Kenyan Teacher Wins USD 1 Million Global Teaching Prize in Dubai
By Muhammed Aladdin
Out of 10,000 eligible candidates from all corners of the earth, Franciscan Monk Peter Tabichi from Kenya has been named the winner of the USD 1 million Global Teacher Prize in Dubai. Emotions ran high as the 36-year-old dedicated the well-deserved victory to his father, who raised him after his mother’s death when he was 11.
Tabichi’s story is one of selflessness and love for mankind; a teacher at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya, he used to donate 80 percent of his salary to support pupils, helping them cover the costs of their books and uniforms.
Many of these children come from Kenya’s most underprivileged villages; they are taught in groups of 70 or 80, and the majority have to walk a daily distance of 6 kilometers to reach the school.
Because of the area’s poor internet connection, Tabichi has to travel to an internet cafe to download the necessary resources for his science lessons. However, despite the many setbacks, his students have gone on to participate in a number of national, as well as international, competitions. A particular student has won an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom.
The judges for the Global Teaching Prize have seen that the efforts exerted by this exemplary teacher have helped his students realize a number of achievements. His constant encouragement and defiance of odds have fueled them to pursue their passions and grow.
Tabichi, a member of the Catholic religious order founded by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, told the National in a statement, “Every day in Africa, we turn a new page and a new chapter. This prize does not recognize me but recognizes this great continent’s young people. I am only here because of what my students have achieved. This prize gives them a chance. It tells the world that they can do anything.”
The teacher was presented with the prize in a ceremony attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, who took to Twitter to congratulate Tabichi on his victory and praise his creativity and resourcefulness.
From Dubai, we congratulate the African continent for Global @TeacherPrize winner, Kenyan maths and science teacher @PeterTabichi. The lack of resources at his school was never an obstacle in the face of his creativity. We believe that teachers are the creators of needed change. pic.twitter.com/cBV3PMripV
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) March 24, 2019
At the end of the ceremony, a video message from the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta brought the audience to tears. The head of the Kenyan nation told Tabichi that he was a shining example of what the human spirit can achieve.
“You give me faith that Africa’s best days are ahead of us and your story will light the way for future generations,” he concluded.