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Kenyan teacher makes final 10 for $1M Global Teacher Prize 2019

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Kenyan teacher makes final 10 for $1M Global Teacher Prize 2019

A Maths and Physics teacher from Nakuru, Kenya has been shortlisted for a global prize recognising outstanding contributions to education.

Peter Tabichi, a Maths and Physics teacher at Keriko Secondary School, Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019. Now in its fifth year, the $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind. Peter Tabichi and the other finalists have been selected from over 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries around the world.

In a special video message announcing the top ten finalists, actor, singer, and producer Hugh Jackman paid a powerful tribute to the work of teachers around the world.  

“When I was a kid there were lots of superheroes that I wanted to be. But I can tell you right now, from where I stand, with all my experience, the real superheroes are teachers – they’re the ones that change the world,” he said.

On making it to the top 10, Peter Tabichi commented, “I am pleased, honoured and humbled to be selected from thousands of applicants from around the world to be one of the Top 10 Finalists for the 2019 Prize. I appreciate this great recognition on behalf of all the hardworking teachers throughout the world whose great achievements go unnoticed. This nomination has made me view teachers as superstars that the world needs to recognize. My enormous salute goes to all of this year’s finalists who have transformed and are transforming the lives of learners and that of the society in different ways. Very special thanks to the Global Teacher Prize Team for selecting me.”

Tabichi gives away 80% of his monthly income to help the poor.  His dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his students’ talent has led his poorly-resourced school in remote rural Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions.

Through making his students believe in themselves, Peter has dramatically improved his pupils’ achievement and self-esteem. Enrolment has doubled to 400 over three years, and cases of indiscipline have fallen from 30 per week to just three.

In 2017, only 16 out of 59 students went on to college, while in 2018, 26 students went to university and college. Girls’ achievement in particular has been boosted, with girls now leading boys in all four tests set in the last year. All of this is made possible in a severely resource constrained school by an exceptional teacher.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize, said:

“I want to congratulate Peter for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over Kenya and throughout the world every day.

“The thousands of nominations and applications we received from every corner of the planet is testimony to the achievements of teachers and the enormous impact they have on all of our lives.”

The Global Teacher Prize was set up by the Varkey Foundation, a global charitable foundation focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children, 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.

The winner will be announced at the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday 24 March 2019.  

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