School spirit bounces back

2020-02-04 06:00
Sibelius High School learners were taken through a basic coding course in their technology lab last year. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Sibelius High School learners were taken through a basic coding course in their technology lab last year. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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Yet another school has been hit by criminals who broke in and stole essential teaching tools from several classrooms last week.

“We arrived at school on Monday morning (27 January) to find that three classes had been broken into,” says Sibelius High School’s principal, Armien Samodien.

The rooms were stripped of computer equipment. “Three data projectors and other technology have been stolen. They ripped out the support structures – the mounting of the projectors – too. In the technology classroom, there is a smart board with a desktop computer and speakers. They took all of that,” he adds.

The school, which is supported by security company ADT, has not suffered a burglary in “a very long time”.

“It’s not something that happens regularly at the school. We fear someone saw the school as an easy target,” says Samodien.

The thieves entered the school without triggering the revamped security systems or being spotted by nearby residents.

“Last year, we upgraded the electrical system at the school. There’s not a dark patch, so these guys were really taking a chance. We have no idea how they did it because the gates were all locked and there are no holes in the fencing,” he explains.

He says the robbery has affected teaching, which is disappointing as spirits have been high since school started last month. In the past two weeks, the school celebrated top achieving learners and parents showed their support for their childrens’ development.

The cost of the stolen goods will have an impact on the school’s budget, says Samodien. “Fortunately, we are insured. The alumni of Livingstone High School identified the school and gave us two data projectors at the end of last year, so we have some spare,” Samodien says optimistically.

Going forward, the school will be looking at ways to prevent such crimes. “The rooms that were burgled were the ones that had ordinary padlocks.”

The school will be replacing the older padlocks with more secure ones at a cost of R350 each. He says this makes a dent in the budget – money which he would rather have spent on purchasing educational tools for the learners.

Steenberg police spokesperson Sgt Wesley Twigg confirmed that a case of housebreaking and theft had been opened with the police.

“According to reports, some classrooms were broken into and computer equipment to the value of R17 000 were stolen. The suspects are unknown and yet to be arrested.”

  • Anyone with information about this incident, can contact Steenberg police station on 021 702 9000 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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