the community and above all, meet their financial obligations. Their projects were also inadequately fu.1ded. Lack of market for even the small quantities of their produce hindered improvement of their projects. The research findings further revealed that the retired tea. 'rs in Rubabo felt neglected because of government failure to listen to their request for pension increment. To them, government failed to recognise their long dedicated service. Retired teachers. In Rubabo County were increasingly becoming vulnerable to financial challenges and social upset in their struggle for survival. Some had experienced financial embarrassment due to heavy debts incurred after retirement. Their social status had also been reduced to nothing and community attitude had always been negative towards them. However, the study revealed that involvement in community functions and roles gave retired teachers confidence that life at retirement was worth living. Such community functions and roles included; membership to advisory bodies of schools (such as Parents' Teachers' Association and Board of Governors), churches and leadership roles at local level. The conclusions of this study however, do not grossly put an accusing finger on the government, but undoubtedly places government at the centre of the problem. For example, the procedure and bureaucracy in pension processing delayed payment of their retirement package. Secondly their monthly pension is not pegged to inflationary changes in the country. These are central issues which government must solve quickly. The study recommends that a lot should be done especially by Pension officials in Public Service to restore the lost confidence pensioners have towards the government. This culture of doubt cultivated by pensioners towards government needs to be reversed. On the other hand, retired teachers should not continue looking at government solely to provide them descent post-retirement life. They should also struggle on their own to make their lives comfortable. In this way, both parties-retired teachers and government would look at each other as partners in helping retirees cope with post-retirement life. Finally, this study should build confidence among retired teachers and those approaching retirement age that postretirement life is valuable, worth living and should be planned for. This would reduce emotional pressures, attitude problems, and all other socio-economic challenges that have hitherto put retired teachers in a vulnerable situation.