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Portfolio changes in government

Two ministerial portfolio changes have been made as government moves swiftly to address outstanding issues at the TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).

A week ago, Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, promised quick action to address the troubling issues discussed at a meeting with representatives from the college and its council, the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) and the TAMCC Lecturers Association, along with Ministers Emmalin Pierre and Pamela Moses.

On Wednesday, Dr Mitchell confirmed that there has been a change in ministerial portfolios. Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Religious Affairs and Information, Honourable Emmalin Pierre will now be responsible for all areas of education including those previously assigned to Honourable Pamela Moses.

Honourable Moses who was Minister in the Ministry of Education, with responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skills Development and Education Outreach, is now Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, with responsibility for Special Projects, Needy Assistance and ICT. In her new capacity, Minister Moses will have responsibility for a budget of close to $15 million, as well as multi-million dollar ICT projects that will promote the country’s digital government strategy among other things.

Explaining the portfolio change Dr Mitchell said, “The change is directly linked to the need for clear and decisive action to address the lingering issues at TAMCC. Given the enormity of the actions necessary, it is unfair to have a minister, with a relatively short track record of engagement with the college, take the lead in addressing the outstanding matters. I therefore decided that Minister Pierre, as the substantive Minister for Education, will play a more hands-on role in addressing the issues. At the same time, the reassignment of Minister Moses provides a tremendous opportunity for growth, given the significant areas of responsibility now assigned to her.”

In addition to the change in ministerial portfolios, Dr Mitchell also confirmed the appointment of an Interim Chairman for the College Council which governs the affairs of TAMCC.

Dr Spencer Thomas replaces Augustine Vesprey and will serve as Interim Chairman while further efforts are made to address the troubling issues at TAMCC. Among the issues identified at the college are ineffective leadership, the lack of proper management structures, inadequate accountability, financial planning and budgeting, lack of effective communication, irregularities in the hiring process and chronic absenteeism at the senior management level.

Dr Mitchell said, “It is imperative that urgent action be taken to resolve these issues. We cannot continue to jeopardise the future of our children, their education and the overall development of the country. Unfortunately, the concerns have festered for far too long and decisive action is required now to safeguard the future of this tertiary institution, which should be highly regarded as a critical pillar for the enhancement of the country’s human resources. Going forward, we expect all stakeholders – Government, College Council, Grenada Union of Teachers and the TAMCC Lecturers Association, to play their respective roles in protecting the students of TAMCC. Their future is at stake.”

In addition to actions already taken and other imminent efforts to resolve the issues at TAMCC, government expects to receive in short order a report from a consultancy, to outline restructuring measures for the college.

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