Dedicated and selfless teacher takes rural school from hopeless to taking on elite schools at international S.T.E.M competitions.
It sounds like fiction, only, Peter Tabichi is a real person whose remarkable achievements has earned him the ultimate teaching accolade.
This past weekend, the math and physics teacher (who is also an ordained Friar) was named the world's most exceptional educator at the annually held Global Teacher Prize, reports BBC.com.
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"Africa's young people will no longer be held back by low expectations"
Quoted via the BBC, Peter said upon receiving the award:
"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."
Presented in Dubai by actor Hugh Jackman, and attended by global education stakeholders, including South Africa's Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, the International competition received thousands of applications from more than one hundred countries around the world.
And despite the many worthy nominees the Kenyan teacher's passion and dedication could not be denied.
Based at rural Kenya's Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School, where 95% of the learners come from impoverished backgrounds, not unlike SA's under-resourced schools, Peter would use his own money to source digital teaching materials to craft lessons for his students.
The educator would use weekends to give his students extra classes, often popping into their homes to get to know their personal struggles.
Peter's talent nurturing club lead to the massive growth of the school's Science Club, resulting in a project in which learners used plants and sewage waste to generate electricity. It was this project that put Keriko on the world stage, earning the school an award at the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry.
Keriko has also qualified for the 2019 INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, the largest international youth science competition taking place in May this year.
Clearly, Peter's accomplishments are truly exceptional, and an outstanding example of what is possible, even in the worst of circumstances.
"This is Africa's time"
The Kenyan is not the only African to be nominated this year, also in the top 40 were, Assane Ndiaye from Senegal; Charif Hamidi from Morocco; Chifuniro M'manga-Kamwendo from Malawi; Robert Gbari Gariba from Ghana; Thejane Malakane from Lesotho; Soji Megbowon from Nigeria and fellow Kenyan, Maina Gioko.
In 2018, Marjorie Brown, a history teacher from Johannesburg's Roedean Senior School made the top ten.
Africa is not always celebrated for its talents and accomplishments, but for Peter, the award is a symbol not only of what he has achieved but also what can be achieved throughout the continent.
"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," he said while accepting the award.