Peter Tabichi, a math and science teacher in Kenya’s Rift Valley, was announced as the winner of a $1 million international teaching prize Sunday in a star-studded ceremony in Dubai.
Tabichi, who has led his students in a remote, rural area of Kenya to win national recognition in science, is the fifth educator to win the annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize. The award honors outstanding contribution to the profession and impact in the community.
Actor Hugh Jackman announced Tabichi as the winner at the Global Education and Skills Forum, and the crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, presented him with the award. In his acceptance speech, Tabichi thanked his father, who was also a teacher, the Associated Press reports.
Tabichi works at Keriko Secondary School, a public school in Pwani Village, Nakuru. There, classrooms are under-resourced, and the average class size is 60 students. Famine and drought are persistent problems in the community, and the vast majority of Tabichi’s students come from poor families.
In the face of these structural challenges, Tabichi has raised student achievement and college attendance, the Varkey Foundation says, and has led his students to win national and international recognition in the sciences.