Kenyan hero friar scoops $1m teaching award

Kenyan hero friar scoops $1m teaching award Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi, right, reacts near actor Hugh Jackman, after winning the $1 million Global Teacher Prize in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

A Franciscan science teacher from rural Kenya who donates most of his salary to help poorer students has been crowned the world’s best teacher.

Beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries Peter Tabichi (36) was awarded $1 million (€886,185).

The maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019 on March 24.

Mr Tabichi received his prize at a ceremony in Dubai hosted by actor Hugh Jackman.

The friar gives 80% of his income to help the poorest students at the poorly-equipped and overcrowded school.  The students could not otherwise afford uniforms and books.

More than 90% of his pupils are from poor families and almost a third are orphans or have only one parent.

Teenage pregnancies, stopping education, drug abuse, young marriages and suicide are common.

Many students walk 7km along roads that can become impassable in the rainy season to reach the school.

The area has also been affected by drought and famine.