Bright Side

A Teacher From Kenya Wins a $1,000,000 Teacher Prize and Will Give Most of It to the Poor

A monk from Kenya named Peter Tabichi is a science teacher in a small, poor village who became famous overnight for winning the most prestigious award for teachers, The Global Teacher Prize. He competed with 10,000 other nominees from 179 countries and is now taking the one million dollars back home.

We at Bright Side found Peter’s determination truly inspiring and can’t wait to tell our readers about him.

Peter Tabichi teaches science in a little village in Kenya where 95% of the people there live in poverty. The classes are severely overcrowded, and sometimes it can be as many as 80 students in the class. Some of his pupils have to walk for up to 4 miles to attend the lessons.

Peter has been giving 80% of his earnings to support students who otherwise would not be able to pay for the books and uniforms and couldn’t continue their studies. He has already said that he is going to give most of his award money to support the poor.

“The school is in a very remote area — most of the students come from very poor families, even affording breakfast is hard,” said Peter in his speech after winning the Global Teacher Prize. He is keen to give all he’s got to raise interest in education and in science, in particular. His students have been successful in multiple national and international science competitions, including an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK. In fact, many of his students now have been accepted to universities.

On a daily basis, the students and teachers in his school deal with the lack of the most essential resources like books and textbooks. But those who what to achieve always find a way. The school doesn’t have the Internet so Peter travels to an Internet café to download resources for his lessons.

Peter is not just a science teacher, he wants to change people’s minds about the tradition of girls getting married at an early age by encouraging families to keep their daughters in school. “As a teacher working on the front lines I have seen the promise of young people — their curiosity, talent, their intelligence, and their belief,” he said.

“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,” Peter said. “Africa’s young people will no longer be held back by low expectations. Africa will produce scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs whose names will be one day famous in every corner of the world.”

The Kenyan president congratulated Peter for his incredible achievement and recognition of his courage and determination and said, “Peter — your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent. Your students have shown that they can compete amongst the best in the world in science, technology and all fields of human endeavor.”

What do you think about this story? Do you know someone who deserves the Global Teacher Prize? Tell us about your favorite teacher in the comments.

Preview photo credit -/AFP/East News