Homa Bay family now calls for help over missing teacher

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A family in Karabondi, Homa Bay county is looking for their kin, a primary school teacher, who left home for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations marking never to return.

Moses Odumbe of Kogana Primary School, Rachuonyo North Sub county is reported to have disappeared when he went to mark KCPE exams in Nairobi early this month.

Odumbe, 49, is reported to have left home for St Georges Girls Secondary school in Nairobi where he was to mark the exams.

According to his wife Joyce Odumbe, the teacher left his home at Kogana Village on November 8 at 5.30 pm.

He traveled safely and arrived in Nairobi the following day.

“We went to his nephew’s house in Kikuyu where he rested for some time before leaving for the examination marking centre,” said Joyce.

Prior to his departure, Mr Odumbe had informed his family that teachers’ phones would be confiscated during marking exercise. This would reduce the frequency of their communication.

Joyce and her family became suspicious after the father of six children failed to communicate to them even during breaks.

The last communication he had with the family members was on Sunday of that week when he pledged to send his son school fees to enable him to graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, but he has never sent the money.

The family’s fear was aggravated on Monday last week when Education CS George Magoha released the results.

Joyce and her relatives in Nairobi began tracing Mr Odumbe’s journey to the examination marking centre.

But their findings in the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) offices revealed that Mr Odumbe never participated in the exercise.

“KNEC officials told us that my husband checked into the exam marking centre, but he never marked any exam paper as he disappeared soon after,” said Joyce.

They have unsuccessfully looked for him at various places.

Joyce called on the KNEC to intervene and help her get her husband. “My husband left home for an exercise organised by KNEC. I call on the council to liaise with the other government agencies to help me find him,” she added.

Reported to TSC

Kogana headteacher Carol Onyango said she had reported the matter to the office of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in the County. “It is sad that the teacher has gone missing. I reported the matter to the TSC office to help us look for him,” said Ms Onyango.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) chairman in Homa Bay County Patrick Were challenged the KNEC to intensify safety of teachers during exams marking.

“It is a fault on the KNEC’s side that there are records of how the teacher signed into the marking centre but they lack his records of signing out. KNEC should ensure teachers who mark exams are safe,” said Were.

He called on security agencies to investigate the whereabouts of the teacher.

“The teacher’s family is suffering because they don’t know whether he is alive or dead. Let investigative agencies intervene in this matter,” said Were.

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Didan Odhiambo