Kenyan teacher wins 2019 global teacher prize

Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi with the Global Teacher Prize at the awards ceremony in Dubai (Getty Images)

A science teacher from Kenya, Peter Tabichi, has won the prestigious 2019 global teacher prize. He is the first teacher in Africa to win the $1 million award.

Tabichi was selected from a pool of over 10,000 applications from 179 countries and was recognised for his contributions in helping underprivileged children receive a better education.

A member of the Franciscan religious order, Tabichi gives 80% of his salary to orphan children, who are not able to afford uniforms or books.

The awards, run by the Varkey Foundation, are in their 5th year and usually aim to recognize teachers who have been exceptional in their work. The organization works around the world to improve the standards of education and raise the status and capacity of the teachers who make it to the final ten list.

The foundation praised him for this hard work, dedication and passionate belief in his students’ talent. The 36-year-old has been a teacher for the last 12 years, and in that time has changed the lives of students in many ways including introducing science clubs and the promotion of peace between different ethnic groups and religions. Tabichi has also helped to address food insecurity among the community in the famine-prone Rift Valley where he teaches.

The other 10 finalists for this year’s award were Andrew Moffat (United Kingdom), Daisy Mertens (Netherlands), Débora (Brazil), Hidekazu Shoto (Japan), Martin Salvetti (Argentina), Melissa Salguero (United States), Swaroop Rawal (India) and Vladimir Apkhazava (Georgia).

Previous winners include Andria Zafirakou, an art teacher from north London who won in 2018 and Maggie McDonnell, a Canadian, who won in 2017.