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Opaki School burglary a major blow for pupils

Opaki principal Dave Finlayson and Kahure class are not happy about the stolen chrome books. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

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Opaki School’s Kahure class was hit with a blow on Tuesday morning after finding around 36 of their Chromebooks laptops had been stolen during the night.

The Year 5-6 class was badly affected as they use the devices every day for schoolwork.

Principal Dave Finlayson and deputy principal Cathy Sprowson were “gutted” by the theft.

“We’ve not really experienced anything like that in all the time I’ve been here,” Finlayson said.

“There have been small thefts but nothing major like that.”

All the Chromebooks and chargers for the class were taken.

“Chargers, cords, the lot – they’ve just taken everything,” said Finlayson.

“They must have spent a bit of time, too, because all the Chromebooks are wrapped with velcro into the units and are quite hard to get out.”

He said the class of 60 would be significantly disadvantaged by the burglary.

“With classrooms these days, IT is key to their learning,” said Finlayson.

“The teachers have had to re-jig their whole programme.”

Sprowson said the main problem was how the pupils were affected.

“All their reading and writing activities are done through them.

“It takes a lot of planning for the teachers to get everything on the devices. Now they have got nothing to work with.”

Finlayson was glad that pupils’ work was not stored on the device but on the cloud.

“That’s one thing – at least they haven’t lost all their work. That’s the main thing,” he said.

All the Chromebooks are paid for by the school or the fundraising committee, which Finlayson said would be extremely disappointed by the theft.

A senior crime officer from Masterton police went to the school on Tuesday morning and processed the scene, eagerly watched by the class.

Minimal forensic evidence was found but a footprint was processed and CCTV footage will be assessed.

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