Thursday, 15 October 2020

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Tough early days for Minister Fayval Williams / Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert takes over as House Speaker / Clifton Reader appointed JHTA president

AT YOUR SERVICE: Managing Director of Moon Palace Jamaica, Clifton Reader, is the new President of the Jamaican Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA). Reader, who succeeds Omar Robinson (who served for the last four years), was elected unopposed at the body’s recent AGM, hosted by the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. For Reader, the COVID-19 pandemic is a moot issue, but he feels local industry players have been doing a commendable job given the circumstances. “We can all be proud of the response of our sector in the implementation of protocols and sanitization routines that have served to protect staff, guests and, by extension, our communities,” says the tourism veteran, who won 2011’s Hotelier of the Year Award. 

LADY OF THE ‘HOUSE’: Pearnel Charles left some big shoes to fill, but his successor is more than up to the task. Specially hand-picked by PM Andrew Holness, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert is the new Speaker of the House, recently sworn in to a grand reception from her colleagues. No stranger to the demanding role, she temporarily occupied the post from July to December 2011. It comes with the primary challenge of ensuring that the rights of all members of the House are protected, coupled with the responsibility of upholding the rules. Juliet Holness is Deputy Speaker of the House. Meanwhile, Dalrymple-Philibert is currently in her fourth term as MP for Southern Trelawney. 

LEARNING CURVE: Fayval Williams has kicked off her tenure as Education minister with one of the biggest controversies of the year: discrepancies with the results of the 2020 CSEC/CAPE examinations. The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has come under fire from hundreds of students, parents and educators over the administration of this year’s exams. An independent review has been set up to probe the concerns, with CXC Chairman, Prof. Hilary Beckles advising that a report would be produced for discussion with the relevant stakeholders. Meanwhile (as of October 5), students remain at home, accessing their lessons virtually though the Education ministry’s online learning management system, free-to-air television and radio. According to Minister Williams, approximately 20,000 teachers have been trained in the use of cloud-based learning management system. 










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