A Kenyan science teacher has been awarded a $1 million prize reward after being crowned the best teacher in the world. He is renowned for donating a huge part of his monthly earning to assisting poor students. He knocked off 10,000 applications from a total of 179 countries around the world.
The 36-year-old Peter Tabichi teaches mathematics and physics at Keriko secondary school located in Purani Village. Tabichi won this year’s edition of the Varkey Foundation Global Teachers Prize. He is a member of the Franciscan Religious order and had to travel all the way to Dubai to receive his prize at a ceremony hosted by Hugh Jackman.
This teacher used to give 80% of his monthly earnings to assist his poorest students. The school is highly overcrowded and poorly equipped and these students couldn’t have afforded uniforms or books without him.
The school has just one computer and a very poor internet connection as well as a student-teacher ratio of 58:1. Tabichi began a “talent nurturing club” and helped grow the school’s science club. Several students worked on projects that entered for national and international competitions. A set of them won an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for their work in generating electricity from local plant life.
Tabichi, along with four of his colleagues, worked together to give private tuition to students in mathematics and science. They went as far as meeting the pupils’ parents at their homes to discuss their children’s challenges.
Tabichi, while receiving his prize, said the results his students achieved were instrumental in helping him win the award. He said he was glad that this award had brought their achievements to the limelight. The Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, in a video message to Tabichi, said his life story was similar to the story of Africa, a continent blessed with so many talented youths.
The founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said he expects Tabichi’s award to inspire others to become teachers. This is the fifth edition of the award which was designed to applaud the roles of teachers in the society.