Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE -

ELAINE FOS­TER Allen, ed­u­ca­tor and a former per­ma­nent sec­re­tary, be­lieves that not enough per­sons are aware that any­one can nom­i­nate some­one for a na­tional hon­our, and this has left the nom­i­na­tions in the hands of se­nior public ser­vants and politi­cians. This, she lamented, has led, par­tially, to na­tional hon­ours be­ing awarded to per­sons who seem to be aligned with one po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion or an­other.

“Some­times it is dif­fi­cult to ap­ply the cri­te­ria to the award granted to some per­sons,” Fos­ter Allen com­mented. She em­pha­sised that the awards are meant to cel­e­brate ex­cel­lence in a field or fields of en­deav­our, and that they should recog­nise sus­tained ef­fort and per­for­mance and not just long ser­vice which might, in fact, be medi­ocre.

Fos­ter Allen said that a na­tional sys­tem of hon­ours and awards must point to cer­tain prin­ci­ples which can be recog­nised, and af­firmed as “tried and tested prin­ci­ples that are good for the na­tion”.

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