Kenya wins global teacher prize

Sekinat Salam-Opebiyi, Dubai

Hugh Jackman; Peter Tabichi (Middle); Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Right) and Sunny Varkey, the Founder of the Varkey Foundation.

A Kenyan teacher, Peter Tabichi has emerged the winner of the 2019 Varkey Foundation $1million Global Teacher Prize.

Peter, a Maths and Physics teacher at Keriko Secondary School, Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya, defeated nine other finalists to win the prize at the 2019 edition of Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He said: “Every day in Africa we turn a new page and a new chapter. Today is another day. This prize does not recognise me but recognises this great continent’s young people. 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.”

“As a teacher working on the front line, I have seen the promise of this young people– their curiosity, talent, intelligence and their belief. 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.

“I believe science and technology can play a leading role in unlocking Africa’s potential. We all know that scientific discovery and innovation fuel progress, facilitate development and can tackle issues such as food insecurity, water shortages and climate change,” he explained.

Peter stated; “It’s morning in Africa. The skies are clear. The day is young and there is a blank page waiting to be written. This is Africa’s time.”

Congratulatory message
In a special congratulatory video message broadcast into the ceremony hall, the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, congratulated Peter, saying ”he is a shining example of what the human spirits can achieve.”

According to the President, Peter’s story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent and his students have shown that they can compete amongst the best in the world in science, technology and all fields of human endeavour.

“You give me faith that Africa’s best days are ahead of us and your story will light the way for future generations,” he stressed.

President Kenyatta added that the victory is not just for Kenyans nor Africa but for the World.

The Founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey while congratulating Peter said teachers everyday in classroom worldwide would continue to light the spark of curiosity.

“Everyday in classrooms throughout the World teachers light the spark of curiosity. I want to congratulate Peter Tabichi for winning the Global Teacher Prize 2019. I hope Peter’s story will encourage others to enter the teaching profession and shine a spotlight on the truly inspiring work teachers do to make tomorrow brighter than today,” Varkey said.

Now in its fifth year, the US $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind and was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

Peter Tabichi is the first African to win the Global teacher Prize.

Meanwhile, Tanzania also made Africa proud at the Global event as it won the ‘Next Billion’ Edtech Prize launched by The Varkey Foundation to recognise the most innovative technology destined to have a radical impact on education in low income and emerging world countries.

Ubongo, creates fun, localised and multi-platform educational media that reaches millions of families through accessible technologies.

Ubongo was voted for by delegates at The Global Education & Skills Forum from three start-up finalists which include PraxiLabs,and Dost. All three winners will be awarded $25,000.


Mercy Chukwudiebere