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Dutch schools will no longer visit cities abroad hit by terrorism

Dutch school trips no longer include visits to destinations abroad that have been hit by terrorist attacks, a new poll showed.

Published: February 14, 2018, 12:27 pm

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    Educational research bureau DUO polled 200 secondary schools and over two thirds of the respondents expressed doubts about school children being exposed to such danger.

    Many schools have already scrapped big destinations such as London, Paris and Berlin and are favouring smaller cities, like Valencia in Spain or Glasgow in Scotland.

    Some schools are even avoiding all European capitals.

    A small number of schools said they are abolishing trips abroad altogether, because of the risks involved in sending teachers abroad with a group of teenagers.

    “Safety is relative, of course. Something could happen at home as well,” the AD quotes school administrator Rob Aarts as saying.

    Parents play an important role when it comes to deciding a destination, according to the researchers.

    Over half of the schools polled, showed that some pupils were not allowed to go on a school trip abroad because their parents objected.

    “Many schools respect the opinion of the parents although the ultimate decision lies with them,” DUO researcher Liesbeth van der Woud told the paper.

    Some 83 percent of secondary schools in the Netherlands organise trips abroad.

    The Dutch poll coincided with a chilling report by Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC) that found that new and “more destructive methods” of attack will emerge in the next two years.

    It came as British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson warned during a summit in Rome this week that the threat posed by militants was “evolving and intensifying”.

    The report noted that the terror threat would rise as jihadis from Western countries fighting in Iraq and Syria return home with battle-hardened skills, including high-tech methods of attack.

    Over the next five to 10 years, the threat of Islamist convicts are likely to exacerbate the risk of radicalisation in prisons.

    “Security services will struggle to adequately monitor a combination of returning militants, an increased number of radical Islamist networks involved in the propagation of terrorism, and the radicalisation risks associated with a substantially increasing Islamist prison population.”

    Data analysed by JTIC also found that those inmates could be released between 2019 and 2023, to take over operational roles.

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