Recently, a Kenyan teacher named Peter Tabichi made the headlines and won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize, awarded by the Varkey Foundation. Tabichi teaches in a small village called Pwani in Kenya, at a school called the Keriko Secondary School. The school serves a high proportion of impoverished communities, and one third of the population have lost their parents. But, Tabichi has gone on to empower his science students to win and compete in numerous competitions – even qualifying for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. On top of that, he donates 80% of his salary back to his students in the village. In just a couple of years, he has been able to double the number of students attending university from her school.
“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…”
- Peter Tabichi
Tabichi is just one teacher, but the prize is meant to celebrate teachers from around the globe – many of whom work long hours in extremely tough circumstances. What strikes me is not that Tabichi’s story is not extraordinary – it’s that Tabichi’s story is both extraordinary and exceedingly common. In my time in Zambia, I’ve had the great privilege of seeing our own teachers reach incredible milestones with our students. We can build hundreds of classrooms, we can provide thousands of books and pencils, and we can fill our classrooms with eager young students. But without our teachers, none of it works. In truth, they are the heart and soul of Impact Network!