President Donald Trump greets Global Teacher Prize recipient Peter Tabichi of Kenya in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 16, 2019. (Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
President Donald Trump greets Global Teacher Prize recipient Peter Tabichi of Kenya in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 16, 2019. (Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

A Kenyan science teacher known for giving away more than half of his monthly income to help the poor was recently welcomed to the White House by President Donald Trump.

Trump greeted Global Teacher Prize recipient Peter Tabichi on Sept. 16 in the Oval Office, praising him for leading his poorly resourced school in a remote rural area of Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions.

For his efforts, Tabichi, 37, was awarded the $1 million Global Teacher Prize earlier this year at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

“Seeing my learners grow in knowledge, skills and confidence is my greatest joy in teaching,” Tabichi said. “When they become resilient, creative and productive in the society, I get a lot of satisfaction for I act as their greatest destiny enabler and key that unlocks their potential in the most exciting manner.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham lauded Tabichi’s work as an inspiration to many.

“This morning, President Donald Trump met with Peter Tabichi, the recipient of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize,” Gresham tweeted afterward. “Peter is a science teacher who gives away 80 percent of his monthly income to help the poor in his home country of Kenya.”

Despite teaching in a school with only one desktop computer with an intermittent connection, Tabichi, who mentored his pupils through the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair 2018, has dramatically improved his pupils’ achievement and self-esteem.

Enrollment has doubled to 400 over three years, and cases of indiscipline have fallen from 30 per week to just three, according to the Varkey Foundation. Girls’ achievement has particularly been boosted, with them now leading boys in all four tests set in the past year.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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