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Swaziland stops school trip to “unstable” Turkey

The political upheaval in Turkey has forced the government of Swaziland to stop a trip for 18 pre-schoolers who were bound for the Eurasian nation to participate in an international exchange programme next month.The children from Little Academy Pre-school were supposed to travel in April after their parents approved of the trip and further paid $112 000 towards travelling expenses for each of them.

Speaking in Mbabane on Monday, the school director, Faye Miller said her school was invited by a municipal council in Turkey to be part of over 40 schools representing their countries in celebration of International Children’s Day.

She said the invitation carried a promise that each group of pupils would be assigned a bodyguard to ensure security for the children.

However, turning down the school’s request to travel, the Swazi Ministry of Education and Training on Monday said the children were too young to be exposed to a country where there have been recent bomb attacks after some serious political upheavals that had led to deaths.

Director of Education Dr Sibongile Mtshali said the school also failed to furnish the ministry with a letter from Swaziland’s ambassador to Turkey assuring them that the place the children planned to visit in Turkey was safe.

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