Thank you Brother Peter Tabichi for shaking me up, reminding me of my goals, aspirations and visions as a teacher. I owe another thank you to my dear colleague Christina P. for bringing this BBC News article to my attention: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47658803?fbclid=IwAR2rtKb_p6KKyhHV_9IijHcu6PM6Qtpr-LRaBw00iYh1tjResM1S6i0newE.
Brother Peter is a Franciscan monk and science teacher at the Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru, Kenya, with a vision. “He wants pupils to see ‘science is the way to go’ for their futures.” Brother Peter is a doer. He gives away 80% of his salary to support his pupils, but “it’s not all about money,” he says. It’s about raising aspirations, comprehending the essence and importance of science for development, not just in Kenya but across Africa.
While facing “challenges with a lack of facilities,” not enough books or teachers, overcrowded classrooms of 70 or 80 students, the lack of a reliable internet connection, pupils who walk more than 6km to reach the school, he believes that “Africa’s young people will no longer be held back by low expectations. Africa will produce scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs whose names will one day be famous in every corner of the world. And girls will be a huge part of this story.”
How does Brother Peter achieve the many challenges he faces? He works hard persuading the local community and his students’ families to recognize the value of education. The majority of his students face serious problems, but he visits families at home and persuades them not to let their boys drop out of school, and in cases of girls, not to get them married at an early age. In my humble opinion, Father Peter truly CARES!
Brother Peter is the recipient of the 2019 Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Award https://www.varkeyfoundation.org/. He happily said “It’s morning in Africa. The skies are clear. The day is young and there is a blank page waiting to be written. This is Africa’s time” https://www.globalteacherprize.org/winners/peter-tabichi/
For a wonderful video that further enhances this post on Thank you Brother Peter, please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4kl6b2D0MY
Brother Peter, you make me wonder… how can we get back a little bit of your passion and drive in our privileged world of “high-end,” fortunate, expensive, highly technological educational system? Much can be improved, I believe, “in the rotten state of Denmark”…