At least 820 students of the Ann Sandell Independent School, along the Police Academy Road in Paynesville, cannot return to classes today, as dust from the unpaved road has completely overtaken their campus and community.
The 24-classroom building, which includes offices and reading rooms, has been clouded with dust making it very difficult for instructional activities to take place.
Our reporter, who visited the community over the weekend, noticed that the dust in the area was produced from the Police Academy Road; which is yet to be paved by the government.
The government started the road construction project since October last year.
In an exclusive interview, the proprietress of the school, Leabeh Gbowee, said the school’s administration has decided to suspend classes indefinitely due to the situation.
She said that the parents have been informed of the decision.
According to her, the extreme dust on the campus started a weeks ago.
“The dust in this area is being produced due to the deplorable road conditions of the Police Academy road. It is nearly impossible to run classes with this campus in such a condition. Therefore, we have concluded that students should remain at their homes until something can be done,” Ms. Gbowee explained.
She said convening classes for the students could create a serious health hazard.
“The dust is producing a serious cold for many of us living in this community. All of our cooking utensils and clothes need constant washing,” she said detailing her frustration.
“We want the government to come quickly and find a solution to the problem to allow our students to return for school,” she added.
Ms. Gbowee explained the school was established in 1994 to give education to less fortunate children in the community.
“The school is an initiative of my family. We intend to help parents who cannot afford high tuition,” she stated.
Henry Wehyee, a motorcyclist in Police Academy told this paper that the dust makes movement difficult for them and pedestrians.
“We find it very hard to ride on this road because we can’t see ahead. Our passengers complain about the dust causing serious problem as they ride on the bikes,” he detailed.
The proprietress of the M. Plaza Restaurant, Lucy Flomo, stated that that the dust has prevented people from visiting her establishment.
“I am losing customers as a result of this problem,” she said angrily.