Rocky school road poses danger to kids

November 10, 2021
Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School in Stony Hill, St Andrew.
Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School in Stony Hill, St Andrew.
Vice-principal of Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School Orlene Dennie shows the scar she got after she fell along the rocky road.
Vice-principal of Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School Orlene Dennie shows the scar she got after she fell along the rocky road.
A section of the main road that leads to the school.
A section of the main road that leads to the school.
Nicky Robinson complains about the deplorable state of the road in Bowden Hill.
Nicky Robinson complains about the deplorable state of the road in Bowden Hill.
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A few weeks ago, Orlene Dennie, vice-principal of Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School in Stony Hill, St Andrew, narrowly escaped serious injuries after she fell while travelling on the rocky road that leads to the institution.

"My knee was chipped out and I had to dress it, and hopped along," Dennie said.

With the school set to reopen for face-to-face classes on Monday, the educator said she is pleading with the relevant authorities to have the roads fixed in the shortest time possible. She is extremely concerned for the students who will have to walk along the treacherous roadway that leads to the school gate.

"The road is terrible, and it cannot continue like this. This is a really good school and we had about 73 students on our register; but it is now 60, because the parents are moving their children. We do not have a road, but a lot of holes," Dennie said.

The senior teacher old THE STAR that the road has been in a deplorable condition for close to 15 years. Due to its poor state, operators of motor vehicles have decided against driving on the approximately 300-metre long roadway, opting to park their cars and walk to the school gate. Teachers, for example, have been forced to park their vehicles at a nearby church, take off their stilettos, and take on the rugged, five-minute walk to the school.

"I am very concerned for the children, especially the infants, as they are very vulnerable and they like to run. Can you imagine if one of them should run and fall into one of those holes?" Dennie asked.

The hazardous nature of the road manifested itself when THE STAR visited the area yesterday. A resident, Nicky Robinson, was seen walking gingerly along the rocky roads. She was barefooted. She carried in her hands a pair of slippers, or what is left of it. Robinson said she has not only damaged her footwear, but had also injured her foot while walking along the "school road".

"Is almost 30 years mi live round here and the road always bad, but as of recently it get really terrible. This is the second slippers I am losing on this road. Imagine, face-to-face learning is suppose to begin on Monday, and look how terrible the road is. Rain fall like every day, so tell mi how the kids are going to manage?" Robinson asked.

"Mi wring mi foot this morning and it really painful, and I don't want any of the children to have this type of experience," she added.

Tosha Schwapp, councillor of the Stony Hill Division, said she is aware of the issue.

"We are seeing if we can get it fixed, from the square to the school, at the shortest possible time. We must admit that the [COVID] virus has slowed us down where funding is concerned, but we are trying to have at least something drivable in the shortest time," Schwapp said.

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