Elated students and teachers from Keriko Secondary School in Nakuru County broke into song and dance when their teacher, Mr Peter Mokaya Tabichi, arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yesterday.
The 36-year-old maths and physics teacher on Sunday won the prestigious Global Teacher Prize 2019, sponsored by the Varkey Foundation, in an event held in Dubai.
“I’m so happy and delighted to have won the award. I am here to testify that Africa has great people. This win is not just for me or Keriko Secondary School, it’s a victory for Kenya and Africa at large. It’s also an award for teachers in Africa,” said the Franciscan brother.
“If we believed in our children and encouraged them to take up STEM subjects and be creative, we can solve Africa’s many challenges. This award has given me a platform to play a role in creating solutions,” he added.
Mr Tabichi received the Sh 100 million award for extraordinary work in his profession. He beat top finalists from across the globe, and has promised to use the money to develop his school and the community.
“There are several projects that I wish to undertake. First, I will ensure that the school has access to clean water and secondly, build a well-equipped computer laboratory. I will also promote kitchen gardening in the community and support bright but needy children,” he said. Ms Nancy Macharia, the CEO of the Teachers Service Commission, who was among the people who received him, said he will be promoted, given a certificate of recognition and his name forwarded to the office of the Presidency for state commendation.
Mr Tabichi has been described by many as hardworking, humble, intelligent and hardworking. His colleagues, in particular, say his dedication, passion for his work and humility are unrivalled.
He is reputed for contributing in two areas: Donating 80 per cent of his salary to help needy students in his school as well as the families in Pwani village, and motivating students to take up science subjects.
“His dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his students’ talents has led to our poorly-equipped school emerging victorious, especially in national science competitions. Mr Tabichi, for instance, revamped the science club and became our role model,” Mr Benjamin Buluku, a mathematics and chemistry teacher told the Nation earlier this week.
“Mr Tabichi is humble and committed to his work. Apart from teaching, he also spares time to advise and inspire us. We love him very much,” said Dennis Ngige, a Form Four student said.
Lilys Njeru, Daily Nation