Kenyan Science Teacher Receives $1 Million Prize as The World’s Best Teacher


Peter Tabichi, a Kenyan science teacher and Franciscan monk, won a $1 million prize from the Varkey foundation Global Teacher Prize. Tabichi teaches maths and physics at Keriko Secondary School in Pwani Village. The award, announced in a ceremony in Dubai hosted by actor High Jackman, recognises the “exceptional” teacher’s commitment to pupils in a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Poor infrastructure and resources hinder the students ability to learn, the school has only one computer and weak internet connection which makes it difficult to download learning resources and Tabichi decided to take action by giving away 80% of his salary every month to students to support their tuition, uniforms, and books.

His pupils have gone on to be successful in national and international science competitions, including an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK. With many new going on to university despite the odds stacked against them, the judges said that his work at the school had “dramatically improved his pupils’ achievement”

Accepting the prize, Tabichi said: “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.” 

Tabichi said Africa’s young people would 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,” he said.

“I believe science and technology can play a leading role in unlocking Africa’s potential. It’s morning in Africa. The skies are clear. This is Africa’s time.”

The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, said in a video message: “Peter, your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent.”

The competition was created to raise the status of the teaching profession, founded by Sunny Varkey who says he hopes Tabichi’s story “will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over Kenya and throughout the world every day”.

Nasir Ahmed Achile

Philosophy nut. I recommend Albert Camus and Eckhart Tolle to everyone I know.

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