An exemplary teacher: Kenyan teacher wins $1m Global Teacher Award

The true success of teaching and learning is when the potential of each student is unlocked, harnessed and redirected to be productive and gainful to society. The world is hungry for creative, innovative, productive and problem-solving people who will use every facet of their potential to solve the rising and fluctuating needs of this world.As a teacher you are only successful as to the extend to which each student under your mentor ship can live up to their full potential. We can sacrifice, we can go extra miles if only what we do is motivated from our heart.

A lot can be learnt from the Kenyan teacher who recently won a one million USD award as the world best teacher. Mr.Peter Tabichi is a science teacher in a remote village in Kenya who use 80% of his salary to support students from poorer families.More than 90% of his pupils are from poor families and almost a third of them are orphans or have only one parent. Drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, dropping out early from school, young marriages and suicide are common in his locality. Students walk 7km along roads that can become impassable in the rainy season to reach the school. Despite only having one computer, a poor intermittent internet connection and a teacher-student ratio of 58:1, Tabichi started “a talent nurturing club” and expanded the school’s science club, helping pupils design research projects in such quality that many now qualify for national competitions. He and his four colleagues also give struggling pupils one-one tutorials in Maths and Science, visiting student’s homes and meeting their families to identify the challenges they face.

Tabichi never thought he would receive an award; his aim wasn’t fame and money but to see young people given a chance to develop themselves and their community was his objective. Being in a remote area where there are no cameras, no reality shows or TV interviews, his greatest screen was what he saw in his mind, what he saw the pupils becoming. Many might have first thought he was stupid, but he saw what they couldn’t see. His believe in each of his student have seen him transform a school whose school drop out rate used to be alarming into an incubator of great scientists and engineers.Accepting the prize Tabichi said:

“I am only here because of what my students have achieved This prize gives them a chance. It tells the world they can do anything. Africa’s young people would 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”.

His passion, drive and selfless motivation is what each one of us is to take as a food for thought. You are never too small to make a change and the world needs all of us to take considerable steps for the future generation and for the future of our planet.

At SODEI we believe in the potential of youths. Given a chance, and all the tools and support they require, youths in Africa can make a difference.