Let's celebrate Tabichi's global best teacher recognition 2019
Emerging tops in the world in any competition is no mean achievement. That is exactly what Peter Tabichi Mokaya achieved when he was crowned the best teacher in the world through the Global Teacher Prize 2019 recently. The victory was made even sweeter by the fact he was the only African among the top ten finalists.To imagine, however, that it was an easy ride to the top is a fallacy. First, Tabichi, a mathematics and physics teacher left his teaching job in a private school for a public institution in some backwater place in Nakuru County. In a world motivated by material gain, Tabichi’s decision could only amplify selflessness; a rare attribute. Indeed, at Keriko Secondary School where Tabichi teaches, there was only one desktop computer for hundreds of students at the time of his joining the school. In a world driven by technological advances, it dawned on Tabichi he needed to do more than rely on the single computer to educate his students and put them on an equal footing with students in well-equipped schools. To achieve this goal, Tabichi donated at least 80 per cent of his pay to ensuring his students benefited. If that doesn’t describe selflessness in its raw form, nothing else does. Not only did Tabichi manage to have two of his science students in a prestigious global science contest that features 1,800 from 75 countries last year, this year, another two of his students will represent Kenya at the Intel International Science Contest in Arizona, USA. This is something to celebrate. As a country, and as individuals, there are lessons in Tabichi’s win for us. Selflessness, focus, determination to go that extra mile pays dividends. It is not even the monetary reward of $1 million that counts; it is the satisfaction of doing what is right for the good of society and getting recognised for it. Kenya is known for its athletics prowess, but Tabichi’s win adds another feather to its cap; that of academic excellence. Individually, Kenyans need to learn not to be bogged down by primitive, divisive politics propagated by selfish individuals. We are beautifully and differently endowed. We must, on our own and with the help of relevant government agencies, seek to ensure the abundance of latent talent among Kenyan youth is fully exploited. The new Competency-Based Curriculum is designed to deliver this, let’s utilise it for greater good.
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