Peter Tabichi is the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2019, awarded by the Varkey Foundation that seeks to recognize annually an educator who has contributed to his profession in an unparalleled way. Peter was selected among the 10 finalists, among which were two Latin American teachers, and won the prize of $ 1 million in an award attended by the most important figures of education around the world at the Global Forum of Education and Skills The ceremony was directed by Australian actor Hugh Jackman.
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Amid tears and shouts of joy, Tabichi received the trophy from the hands of the Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, and Sunny Varkey. Next to him were the finalists, who in hugs and applause helped him lift the trophy. Tabichi had a face of not being able to believe it and his smile did not leave for a moment; Not only had he left his country or ridden by plane for the first time, but he was also receiving the most important prize in the field of education.
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Tabichi is also a Brother of the Franciscan Order, donates 80% of his salary to the community and teaches at the Kerico Mixed Day public school in Pwani Village, located in the Rift of Kenya. This site is one of the most vulnerable and poor in the country. According to the official website of the Global Teacher Prize, 95% of the students come from families living in extreme poverty and approximately one third are orphans or have only one parent. Situations such as teenage pregnancies, suicides, excessive drug use and early school leaving are the daily bread in this region. In addition, conflicts between tribes make the school environment a hostile environment, according to the same source.
All this led Tabichi to find a change for his school where there was only one computer and the number of students became overpopulated, since a teacher had to teach approximately 80 students in a very small space. His idea was to encourage students to participate more in their education, thus forming a Science Club in which students design research projects. With this he got the students to participate in competitions nationwide.
They participated in the Kenya Science Fair where they presented a device so that blind and deaf people could measure objects, created a project where they used plant material to generate electricity that led them to obtain the Royal Society of Chemistry award and now They are preparing to participate in the International INTEL Science and Engineering Fair 2019 in Arizona, USA. UU ..
The teacher also created a peace club where students from different tribes, religious and ideological beliefs meet to discuss and resolve conflicts from empathy. These dialogues have not remained in the school environment, since they have extended to the community. This has been of great help in a place where after 12 years there are still traces of one of the many massacres that occurred throughout Kenya in the 2007 and 2008 crisis due to the renewal of Mwai Kibaki's mandate.
The faith that Tabichi put in his students has borne fruit throughout Africa and is now recognized worldwide.
LatinAmrican Post | Vanesa López Romero
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