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JM | Dec 1, 2021

Dorrett Campbell to take charge as interim principal at Edna Manley

/ Our Today

administrator

Dorrett Campbell, deputy chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, has been seconded to the Edna Manley College of the Performing and Visual Arts (EMCPVA) as interim principal effective today (December 1).

In a statement, the ministry said the college has faced a number of operational challenges over the past two years and Campbell would provide strategic and administrative leadership to the institution.

“She has more than 30 years of service to the Jamaican education sector, serving at different levels – as secondary teacher of English, senior lecturer at the Mico University College, education officer, director of communications and as deputy chief education officer in charge of Schools Operations & School Improvement Services since December 2012,” the ministry said.

“She also served the Caribbean Community for six years as communications specialist in the Office of the Secretary-General at the CARICOM Secretariat.”

EDNA MANLEY IN TURMOIL

The ministry indicated that Campbell was expected to see to the full and proper functioning of the finance and administrative services, human resources operations and facilities planning and management at Edna Manley.

Two year ago, in August 2019, Edna Manley was thrown into turmoil as school administrators were heavily criticised for what was considered their failure to adequately address sexual harassment allegations against a male lecturer at the institution.

As the controversy escalated, the lecturer was sent on leave, pending a hearing.

Dr Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson (Photo: Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts)

Principal Dr Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson was also sent on leave of absence, in a move that was criticised by some who said she was being used as a scapegoat. During the two years since then, DeGrasse-Johnson has brought legal challenges, even taking the institution to the Supreme Court last year.

The matter however remains unresolved.

In its statement, the education ministry noted that, in addition to leading the daily operations of the College, Campbell will work with the Board of Directors to provide policy support and operational guidance with the aim of making the college more responsive to the national objectives and the need to lead in the creative industries.

Dorrett Campbell (Photo: Twitter @Dorrett Campbell)

“The Edna Manley College’s place in the creative industry has been cemented over the decades since its predecessor training institutions in the 1940s and its being officially designated a college in 1995,” the ministry said.

“Today, EMCPVA trains students in visual arts, music, dance, drama, arts management and humanities, and a myriad of allied programmes to include costume design, event planning, interior decorating, metal jewelry making, interior decorating and photography.”

The ministry said it stood fully in support of the turn-around needed to restore confidence in the College, “thus allowing it to seek strategic collaborations, expand its curriculum offerings and become the regional magnet for the production of creative works”.

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