What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
They are fine. Not the best for younger kids,but they suffice. There is a Waterford school for high school aged kids and it is a FANTASTIC school, but the kids have to take a test and be admitted. - Oct 2019
We've had mixed feelings about the schools here. When we first arrived, our children attended the Montessori International Preschool. We were neutral about this school. We did have some issues, like when they renovated and construction workers were carrying huge pieces of wood with rusty nails through swarms of 3-6 year olds. I also didn't really trust the director. She lied to me on a few different occasions about incidents that happened at school. There are several other preschools here, though. Currently many of the little kids go to Evergreen Preschool, and all the parents seem pretty happy. Our son attended Usutu Forest School for grade 1, and it was truly the most stressful year of my life. His teacher would call me weekly to tell me how he wasn't coloring in the lines and she thought he wasn't keeping up with the class. I would drive out there almost weekly (40 minutes in each direction) so she could compare him to the kids in class doing the best work. She would literally pull out the other kids' work and put it side by side with my son's to show me how behind she thought he was. As a 6 and 7-year-old, he was getting 90 minutes of homework a night. I hired him a tutor who used to work at the school and she worked with him 2 days a week. She was so appalled by the amount of homework, she called the school to complain. Mind you, they have a no homework policy. The last straws for me were when his teacher called him a misfit while in a meeting with me, and also when another boy pulled a knife on him and threatened to kill him, and the school did nothing, citing "boys being boys." I wish I could say these were isolated incidents, but I have many friends who pulled their children out of Usutu over the last 2 years because of bullying issues, problems with teachers, etc. These children are from all walks of life, Swazi, Scottish, and South African, and they were all experiencing the same issues. Currently my children are attending the Montessori Primary School, and I couldn't be happier. It's a total turn-around from our experience last year. The high school here, Waterford, gets great reviews from parents for the IB program, but some people complain that their children in the lower grades (starting at 7th) are not being challenged and are given work well below their grade level. Many Swazi's with money send their children to boarding school in South Africa. - Mar 2015
There are very good local and international schools here, but I don't have any experience with them. - Feb 2011
For high-school-age kids, there are some fantastic schools. Elementary schools are fine. Haven't heard many complaints. - May 2010
There are no international schools here. There are approved local schools, though, both primary and secondary. The high school offers an IB program but as there are no high school kids at post now I know very little about it. There are two approved elementary schools- Sifundzani and Usutu Forrest School. About half of the embassy kids go to each. Usutu has smaller classes and offers kindergarten, but it is quite a ways out of town. Both primary schools follow the British system and Sifundzani starts at Grade 1. Both offer plenty of extra-curricular activities including computer classes, soccer, tennis, cricket, swimming...The school year is based on the Southern Hemisphere calendar, running January through December and classes are from 7:30 to 12:30. - Mar 2008