Kenyan teacher wins Global Teacher Prize

March 26, 2019

Peter Tabichi, a Kenyan math and physics teacher, won the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize at a star-studded event in Dubai on Sunday (March 24).  Dr. Swaroop Sampat Rawal, actress turned teacher, who teaches at Lavad Primary School in Gujarat’s Surat, was shortlisted from around 10,000 nominations across 179 countries. Aarti Qanungo, a Delhi government school teacher had made it to the final 50 contenders.

Tabichi left his job at a private school to join the Keriko Secondary School (in Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya), where 95 percent of the students are poor and almost a third are orphans. Drug abuse, teen pregnancies, drop-outs, and suicide are common, and the school has one computer, poor internet access, and a student-teacher ratio of 58:1.

Accompanied by his father, Tabichi said the prize showed that “teachers matter” and that “teaching is a noble profession.” “Africa’s young people will 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.

If you don’t fail, you don’t learn, and if you don’t learn, you can’t change,” he added.

This is the fifth edition of the prize that is paid over a period of 10 years. Last year’s winner was Andria Zafirakou, an art and textiles teacher at Alperton Community School in the UK.

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