Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi (centre) holding up the Global Teacher Prize (GTP) trophy Australian actor Hugh Jackman (C-L) and attended by the Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum (C-R) Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi (centre) holding up the Global Teacher Prize (GTP) trophy Australian actor Hugh Jackman (C-L) and attended by the Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum (C-R) Photo Credit GESF

Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi wins 2019 global prize

Mar 25, 2019

A maths and physics teacher from a secondary school in a remote village in Kenya's Rift Valley has won the $1m Global Teacher Prize for 2019, organisers have said.

Peter Tabichi, who is giving away 80 percent of his salary to support poor students, received the prize at a ceremony on Sunday in Dubai, hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Jackman.

On winning the prize, Peter Tabichi said:

“Every day in Africa we turn a new page and a new chapter. Today is another day. 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.

“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.

“I believe science and technology can play a leading role in unlocking Africa’s potential. We all know that scientific discovery and innovation fuel progress, facilitate development and can tackle issues such as food insecurity, water shortages and climate change.

“It’s morning in Africa. The skies are clear. The day is young and there is a blank page waiting to be written. This is Africa’s time.”

Peter Tabichi, who is also a Franciscan brother teaches at a rural Kenyan school in Pwani Village, with only one computer, poor internet and a student-teacher ratio of 58:1.

Nearly all his students are from poor families, and almost a third of them are orphans or have only one parent.

Tabichi gets online educational content by visiting internet cafes and using them offline in class, according to his profile from the Varkey Foundation.

Despite teaching in a school with only one desktop computer with an intermittent connection, Peter uses ICT in 80% of his lessons to engage students, visiting internet cafes and caching online content to be used offline in class. Through making his students believe in themselves, Peter has dramatically improved his pupils’ achievement and self-esteem.

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

 

By: Ebenezer Sasu

 

 

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