Opposition Leader Calls For Removal Of Education Minister


Opposition leader Jamale Pringle has called for a new person to be placed at the helm of the Ministry of Education.

Pringle gave Prime Minister Gaston Browne some advice when he presented his first response to a national budget in his capacity as Leader of the Opposition.

Speaking on the issue of education development Pringle suggested that the first step to good education is removal of the minister, Michael Browne.

“The Prime Minister should start with a reshuffle and transfer the Minister of Education,” Pringle told Monday’s debate in the Lower House.

He said the entire ministry has been tainted by the so-called E-books scandal.

“Three years and millions and millions of dollars later, no teacher, no child, no parent can see the use or benefit of this E-book project. 

It is costing money that neither the Board of Education nor the Treasury has,” the opposition leader said.

He said the terms of the contract seem to be a mystery to all those who should be in the know. “And even if the disputed license fees were to be reduced, that still would not put a tablet in the hands of primary-school students or the pupils of the private schools,” Pringle added.

He said everybody except the Cabinet can see that this E-book initiative is nothing more than a “creative-enrichment scheme, since not one citizen has realized any benefit.

He told fellow lawmakers that by the Prime Minister’s own admission, there were breaches and lapses in awarding the contract, “and there has been no accountability by the Member for All Saints West up to now.”

Pringle said “only the pointing of fingers and casting of blame on civil servants, instead of oversight and responsibility by the Minister of Education.”

 He asked “What type of Minister stays silent at a time like this?

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  1. Keep it up Pringle. You may get what you ask for. Cause the PM is really not pleased with this development. And he won’t hesitate, just like with Asot to kick him out. One should look if Asot had a hand in this scandal behind the scene.

  2. The Education Minister made a mistake in not being a good manager of the Ministry, that is for sure. The most important qualification for a Minister in Antigua is being a good manager of your Ministry and making common sense decisions.

    I support the PM Browne administration 100%, but that also requires the Ministers in the administration to perform with excellence. If a mistake is made, they should correct it ASAP rather than letting it linger.

  3. I am deeply saddened that when Ministers of Government run afoul, there is no accountability. A Minister is the key point man in each Ministry and when the Ministry succeeds and does well, it is to his credit. When funny things happen, he must also stand up like a man and accept responsibility. This seem to be sadly lacking in Antigua and sends a real bad signal to others. The ebook scandal is my case in point. I do not know the full details but I know enough to say that what happens is the Minister responsibility as it happens under his watch and as such, he must accept responsibility. People must be decent enough to accept when they are wrong and simply do the right thing. Mr. Browne’s tenure as Education Minister will never be the same with this cloud hanging over him. The Prime Minister must remove him right away and launch a full scale investigation into this ebook affair.
    I believe that a cabinet reshuffle is on the cards and that might see hum shifted somewhere else. I am also looking with some interest the movements of MP Asot Michael as he seem to be talking more and more about Tourism, even more than the real Minister who seem very lost and distance from his Ministry. Asot seem to be clawing his way back into Cabinet. I would advise the PM to keep Asot where he is now as it is just another matter of time before another scandal catches up with him as he is a known hustler and a bandit.
    The world is watching how PM Browne handles these situations and they will eventually be how the PM is defined.

  4. This is the guy with the diplomatic passport who needs a flight to the Cayman Islands for medical assistance ( high dose NSAID} when that is not really what most people would go there for, then after a stopover it was on to Miami for more NSAIDs. Then, well, it was determined he could have stayed in A&B for the same pills. So back home at last, $500,000 plus expenses later. Was this some kind of emergency Bag Man run? Just asking.

  5. Remember the Minister of Education has been studying in the past and could not be there to oversee everything fully. Really! He has no excuse whatsoever. Right is right and wrong is wrong. If he is wrong he should man up and do what is right. The poor man would have been kicked to the curb lang time.

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