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Gov't manipulated gaps in Education Act to Ruel Reid's advantage - Wright

Linvern Wright and Elaine Foster Allen, former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education
 
Linvern Wright, President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, has said the government should accept blame in the handling of the Ruel Reid special leave debacle.
 
Mr. Wright said it is clear that the government manipulated the gaps in the Education Act to its and Mr. Reid's advantage.
 
He argued that impending reforms to the legislation to deal with situations such as the controversy surrounding the leave arrangements for Mr. Reid, will not eliminate loopholes.
 
He believes that the Ministry of Education should have met with Mr. Reid, instead of passing the responsibility to the Jamaica College board. 
 
"If it is that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education had sat down with Ruel Reid and said, we in good faith, believing in your ethics and every single thing, gave you this position. You have done something that could affect the school. We need to talk to you. If you do not have that credibility to talk to him, then how could you have put him in a position like that? And I think that it is lack of that kind of fortitude that has put this situation where it is now that we have to be talking about it now," he insisted while speaking Wednesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
 
Former Education Minister Ruel Reid is to be paid $23.2 million under the agreement which led to his resignation as principal of Jamaica College last Saturday.
 
A little more than $16 million will be paid by the Ministry of Education and the remaining $7.1 million by the Jamaica College Trust. 
 
Elaine Foster Allen, former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, agreed that the government has been using loopholes in legislation to its advantage.
 
She argued that she has seen under the current government, "many more times when policies, regulations, laws have been manipulated than ever before".
 
Mrs Foster Allen, who was also speaking Wednesday on the Morning Agenda, said this raises a broader concern about ethics in government. 


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