Whose responsibility is it?
Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Dear Editor,

I continue to be baffled by what passes for Government in Jamaica.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, years ago, had noted that he would be preparing job descriptions for his ministers. How can a person be given a job description after being placed in the job? It begs the question of what criteria is being used to select ministers of Government.

Government ministers are not new creations of this or any Government, neither are ministries.

A Ministry of Education, for example, should establish minimum standards for school buildings, teachers, workforce development, etc. Matters such as curriculum should be tailored to suit the workforce demands and projections; school buildings should be designed to suit the needs of the students who will use them; and teachers should be paid commensurate to their competence and success. The minister of such a ministry should, at a minimum, be knowledgeable about these various aspects of education in order to guide policy objectives and not have to rely solely on advisors to provide the basic information.

Based on what has passed for Government since Independence, neither political party, for the most part, has demonstrated a grasp of what is required to run a ministry or what a minister of Government should be doing, hence the latest occupant of the prime minister's chair is now inventing his own guidelines for ministers and ministries.

It is time to have ministries created through acts of Parliament, minimum qualifications for people entering politics, and ministries being led by ministers who have basic qualifications in the relevant areas.

It is ridiculous to think that a prime minister is the one with the responsibility of creating job descriptions for ministers.

Hugh M Dunbar


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