Challenegs facing retired primary school teachers in sustaining their livelihood in Kenya: a case of Busia District
The retired teachers in Kenya are living in poor conditions unable to make ends meet as they wait for their monthly pension. These retirees keep on struggling but because of their meager pension pay, it makes them develop stress and die soon after coming out of their active teaching career. There is need therefore to assess the strategies adopted by the teachers service commission (TSC) in responding to the retirement needs of teachers in Kenya. These may include the needs to increase their monthly pension, set up front desk for advising the teachers who are about to retire, setting up better retirement schemes among others to correct the poor state in which retired teachers are living in. This study brings to the fore the challenges facing retired primary school teachers in sustaining their livelihood. Study objectives included: identify challenges facing retired primary school teachers in sustaining their livelihood; investigating strategies used by the government in supporting retired primary school teachers to establish investment and coping mechanism of retired teachers; establish the influence of retired teachers' characteristics on their livelihood sustainability. The researcher assumed that the government and teachers unions are only interested in classroom teachers and once they retire, they were left to themselves. The study design was descriptive survey which was more applicable to this study. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative approaches that were aimed at exploiting and describing the challenges facing retired primary school teachers in sustaining their livelihood. The study purposively sampled 52 out of the 172 male and female retired primary school teachers in four division of the larger Busia District. Snowball sampling method was used to get the desired sample. The data was arranged, edited, coded and analyzed using computer packages. The quantitative data was presented in the form of frequencies, percentages and tables using descriptive statistics and on the other hand qualitative data were presented in a narrative form after capturing the respondent's perception. Out of 52 questionnaires that were distributed all of them were completed and returned. This represented a response rate of 100% snowballing sampling was used where the researcher reached out to the respondents in person are instructions and offered one week within which responses were made and completed questionnaire collected. The age of respondents ranged from 51 years for the youngest to 82 years for the oldest with a mean age of 62.12 years most of respondents had monogamous relationships with children ranging from 3 to 18 ( mean/median) of 8 children each) with a comparable number of dependents. The retirees had served for an average of 32 years prior to retirement earning a median salary of KES 12,500 by the time of retirement and the pension of KES 1676 per month therefore the data collected entirely depended on the indicators of sustainable livelihood such as having bought land for development building a descent house for the family having educated children farming to get enough food for the family and having invested in profitable business enterprise. It was found out that 51.9% respondents did not achieve their goal of buying land for development 69.3% respondents did not carry out farming to get enough food for their families 69.3 % did not invest in any profitable business enterprises 98.1 % retirees did not build descent houses for their families 98.1% retirees are affected by the low pension per month that hinders them to achieve indicators for sustainable livelihood and 75 % retirees reported that un clear policies on retirement contributes great deal to their plights. Results from this study indicate that retired primary school teachers face numerous challenges. In conclusion the major causes of these challenges are the low pension, lack of collateral for loan with the exit of the pay slip and high family demands as well as having no clear policy on the retirement. Hence, it is the responsibility of the government and the teachers union to chart the way forward for these retirees. The government should develop and institutionalize policies to handle these challenges.