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Kenyan teacher who gives salary to poor pupils win $1m world teaching prize

Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi reacts after winning the $1 million Global Teacher Prize in Dubai (Picture: AP)

A maths and physics teacher from Kenya who gives most of his salary to poorer pupils has won a $1 million (£760,000) prize for the world’s best teacher.

Peter Tabichi, a teacher at Keriko Secondary School, was awarded the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize at a ceremony in Dubai.

The event was hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Jackman, who performed songs from his film The Greatest Showman.

Mr Tabichi is a member of the Franciscan religious order and gives away 80% of his pay to support pupils who otherwise could not afford books or uniforms.

Mr Tabichi, right, was presented with the award by actor Hugh Jackman (Picture: AP)

The nine other finalists, including Britain’s Andrew Moffat, from Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, rushed on to the stage to embrace and congratulate their colleague.

Mr Tabichi said: “Every day in Africa, we turn a new page and a new chapter.

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“Today is another day. This prize does not recognise me but recognises this great continent’s young people.

“I am only here because of what my students have achieved.

“This prize gives them a chance. It tells the world that they can do anything.”

Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi donates 80% of his salary to his pupils (Picture: AP)
Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi, centre, actor Hugh Jackman, left, and Dubai crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, right, at the ceremony (Picture: AP)

Part of the ceremony, which was also attended by the Earl of Wessex, included a video message from Andrew Lloyd Webber, who paid tribute to teachers all over the world and emphasised the importance of music education.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “Teachers deserve far more praise than they often receive.

“Today, as I fear we all know, education is under threat all over the world from funding shortages, lack of resources, and importantly, too few teachers.

“This is particularly true in the case of music education, where many young people lack access to instruments, tuition and opportunities to perform.”

The award marked the end of the annual Global Education and Skills Forum.