Friday, March 18, 2016

Dahlia Harris Resign Amid Backlash


That was quick. Less than a month, 15 days to be exact, 
Dahlia Harris resigned has Director of Culture in the Ministry of Education, Information and Youth.


Harris, who succeeded Amina Blackwood Meeks as the in the education ministry, she resigned from the position on Thursday.
She was employed on March 3. 
A statement released from the Ministry of Education confirmed Harris' resignation.
"The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information today received a letter of resignation from Ms Dahlia Harris, who was contracted on  March 3, 2016 to work with the Ministry's Culture in Education Programme, which includes the promotion of Civics, Citizenship and Entrepreneurship within the Arts," the ministry said.
"The reasons for Ms Harris' resignation are private and confidential."
 
Calls to get a comment from Harris went unanswered but a number of persons have since expressed their sentiments about the resignation. 
In a statement released by Harris on Facebook she explained her resignation.
Statement: 
This will be the only statement issued by me regarding today’s resignation. First, I would like to rubbish the nonsensical arguments regarding the post. Basic reasoning would have clarified the flaws in the argument of me being terminated while working under the PNP and then out of the blue being “rushed” into a job overnight by that same administration one year and 8 months later, just as the JLP won the election. 
Two, I have never been politically appointed. Like the rest of the nation I have seen advertisements in the public domain, submitted my resume and be interviewed. This has happened under both governments and not just in recent history. Some NGO’s, non Jamaican companies and the local private sector have approached me from time to time based on scope of work and my qualifications. I am a hard worker. I know what it is to struggle for my achievements. There has never been an easy path for me in any area of my life. I have never been the recipient of handouts at any level. This is what motivates me to contribute at a national level to making Jamaica a better place for my fellow man. 
Three, that factions from both political parties have accused me of being on opposing sides, and thus my appointment, suggests that neither side has evidence of me being partisan. My engagement with the public has always demanded respect for the leaders of either party. I have endorsed members of both sides based on what I have viewed as their potential to lead this country forward. 
My social media history will show that long before she was announced as a candidate I was one of the first individuals to suggest that Juliet Holness would make an ideal representative based on my experience with her when we were both student leaders. I have endorsed Raymond Pryce for this same reason. I have dear friends that are from either side. I respect them equally. 
Four, my resignation is driven from a position of Jamaica first. It is contemptible to observe the defamatory statements being hurled at me in the public sphere, at both the personal and professional levels. My resignation is not however out of an effort to protect myself, it is out of the need to preserve the efforts of the Culture in Education programme and its value to the society. I will not allow my presence to overshadow the hard work of the many individuals who have contributed to it thus far and the success of its implementation. I am not prepared to remain at the Ministry at the expense of the well being of my coworkers. We claimed Independence as one nation. That is the only way that we will move forward. It has been disheartening for me to accept that at some levels what is said to the public about having the interest of all Jamaicans at heart totally differs from what is practiced. 
Finally, I want to thank those of you who offered overwhelming support not just to me but to the well being of the programme. Now, more than ever, Jamaica needs citizens who will become engaged in its growth and management at all levels. I will continue to personally serve the Youth, through Culture and Education, as I have done since I was a child. I welcome those individuals who like me wish to create a neutral space where Youth are free to develop without bias or influence. The kind of discussion surrounding my appointment underscores that Culture in Education is not just critical towards the development of well thinking, responsible citizens, it is a national priority. Sitting on the fence is no longer an option. Commit to active participation “so that Jamaica may’. As for me…before God and all mankind, I will continue to pledge the love and loyalty of my heart. Blessings. 

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