Big-hearted Kenyan science teacher walks away with a cool $1 million prize-winning ‘World's Best Teacher’ award

Peter Tabichi. (Global Teacher Prize)
  • Peter Tabichi, teaches sciences at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru.
  • The 36-year-old teacher was declared the winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize at a colourful ceremony held in Dubai.
  • In a bid to ensure no student is left behind and continue to see "science is the way to go" Mr Tabichi gives away 80% of his pay to support the students, who otherwise could not afford uniforms or books.

A big-hearted Kenyan science teacher has been named the world's best teacher and awarded a cool $1 million prize (£760,000).

Peter Tabichi, who teaches sciences at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru, was declared the winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize at a colourful ceremony held in Dubai.

The Global Teacher Prize is an annual US $1 million award by the Varkey Foundation to a teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

The judges said that his work at the school had "dramatically improved his pupils' achievement", with many more now going on to college or university, despite resources at the schools being "severely constrained".

"As a teacher working on the front line I have seen the promise of its young people - their curiosity, talent, their intelligence, their belief.

"Africa's young people will no longer be held back by low expectations. Africa will produce scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs whose names will be one day famous in every corner of the world. And girls will be a huge part of this story." Tabichi said on winning the prize.

In a bid to ensure no student is left behind and continue to see "science is the way to go" Mr Tabichi gives away 80% of his pay to support the students, who otherwise could not afford uniforms or books.

"It's not all about money," says Brother Peter, whose pupils are almost all from very disadvantaged families. Many are orphaned or have lost a parent.

The school boasts few textbooks and crowded classes. Classes meant to have 35 to 40 pupils are taught in groups of 70 or 80.

Mr Tabichi is also a Franciscan monk, a member of the Catholic religious order founded by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th Century.

Going forward, the 36-year-old teacher wants to raise aspirations and to promote the cause of science, not just in Kenya but across Africa.

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