Five top education officials on leave
Running of departments likely to be affected
Stabroek News
October 23, 2001

Chief Education Officer (CEO), Ed Caesar, and four other senior education officials have proceeded on leave for periods ranging from four months to one year and this is likely to upset the smooth running of the Ministry of Education.

Stabroek News understands that the education officials, who had leave accumulated over a period of time, had been asked by Education Minister, Dr Henry Jeffrey, to take their leave.

Deputy Chief Education Officer with responsibility for Development, Genevieve Whyte-Nedd, is currently acting as the CEO.

Also proceeding on leave are Deputy Chief Education Officer with responsibility for administration, Romeo McAdam; Head of the Curriculum Development Unit of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) Mohandat Goolsarran; Director of NCERD, Dr Clarence Perry; Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary), Donna Chapman; and Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Alicia Fingal.

Fingal, who is expected to proceed on pre-retirement leave at the end of her current leave is likely to be succeeded by recently- appointed Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) Roopnarine Tiwari, who is currently acting in her stead.

Reliable sources told Stabroek News that Whyte-Nedd has no deputy responsible for administration or development at present. No one has been identified to act in McAdam's stead.

The sources said that the problem of institutional memory will likely affect the running of some departments including the CEO's office and the ACEO's for a little while.

Except for Chapman, the other two ACEO's (Primary and Nursery) were recent appointments. In addition, both senior education officers in Chapman's office were recently appointed.

Education officials feel that the absence of education officers will affect the overall running of some departments as they were already short staffed. Stabroek News understands that the Georgetown Education Department needs an additional five district education officers and the Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) Education Department is in need of four.

Apart from the loss of institutional memory in some departments, some education officers felt that the handing over arrangements by those proceeding on leave and those taking over were poor as there was no period for understudy.

When contacted, two of the education officers said that they were pleased they were being granted leave as they had applied time and again but their leave was either deferred or denied because of the absence of anyone to replace them on the job. (Miranda La Rose)