Kenyan science teacher wins million-dollar global teaching award

World Today

Kenyan science teacher wins million-dollar global teaching award

A teacher from rural Kenya has won this year’s Global Teacher Prize. He’s the first African to receive the award.

CGTN’s Joshua Cartwright reports.

Peter Tabichi is a maths and physics instructor from Kenya. He was selected for the top spot out of 10,000 nominees from nearly 180 countries.

“I feel great. I can’t believe it,” Tabichi exclaimed after his win. “I feel so happy to be among the best teachers in the world, being the best in the world.”

Tabichi accepted the coveted award in Dubai, a world away from the village he calls home.

The Keriko Secondary School where he teaches in Kenya’s Rift Valley lacks even the most basic facilities. There is no library or lab. Classes are overcrowded, and there’s no reliable internet connection.

But despite the lack of resources, Tabichi has helped his students, many orphaned or with just one parent, to qualify for and win science competitions. He’s credited with convincing them to stay in school and go on to college.

As a member of the Franciscan religious order, Tabichi donates most of his salary to help his students, and has similar plans for this prize money.

“I’m going to give it back to society because myself I am a brother,” he said. “Our needs are cared for, like food, clothing, everything. So, I’ll be so happy. In fact, it’s a great moment that society is going to benefit.”

His students feel the same way.

“The winning will bring benefits to Keriko and also the community, and also the society at large,” said one. “He is a very good teacher to us, he is a teacher who has been helping us in the science and engineering fair so he is a good teacher and he deserves that.”

Tabichi has received recognition for his Global Teacher Prize both at home and abroad. But he says the award is not about him; instead, it recognizes what Africa’s young people have to offer.