Drawing inspiration from Global Teacher Prize Winner Peter Tabichi | Western Cape Government


Drawing inspiration from Global Teacher Prize Winner Peter Tabichi

4 September 2019

This morning, Global Teacher Prize winner of 2019, Peter Tabichi visited the Western Cape Provincial Legislature, where he met members of the Provincial Cabinet.

Mr Tabichi is currently visiting Cape Town to attend a number of events around the City, including the World Economic Forum.

The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually by global education charity the Varkey Foundation to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession. Peter Tabichi is the first African recipient of this prestigious prize.

Video: https://twitter.com/varkeyfdn/status/1109873356587843584

Premier Alan Winde welcomed Peter Tabichi to Cape Town and the Western Cape. “We are extremely honored to have you here with us today and thank you for making the African Continent proud.”

Provincial Minister Debbie Schafer sat down separately with Peter Tabichi and engaged in a discussion on e-learning and how he was able to bring ICT into the classroom in an area where connectivity is not always stable and resources are limited.

Mr Tabichi explained that  there were a number of challenges. They did not have access to computers and his school only had one desktop computer. He said that it is not about those devices, but using what is available to make learning interesting. 

When he could not get data on his cellphone, he would travel far to an internet café over the weekend and download resources or images which he would then use in a PowerPoint presentation or document.

Minister Schafer said, “It is evident that Mr Tabichi is a passionate, committed teacher whose primary interest is the learners. He is inspirational and I look forward to our teachers who he will be engaging with, drawing from that inspiration.”

Brian Schreuder, Head of Department in the Western Cape, said that Mr Tabichi was well known in the Western Cape.

”The Western Cape Education Department has drawn inspiration from the fact that Mr Tabichi has been successful and that he represents not only Kenya, but the whole African continent, in quality teaching for young kids, particularly in rural and poor environments.”

Mr Tabichi said that winning the prize does not only recognize his work, but the young people of this continent.

“They have the potential to transform the world”, he said, “Without the teachers we will not have young children that can succeed.”

Mr Tabichi recognized the fact that the African continent is facing many challenges but said quality education will address some of these challenges.

“There is great promise for Africa and I remain optimistic.”

The Western Cape Education Department is delighted to have this opportunity to be inspired and motivated by such a humble and optimistic educator. We are looking forward to the various engagements we will have with him over the next few days.



Peter Tabichi, a science teacher who gives away 80% of his monthly income to help the poor, won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019 at a ceremony in March hosted by actor, singer, and producer Hugh Jackman. His dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his student’s talent has led his poorly-resourced school in remote rural Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions.

Peter teaches at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, situated in a remote, semi-arid part of Kenya’s Rift Valley. Here, students from a host of diverse cultures and religions learn in poorly equipped classrooms. Their lives can be tough in a region where drought and famine are frequent.  Ninety-five percent of pupils hail from poor families, almost a third are orphans or have only one parent, and many go without food at home. Drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, dropping out early from school, young marriages and suicide are common.

Turning lives around in a school with a student-teacher ratio of 58:1, is no easy task, not least when to reach the school, students must walk 7km along roads that become impassable in the rainy season.

Undeterred, Peter started a talent nurturing club and expanded the school’s Science Club, helping pupils design research projects of such quality that 60% now qualify for national competitions. Peter mentored his pupils through the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair 2018 – where students showcased a device they had invented to allow blind and deaf people to measure objects. His students, who had never stepped on a plane before, went on to win the UN Sustainable Development Goal Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona this year.

Despite teaching in a school with only one desktop computer with an intermittent internet connection, Peter uses ICT in 80% of his lessons to engage students, visiting internet cafes and caching online content to be used offline in class.

This year, Peter was appointed the first Champion for Children in Conflicts and Crisis for Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in crisis. He is championing the cause of the 75 million children whose education is disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters.

More in depth video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41XlsaDc-w

Media Enquiries: 

Bronagh Hammond
Director: Communications
Western Cape Education Department
072 7241422 (please whatsapp or sms me if unavailable)