Parents are being urged to leave home earlier than usual with their children when school restarts on Monday morning due to the ongoing major road repairs and traffic changes, which could cause excessive delays.
Minister of Education Ruel Reid made the appeal at a back-to-school press conference at the ministry's Heroes Circle offices on Thursday.
He noted that if the traffic situation becomes unbearable across the island, then schools should brace themselves to start later than usual.
"We are not anticipating in the first instance that we should have any difficulty, but I'm saying that we could exercise some flexibility in terms of the start of school if there was really any serious delay over and above what we can control," said the minister.
Over the years, schools have been known to lock out scores of students who showed up late for classes. Reid said that he is not above re-evaluating the situation.
"We will have to send some guidelines to say if school could start a little bit later by virtue of any negative impact," he said.
The minister said that all preparations have been made for the new school year, which includes renovation of some schools, disbursement of operational grants, and delivery of furniture and equipment.
Reid also sought to calm fears surrounding the Primary Exit Profile, which replaces the Grade Six Achievement Test.
"Our readiness survey has been completed, and so far, the analysis shows that of the 762 primary-level schools, over 80 per cent of them are ready. The schedule with those that are not ready is being completed for officers to provide direct support as of Monday," said the education minister.