Kenyan Franciscan awarded ‘world’s best teacher’ accolade

26 Mar, 2019 | News

Brother Peter Tabichi, a Franciscan brother and teacher, has walked away with the US$ 1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize Sunday at a ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Brother Peter was chosen out of 10,000 nominations from 179 countries. His win was announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum over the weekend.

Brother Peter teaches Maths and Science at a rural Kenyan school in Pwani Village, the Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School. It is located in a semi-arid part of Kenya’s Rift Valley. The school has only one desktop computer, poor Internet and a learner-teacher ratio of 58:1. Nearly all his students are from poor families, and almost a third of them are orphans or have only one parent.

Last year, Brother Peter mentored his students through the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair 2018 – where students came first in a national competition of the public school’s category. The Mathematical Science team also qualified to participate at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair 2019 in Arizona, USA.

The Varkey Foundation quotes Brother Peter as saying, “Seeing my learners grow in knowledge, skills and confidence is my greatest joy in teaching! When they become resilient, creative and productive in society, I get a lot of satisfaction for I act as their greatest destiny enabler and key that unlocks their potential in the most exciting manner.”

Brother Peter uses Online educational material in his classes, a very challenging task due to poor Internet connection in the area. This sees him visiting various Internet cafes to download content for use in class – offline.

Brother Tabachi and four colleagues also give low-achieving learners one-to-one tuition in Maths and Science outside class and on the weekends where Brother Peter visits students’ homes and meets their families to identify challenges they face.

The Global Teacher Prize was set-up by the Varkey Foundation to enhance the respect, reward and celebrate teachers around the world. It does this by shining the spotlight on great teachers and sharing their remarkable stories. Ultimately, the intention is also to inspire the best possible candidates to join the teaching profession.

Source: Vatican News


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