A Kenyan teacher has made it to the top 10 finalists for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019, which was announced on Thursday that will see the winner walk away with US$1 million awards, the largest prize of its kind.
Peter Tabichi, a Maths and Physics teacher at Keriko Secondary School, Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya, has been named after being selected from over 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries around the world.
Speaking after being announced as a top 10 finalist Peter said he was pleased.
“This nomination has made me view teachers as superstars that the world needs to recognize. My enormous salute goes to all of this year’s finalists who have transformed and are transforming the lives of learners and that of the society in different ways. Very special thanks to the Global Teacher Prize Team for selecting me.”
Peter Tabichi is a science teacher who gives away 80% of his monthly income to help the poor.
His dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his students’ talent has led his poorly-resourced school in remote rural Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions.
Peter’s school is located in a rural area where school dropouts are high.
Undeterred, Peter started a talent nurturing club and expanded the school’s Science Club, helping pupils design research projects of such quality that 60% now qualify for national competitions.
Peter 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.
Peter saw his village school come first nationally in the public school’s category. The Mathematical Science team also qualified to participate at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair 2019 in Arizona, USA, for which they’re currently preparing.
His students have also won an award from The Royal Society of Chemistry after harnessing local plant life to generate electricity.
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.
Enrolment has doubled to 400 over three years, and cases of indiscipline have fallen from 30 per week to just three. In 2017, only 16 out of 59 students went on to college, while in 2018, 26 students went to university and college.
Peter is the only African teacher who made it to the top 10 finals.
The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognize one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.
The winner will be announced at the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday 24 March 2019.