– Junior Education Minister to hold the reins until ‘further notice’
– Another Department to be created for education reform, innovation
President David Granger has announced, through his State Minster Joseph Harmon, that Dr Rupert Roopnaraine who holds the substantive portfolio of Education Minister will now be, in an apparent demotion, reassigned from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP) with specific responsibility for the Public Service.
According to Harmon, the President briefed Cabinet on Tuesday that ” he had a discussion with Dr Roopnaraine yesterday and after that discussion it was agreed that Dr Roopnaraine would be reassigned.”
Harmon continued that the President briefed Cabinet further that “a department under the Ministry of the Presidency will be created to oversee innovation and reform in the Education Sector. This Department will be under the President himself.”
The appointment of Dr Roopnaraine in the Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for Public Service will take effect From the June 15, 2017.
Dr Roopnaraine- an Executive member of Working People’s Alliance (WPA) which is part of coalition government – will, according to Harmon, continue to be a “member of Cabinet and a member of the National Assembly.”
In the meantime, Junior Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry, will perform the functions Education Minister “until further notice.”
Prior to this reshuffle, the President was, only recently, forced to reassign Dr George Norton, who held the substantive position of Health Minister, to the Ministry of Social Cohesion, with Volda Lawerence talking his place.
Dr Norton had found himself in “hot water” as it relates to the controversial rental of the pharmaceutical bond at Sussex Street, Georgetown, which is billing Government in excess of $14 million per month.
The State Minister did not provide any reason for the President’s decision to ‘reassign’ Dr Roopnaraine.