Local Government Ministry Collaborates with MIND

Photo: Donald De La Haye Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is in the final stages of collaborating with the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) for the training of local government officials.
  • “There is no curriculum in Jamaica that speaks to local government,” Mr. McKenzie said, adding that the Ministry is now in the process of having such a curriculum drafted based on a course in how local government works.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. McKenzie said local government representatives need to improve in some areas, including making public statements, understanding their roles, handling criticisms, and even personal deportment.

The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is in the final stages of collaborating with the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) for the training of local government officials.

This was noted by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, in his address to mayors and councillors from Manchester, St Elizabeth, and Clarendon at the second in a series of sensitisation sessions, held at the Golf View Hotel, in Mandeville, on January 18.

“There is no curriculum in Jamaica that speaks to local government,” Mr. McKenzie said, adding that the Ministry is now in the process of having such a curriculum drafted based on a course in how local government works.

The six-month course will be offered by MIND, and five persons have been chosen – two from Kingston and St Andrew, and one each from St Elizabeth, St. Mary, and Hanover – as the course participants.

“We have to encourage young people to know what local government is all about, and once the programme starts, councillors can choose persons from their divisions to participate,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Mr. McKenzie said local government representatives need to improve in some areas, including making public statements, understanding their roles, handling criticisms, and even personal deportment.

He also cautioned them not to get involved in “street politics” and not to prioritise politics over the interests of the people they serve.

Presentations were also made by Director of the Legal Unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development; Sophia Knight-Williams; Chief of State Protocol in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Elinor Felix; President of the Local Government Association of Jamaica, Councillor Scean Barnswell, and Executive Director of the Social Development Commission (SDC), Dwayne Vernon.

The two days of sensitisation sessions ended yesterday (January 19).

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