Students unable to sit exams as Darliston road remains blocked

DARLISTON, Westmoreland - Principals and students are worried that the roadblock from Whithorn to Darliston in the parish will interfere with external exams that are underway, as it is yet to be cleared.

For a second day, the road remains blocked rendering it impassable to vehicular and passenger traffic.

Residents blocked the road on Monday morning, and are demanding that the relevant authorities intervene and fix the road.

READ: WATCH: Darliston residents, taxi operators protest bad road conditions

This has forced schools to be closed, and commercial activities are at a standstill.

A student of Manning’s school who lives in the community and who did not want to be identified by name told OBSERVER ONLINE that she missed an exam yesterday.

“I haven’t been able to go to school, it is still impassable down by Whithorn and all other entrances and exits,” she explained.

“I missed an exam yesterday - Physical Education CAPE [Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination ] that was scheduled for 8 am.”

The student is hoping that the roads will be cleared so that she can sit her remaining exam.

She said while she understands that the road needs to be fixed, students should have been notified of the roadblock beforehand.

“They [the residents] should have taken us [the students] into consideration.

Meanwhile, Principal for the Maud Mcleod High school in Darliston, Avis Bailey-Coleman told OBSERVER ONLINE that the roads remain blocked.

“The students and teachers, we can’t get in and out, so to be on the safe side we had to close and revert to online classes,” Bailey-Coleman said.

She said they had partial school yesterday because some students arrived early for the 7 am shift. However, the afternoon shift was shut out and had to go online.

The educator is hoping that the thoroughfare will be cleared today.

“I hope they do clear it up today because tomorrow [Wednesday] will be the City and Guild Exams for two days, and external exams begin next week for the grade 11s,” she noted.

She is encouraging her students to stay focused and positive. And urged the eleventh graders to prepare for their exams.

Communications Officer for the National Works Agency western region Janel Ricketts told OBSERVER ONLINE that the roads are still blocked but that they will be cleared.

“It is a significant blockage and we hope to start [clearing] in short order,” she reassured.

Ricketts is appealing to residents to desist from blocking the roads as it is an expensive project to clear.

She shared that the roads will be fixed, but in the interim, a patching program will take place once the procurement process is completed.

“We are seeking to do rehabilitation of that particular stretch of road, but it’s still early days yet.

-Kimberley Peddie

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