New school tablets stolen in Pattani

At least 100 newly delivered tablet computers were stolen from schools in the southern border province of Pattani in the past week, and the figure could be higher because school officials were reluctant to reveal the thefts.

The thefts occurred at schools in Educational Service Areas 1, 2 and 3 in Pattani.

The thieves broke into classrooms and teachers' rooms to take computer tablets that had just been delivered for secondary students at the start of this school term.

Some of the stolen computers had not yet been registered in the stock records of the schools. Tablets previously delivered for primary students were not touched.

The schools targetted by the thieves included Ban Bara Hom and Ban Kamiyor schools in Muang Pattani district, Ban Bon school in Sai Buri district and Ban Phithen school in Thung Yang Daeng district, among others.

Executives of some schools were reluctant to report the loss, but their supervisors had ordered them to send in reports so that replacements could be acquired.

Local authorities suspected organised crime with inside information because the robbers knew that new tablet computers had just reached local schools, and ignored older tablets earlier registered and distributed to primary students.

A local teacher in Muang Pattani district, w ho asked not to be named, said  it was unlikely insurgents had anything to do with the theft, otherwise similar thefts would have occurred long ago.

The National Council for Peace and Order has now cancelled the student tablet computer project, which was a flag policy of the previous government, saying it was not cost efficient.

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