A Kenyan teacher, Peter Tabichi, has emerged as the global teachers’ award winner in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The award has a prize tag of $1million.
Tabichi defeated nine other finalists all of whom made it to the last stage of the annual global competition instituted by the Varkey Foundation while the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize 2019 was awarded under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.
The award ceremony was hosted by actor and singer, Hugh Jackman, who performed songs from musical film ‘The Greatest Showman,’ including ‘The Greatest Show’ and ‘Come Alive,’ before announcing the winner.
In his victory speech, Tabichi described his victory as the turn of a new page and a new chapter in Africa.
“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 its young people – their curiosity, talent, their intelligence, 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,” Tabichi said.
In his televised remark after the award presentation to Tabichi, the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta described Tabichi’s feat as “a shining example of what the human spirit can achieve – not just for Kenya – not just for Africa – but for the world.”
“Mr Peter Tabichi – on behalf of all Kenyans – let me congratulate you for winning the Global Teacher Prize this year. Peter – your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bustling with talents.
“Your students have shown that they can compete amongst the best in the world in science, technology and all fields of human endeavour.
“All we need is togetherness to give them the right support. You give me faith that Africa’s best days are ahead of us and your story will light the way for future generations.
“Every day 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,” Kenyatta said.