In recent weeks since the Briceno administration came to power, the Prime Minister has been accused of massive nepotism. In one of the cited instances is where the Prime Minister’s cousin, Yolanda Gongora, was appointed as the Chief Education Officer. Our newsroom spoke with Education Minister Francis Fonseca to ask him if his pick for CEO was influenced by the Prime Minister.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “I think we do a disservice to a well educated, highly experienced woman like Ms.Yolanda Gongora when we make that sort of assertion. I worked with Ms.Gongora when I was the Minister of Education back in 2003 to 2008 personally, she was the director of General School Services at the Ministry of Education so I know what she brings to the job of Chief Education Officer. She’s highly qualified, she’s highly experienced and she has served both in the public service and she has served as people would know as the principal of St.John’s College High School and as most recently as the principal of Gwen Lizarraga High School so she brings a wide scope of experience from both sides. And absolutely it was the decision that I made because I have worked with her in the past and I know the depth of her experience and I needed someone like that who understood how the public service works, who understood how the Ministry of Education works to effectively move quickly on all the reforms that we want to take place.”