As Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu was releasing the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam results on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, a desperate mother of seven from Awaat village in Teso North Sub-county, Busia County watched in tears with her son not among the candidates.
Annet Etyang’s son, Ian Etyang, aged 15 years, who was due to sit for the exams, disappeared mysteriously in May 2022 and has never been traced.
Despite the matter being reported at Malaba police station under the OB/10/19/5/2022 and the search for the missing pupil launched immediately, the efforts have not yielded anything to date.
The fifty-two-year-old mother told The Scholar Media Africa on the phone that her son had been learning at Fruit Vine Academy private school in Amagoro Township.
She says that despite the persuasion when schools reopened in April 2022, the boy did not join his classmates for remedial studies in preparation for the KCPE exam.
“I cannot tell why my son who had all along been very obedient and hardworking changed his mind all of a sudden and refused to go to school,” she explained amid sobs.
“We have searched for my missing son everywhere without success. We are therefore appealing to any member of the public who might have come across him to get in touch with us through the mobile phone numbers 0724919239, 0746772546 or any nearest police station,” she added.
The boy’s mother, at the same time, said her son had resolved to put more effort in his studies so he could be able to score high marks in his KCPE exam and join an excellent secondary school and eventually a university that would have enabled him to realize his dream of becoming a doctor.
“My son Ian had a promising future. He had resolved to work hard at school to achieve his dream of progressing to the university to undertake a doctorate course,” the mother recalled.
His elder brother Ahab Etyang, too, expressed concern over the mysterious disappearance of his younger brother, saying on learning of the matter, he returned home from Nairobi and teamed up with fellow villagers in combing the nearby forests, farms, and even the river banks in an effort to find the missing boy, to no avail.
Although abduction cases have been on the rise, especially in the Western Region, he ruled out any abduction suspicion saying his younger brother had in recent days developed a queer habit of escaping from home without the knowledge of his mother and other members of the family.
“My younger brother had at one time left home for Nairobi without informing mum and other siblings. Stranded at the bus park, he was picked by a Good Samaritan who brought him to me only to realize he was my younger brother. After a few days, I sent him back home so he could go back to school, only to disappear again,” Ahab narrated.
Apart from reporting the matter to the police, he says, he also alerted the area chief, who promised to spread the message regarding the boy’s mysterious disappearance to the members of the public via a public baraza.
The missing boy’s elder brother is appealing to the police to continue assisting them in the hunt for their missing brother.
The deputy head teacher of Fruit Vine Academy, Jacqueline Tabuka, and the entire school community expressed great shock over the pupil’s mysterious disappearance.
She said the missing pupil was disciplined, hardworking, and got on well with his classmates during the group studies.
“We had banked all hopes on the missing boy owing to his excellent and promising academic performance and we had expected him to score over 400 marks in his KCPE exam, but we are very disappointed over his mysterious disappearance,” said the deputy school head.
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She also added that due to the pupil’s commitment to learning and exceptional discipline, he will be allowed to return to school and sit for his KCPE exam next year.
“If he happens to show up, we shall give him a second chance to return to school so he can be able to sit for his KCPE exam come 2023,” she said.