Teacher from remote Kenya village is world's best, wins $1 mn

Leroy Wright
March 26, 2019

The school, with a student-teacher ration of 58 to 1, has only one desktop computer for the pupils and poor internet, but despite that Tabichi "uses ICT in 80 per cent of his lessons to engage students", the foundation said.

Winning a $1 million prize, Tabichi will also serve as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation, attending public events and speaking in public forums about improving the prestige of the teaching profession.

When he was applying for the competition past year, Mr Tabichi, told the Nation, he was just trying his luck.

"You give me faith that Africa's best days are ahead of us and your story will light the way for future generations".

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

Peter Tabichi won the $1 million (£760,000) Global Teacher Prize for 2019 on Saturday.

"At times, whenever I reflect on the challenges they face, I shed tears", he said of his students, adding that his win will help give them confidence.

The teacher mentored his pupils through the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair 2018-where students showcased a device they had invented to allow blind and deaf people to measure objects. You are a shining example on what the human spirit can achieve not just for Kenya, not just for Africa but the world.

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A member of the Roman Catholic brotherhood, Tabichi was dressed in a plain floor-length brown robe to receive the award from Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Thanks to Tabichi, 60% of students submitting research projects to national competitions are qualifying.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Tabichi in a video message, saying "your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent".

"I'm immensely proud of my students", Tabichi told the foundation. The mathematical science team qualified to compete the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair this year in Arizona. And his students also won an award from The Royal Society of Chemistry after harnessing local plant life to generate electricity.

The original top 50 shortlisted teachers was narrowed down to ten finalists by a Prize Committee.

Now in its fifth year, the prize is the largest of its kind, and has become one of the most coveted and prestigious awards for teachers. The victor is chosen by a committee composed of teachers, journalists, officials, entrepreneurs, business leaders and scientists.

Mr Tabichi was chosen as the victor out of an original list of 10,000 candidates from around the world.

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