Punta Arenas school children receive wood pieces instead of laptops
Chile’s Ministry of Education has ordered an administrative and criminal investigation into the disappearance of laptops to be distributed among school children.
Punta Arenas seventh graders Nicolás Moya and Jennifer Vergara got home from school Monday carrying boxes they believed were holding their new personalized computers. But when they got home and opened the boxes, all they found were pieces of wood of about the same size and weight as their computers would have been.
“The boxes weighed exactly the same as those that did have computers in them,” the school’s director Laura Campos told local media. “What hurts me the most is that this affects the children, from the lower middle class public schools.”
The computers were donated to students at the Portugal Primary School in Punta Arenas through a program called “Yo Elijo Mi PC” (I choose my computer). The aim is to reward students with good academic standing at poorer schools.
Of the 27 computers that were sent to the school only two were bogus. And since all of the computers came from different companies, it is difficult to pinpoint where the robbery took place.
Immediately following the discovery of the theft, Campos contacted Junaeb, a branch of the ministry of education that helps oversee the distribution of computers.
Junaeb initiated an investigation to determine when and where the computers were stolen, and the students received replacement computers on Wednesday from the computer companies.
“You don’t trample with children’s illusions; from now on Junaeb, even if it takes time and delays distribution will have to check all boxes before delivery”, said Chilean Education minister Joaquín Lavín in Santiago.
So far 20.000 of the 60.000 laptops to distribute have been delivered, and the deadline for completion is April 30.
Junaeb chief Juan Carlos Cabezas said that “in a few days we are going to introduce laser technology to exactly monitor contents. We want no repeat of what happened at Escuela Portugal in Punta Arenas.
By Lindsay Fendt – Santiago Times