Jacobs confirms inquiry at public education

POSTED: 10/4/12 12:50 PM

St. Maarten – Education Minister Silveria Jacobs confirmed on Wednesday that an investigating committee had been appointed to look into the operations of the Department of Public Education.
Last week news broke that the head of the department, senior civil servant Glenderlin Davis-Holiday has been placed on leave until the investigation has been completed. It was sanctioned by the Council of Ministers but according to Jacobs, “It is not necessarily an investigation into the head of the department but into the operations as well the whole human resources and the way it is being operated.”
The minister treads cautiously yesterday preferring to wait for the outcome of the investigation before making any public pronouncements. She indicated that terms of reference (TOR) documents had already been established for the scope of the investigation and within a thirty day period the investigation should be completed.
In the meantime, Patricia Williams the assistant head of the department is currently following Davis-Holiday’s portfolio.
When asked if Davis-Holiday has been placed on inactive duty, Minister Jacobs stated that she would “prefer not to discuss civil servants and their status at this time for privacy reasons. I believe that civil servants have a right to privacy and when it has to become public it will.” She added later that the civil servant had not been suspended.
Mrs. Glenderlin Davis-Holiday has sat at the helm of Public Education for a number of years under several political administrations. This is the first time that a full-fledged public investigation has been launched into her department.
Over the past few months, the division has been come under heavy criticism for late payment of teachers’ salaries and strained relations between the division and teachers.

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