The “Best Student of the Year” award is an initiative of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) with a 9-year history that has led the IRI team to do something practical to motivate rural students to learn better, to develop multilaterally and to become active citizens in their communities.
The “Best Student of the Year” program started in 2009 and included a number of rural communities from Moldova.
After an analysis of the impact of this program in 2018, IRI decided to modify the concept of the program by focusing on motivating students who, even if they did not have the highest school success, showed impressive academic growth during the school year. If in the past IRI has been awarding exemplary pupils, now – after the new changes – IRI honors diligent students, who, through effort, perseverance and dedication, have grown through learning and want a good change in their academic situation.
“We believe that rewarding the academic growth throughout the school year is a better, more accurate and more targeted way to stimulate school success than rewarding gross performance. We faced the fact that diligent students in vulnerable environments were more discouraged than encouraged by our initiative which appreciated only the good students and practically did not leave them any chance to compete with the exemplary students. On the other hand, the very good students knowing that they are so good did not have any academic success growth, but on the contrary they recorded even small decreases in success… Now that we understood what wasn’t good, we adjusted the program to be more inclusive and more effort-oriented,” mentioned Ruslan Stanga, executive director, Institute for Rural Initiatives.
The three students awarded this year (2019) come from the “Ion Creanga” Gymnasium from Zirnesti and “Serghei Esenin” Gymnasium, from Alexanderfeld, Cahul District, and ’’Gribova’’ Gymnasium, from Gribova, Drochia District.
The laureates had very big emotions.
“I am very happy to have the honor of receiving a diploma. By taking this prize, I found my motivation that I would use it carefully: in school and even in everyday life. I am very pleased to have the title of “the student with the highest academic growth”, by this fact I am very proud of myself. I was surprised, because in my school there are very good students who also deserve a prize. The money I received will be used on school supplies for the next year. I will give my strength also next year to show that I have not received this title and diploma in vain. I thank everyone who believed in me…” – Laurentiu Ţurcanu, 7th grade graduate of “Gribova” Gymnasium.
“Thanks a lot for the prize! I did not expect to receive it. To those who want to get better results at school, I advise them to do their homework every day and to learn more.” – Bujoreanu Gheorghe, 7th grade graduate, “Ion Creanga” Gymnasium from Zirnesti, Cahul.
“It was an unexpected moment for me… and very pleasant!” – Alina Hadjiu, 8th grade graduate, “Sergey Esenin” Gymnasium from Alexanderfeld, Cahul.
The awarding program is an initiative of the Institute for Rural Initiatives supported by the IRI team and private donations.
The Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) is looking for partners to expand this program in 10 more rural communities from Moldova.