“Teachers are the real superheroes.” It cannot be any more real than this when Hugh Jackman said these lines as he hosted a ceremony in Dubai where a Kenyan teacher won the award for the World’s Best Educator.
The best indeed
Peter Tabichi, a 36-year-old science teacher from a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley was awarded the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019.
Among the 10,000 nominations from over 170 countries in the world, Tabichi’s selfless sacrifice towards his passion was chosen. The award comes with a $1m prize.
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.”
The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, said in a video message: “Peter, your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent.”
Tabichi is loved by his students and he loves then back in return. In fact, he gives away 80% of his salary to help the poorest of his students. Those who can’t afford school uniforms and books at their over-crowded and poorly-equipped school are helped by the selfless Tabichi.
More than 90% of the students Tabichi teaches are from poor families. Most of them are orphans or have one parent. These students have to walk 7km to go to school.
Talent nurturing club
Tabichi and 4 of his colleagues started a “talent nurturing club” and also expanded the science club. This helped pupils design research projects of such quality that many now qualify for national competitions.
His students won an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry after harnessing local plant life to generate electricity when they took part in international science competitions.
Enrollment at the school has doubled to 400 over 3 years and girls’ achievement, in particular, has been boosted.