A Kenyan teacher, Peter Tabichi, has emerged 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.
The glittering award ceremony was hosted by actor, singer, and producer Hugh Jackman, who performed songs from musical film, including The Greatest Show and Come Alive, before announcing the winner.
He was awarded under the patronage of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
On winning the prize, Peter 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.
“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.”
In a special congratulatory video message broadcast into the ceremony hall, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, congratulates Peter, saying he was a shining example of what the human spirits can achieve.
The president stressed that Peter’s story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent, saying 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.”
President Kenyatta added that the victory is not just for Kenyans nor Africa but for the world.
Founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey while congratulating Peter said teachers everyday in classroom worldwide will 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 recognize 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 , is the first African to win the Global teacher Prize.