Welcome Fayval, Floyd!Sunday, September 13, 2020
BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
The appointments of Fayval Williams and Floyd Green as Cabinet ministers in the education, youth and information and the agriculture and fisheries ministries, respectively, are being welcomed by prominent members of the public.
Former parliamentarian Delano Franklyn said while the prime minister has assured that the Cabinet reflects the best skill set at his disposal, stakeholders in education will be keeping a close eye on Williams.
“The PM has said the mix constitutes the best skill set to undertake responsibility as it relates to the management of the country. We look forward to seeing how the different players will operate in their respective ministries one of which will be keenly watched, I'm sure, by stakeholders in that particular area is the Ministry of Education where there is a new minister who has been assigned in the person of Fayval Williams. She has education, youth and information. Education is extremely important in this country and I'm absolutely sure that the stakeholders will not allow her to get away with any kind of misgivings in a ministry that is so important particularly in the context of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the operations of our schools and education,” Franklyn said.
He added: “The ministerial assignment to Floyd Green is a very, very important assignment – agriculture and fisheries. So, Floyd, young, inexperienced ministerially, and full of energy and having knowledge, will have to bring everything to bear in that particular area and make agriculture the golden child that it can be. There are many of us including myself who believe agriculture is critical to economic growth and economic development in Jamaica, so that is something we need to watch.”
Businessman Kevin O'Brien Chang said the pairing of Williams and newcomer Robert “Nesta” Morgan as state minister should provide the transformation needed in education.
“I particularly like Fayval as education minister and Robert Morgan as state minister. Williams is a technocrat known to organise and revamp and Morgan is young, a new Member of Parliament and will be good at communicating what's going on in education now with COVID as everybody, including the children, are wondering what's going to happen. It's a very tricky situation with that right now, but that combination strikes me as a very apt one,” O'Brien Chang said, adding that Juliet Holness would have been good for housing but her omission could be on the grounds that as the prime minister's wife, it could be seen as bias.
Political scientist at New Jersey City University Dr Jermaine McCalpin was happy with the appointment of Floyd Green to agriculture and fisheries as he thinks that is a great fit considering he has some amount of experience in the area. Dr McCalpin is, however, looking with great expectation to Fayval Williams to deliver in education, youth and information.
“The education ministry is a significant sector and a significant part of our country. Given the ways in which the pandemic has impacted education, we need someone that is going to be transformational. So, I am also looking forward to see what comes out of that, though, I think persons were of the expectation it would have been Alando Terrelonge,” Dr McCalpin said.
Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Michelle Thomas was not so keen on the appointment of Williams as education minister but welcomed Green's appointment to agriculture and fisheries.
“There is the view that Fayval Williams could be a good minister of education because she is a 'fix-it' minister, but at this point I don't think the PM should bring anybody new into the game. I think he should have given Alando Terrelonge the ministry of education, youth and information because he would have been working as a state minster and simply because Fayval has had zero experience in that field. The PM would have been a former education minister so he ought to understand the weight to put on that ministry. Fayval is an investment banker, no experience in that field so I am a bit lost on that,”Thomas said. “Surprisingly, we see Floyd Green at agriculture. That's a good fit because if you watch the progress and work he would have been doing with the farmers and what he has even been doing in rural St Elizabeth, we can understand that even though this is not a part of his expertise, because he is a trained attorney-at-law, we see that he has stepped up to the plate and can manage.”
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