Professor Kenneth Hall has vowed to give priority to education when he formerly assumes the office of Governor General in February. Professor Hall, who spoke to JIS News at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday (Jan. 24), said the focus on education “was not only because I am in education but because I believe that education has such a significant role to play in our national development.”
In addition to education, Professor Hall said that his tenure would be marked by a commitment to continue the traditional Governor General role of building consensus around issues that shape the future of the nation and impact on prosperity and equity in justice. “My role will be one that focuses on bringing together those positive elements, reviving or maybe creating a vision that had inspired us over the 40 years of independence,” he noted.
On Monday (Jan. 23) Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, announced that Professor Hall, who is Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of the West Indies and principal of the Mona campus, would be Jamaica’s fifth Governor-General effective February 15. He will replace 91-year-old Sir Howard Cooke, who served as Governor General for 14 years.
Professor Hall said he accepted the appointment with great honour. “I consider it a great honour that I have been appointed. Personally, it’s something I would never have applied for . but since I have been appointed, I consider it with great humility, because the challenges that I will face are many but I believe the support that I have received so far from people generally has given me some confidence that the role that I have assumed can be discharged with success,” he stated.
In the meantime, Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding has congratulated the Professor on his new appointment. In a statement yesterday (Jan. 24) Mr. Golding pointed out that Professor Hall was entering the office at a critical time in the nation’s history and assured the new Governor General that he would enjoy the full cooperation of the opposition as he carried out his duties. He further expressed confidence in Professor Hall’s ability to discharge his duties with dignity, diligence and integrity.