A science teacher from a secondary school in Kenya has emerged the winner of the $1 million Global Teacher Prize for 2019.
The teacher, Peter Tabichi, is from a remote village in Kenya’s Rift Valley and teaches at the Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani village.
He was able to claim the prize after beating nine finalists from around the world at a ceremony on Saturday in Dubai hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Jackman.
While receiving the prize, Tabichi who organisers say gives away 80 per cent of his monthly income to the poor said, “Every day in Africa we turn a new page and a new chapter. This prize does not recognise me but recognises 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,”he said.
The Dubai-based Varkey Foundation, which organises the event and handed out the prize for the fifth time, praised Tabichi’s “dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his students’ talent”.
In a statement, the Foundation said Tabichi “has led his poorly-resource school in remote rural Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions
“Around 95 per cent of the school’s pupils hail from poor families, almost a third are orphans or have only one parent, and many go without food at home,”
“Drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, dropping out early from school, young marriages and suicide are common”, the statement added.
BBC reports that the award is intended to raise the status of the teaching profession and the 2018 winner was an art teacher from north London, Andria Zafirakou.
Similarly in a congratulatory message to Tabichi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said “your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent”.