President David Granger has announced that Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton will, as of September 1, take over responsibility for Culture Youth and Sport, allowing Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry to focus on improving the quality of and access to education countrywide.
A release from the Ministry of the Presidency today said that Dr. Norton will remain Minister of Social Cohesion at the Ministry of the Presidency, with the new addition to his portfolio. However, his office will now be located at the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport on Main Street. The release said that the change forms part of Government’s efforts to ensure the effective delivery of critical public services.
In an invited comment, Dr. Norton said that he is grateful for the confidence reposed in him by the President and looks forward to the new portfolio.
“I am very excited about this. There is no doubt about my interest in Sports and I have been exposed to the various cultures across the country. In my role as Minister of Social Cohesion, I have been privileged to work with all the groups across the country and so I have an understanding of what is needed already. I have always been vocal about youth opportunities and… I certainly see the youth population as being the agents of change, who can make social cohesion a reality in Guyana and so I look forward to doing my best in both worlds,” he said.
Dr Norton was previously the Minister of Public Health but was moved from the position this year after a series of controversies.
Henry assumed the position of Minister of Education when the former holder of the office, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine was shunted to the Ministry of the Presidency. Her assumption of the post then had raised eyebrows as it wasn’t thought in some circles that she was the appropriate choice for that position.