How Old is Old? Employing Elderly Teachers in the Private Sector Schools in Sri Lanka

Lokuhetti Arachchige Pavithra Madhuwanthi


The purpose of this paper is to explore why private sector schools in Sri Lanka employ elderly teachers (ETs). This paper used semi-structured in-depth interviews with 9 employers/principals in the private sector schools in Sri Lanka. The study found that the reasons for employing ETs in the private sector schools were shortfall of English medium qualified teachers, lack of teachers with adequate pedagogical knowledge, high job attrition among the young teachers, competence of ETs, and special expertise contribution of ETs as administrators, mentors and the guardians of school culture. Further, financial constraints and reputational issues faced by particularly the new and small private sector schools caused to employ ETs. This paper indicated the employment opportunities available for ETs in the private sector schools and the implications for the school education in Sri Lanka.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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