A 36-year-old teacher from a remote village in Kenya who has spent much of his working life giving to poor students and community members in need has been rewarded with the sum of $1 million and been crowned “the best teacher in the world”.
Peter Tabichi, a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village in Kenya could not hide his tears of joy when he was declared winner of the $1m prize, beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries.
The prestigious award was given to him by Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019 at a ceremony in Dubai hosted by actor Hugh Jackman.
Peter Tabichi was recognized for his humanitarian work to give hope to children who would otherwise drop out of school to engage in social vices.
It is reported that he teaches in an overcrowded and poorly equipped school where about 90% of the students come from poor homes, with many dropping out to engage in drug abuse and other social vices, while teenage pregnancy and suicide are also rampant.
With a student-teacher ratio of 58:1, he started a “talent nurturing club” and expanded the school’s science club, helping pupils design research projects of such quality that many now qualify for national competitions.
His efforts reportedly culminated in his students winning an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry after participating in international science competitions where they made use of local plant life to generate electricity.
Tabichi, who has been using as much as 80% of his salary to support those in need, said he would use his prize money to improve his school and feed the poor.
Hopefully, his story will impart some other people to help the needy and vulnerable in society, instead of exploiting them for their own biased interests.
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