Helmond teacher just missed world's best teacher award

Daisy Mertens from primary school De Vuurvogel in Helmond just missed out on winning the best teacher in the world award. The award went to Peter Tabichi from Kenya. He was awarded the Global Teacher Prize in Dubai on Sunday. 

The Dutch and Kenyan teachers were two of the ten finalists. They were selected from over 10 thousand nominations from 179 countries around the world. The award came with a prize amount of 1 million dollars.

The Dutch teacher is delighted that her African colleague won the prize. Mertens called it "not bad at all" that she did not win. "I really wanted a developing country to win", she said to RTL Nieuws. "I've been to Africa a few times and I know what it's like. I am so happy and very proud and the African people are so proud."

Tabichi teaches at a school in Pwani, a Kenyan village that frequently faces drought and famine. Almost a third of the pupils at the school, all between the ages of 11 and 16, are orphans or have only one parent. The school has only one computer with a very shaky internet connection, and the premises is in poor condition. 

The fact that the Kenyan teacher could travel to Dubai was already quite the experience for him. It was his first time on a plane, according to RTL. His father traveled with him. Tabichi's mother died when he was 11. After receiving the prize, Tabichi thanked his father for his upbringing, called him on stage and then handed the prize to him. "Every day in Africa we turn a new page and a new chapter. Today is another day. This prize does not recognize me but recognizes this great continent's young people", Tabichi said.