Kenyan Teacher Who Gives Away 80% Of His Salary Nets $1 Million Prize

Image: The Varkey Foundation

A teacher in rural Kenya who donates 80% of his salary to help his poorest students won $1 million and the title of “world’s best teacher.”

Peter Tabichi, who works at a high school in a small village badly afflicted by famine and drought, has won the Varkey Foundatio’s 2019 Global Teacher Prize.

The 36-year-old received the honor at Dubai’s opulent Atlantis Hotel in a ceremony hosted by actor Hugh Jackman on Sunday.

Tabichi gives away 80% of his salary to support his students, who otherwise could not afford even the barest of essentials, including uniforms, books or food.

“Even affording breakfast is hard. They’re not able to concentrate, because they haven’t had enough meals at home,” Tachibi said.

“As a teacher working on the front line I have seen the promise of its young people — their curiosity, talent, their intelligence, their belief.”

“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,” he added.

Of course, Tabichi plans to use the bulk of his winnings in the same philanthropic fashion he always has. According to the Independent, “Tabichi said he planned to use his $1m to feed the poor and improve his school, which has no library or laboratory, just one computer and limited internet access.”

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