Awards program “Student with the highest academic progress”

Awards program “Student with the highest academic progress”

What is this program about?

The program “Student with the highest academic progress” is an initiative of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) and its local partners. The program aims to stimulate and motivate students from rural areas to study and healthily compete in the most disadvantaged rural communities, by growing students’ academic progress and civic participation. The initiative is financially supported by the Institute for Rural Initiatives, local entrepreneurs, and citizens interested to promote the purpose of the program.

The program consists in awarding 1 student at the end of the school year, in more schools from rural communities of Moldova, who showed an excellent academic progress and who actively participated in the extra-curricular actions.

Whose idea was that? Short story

The idea of encouraging students from rural areas came up as a result of implementing pilot projects on increasing the inclusion level of national minorities in the rural communities from the South of Moldova.

During more projects implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (successor of “Ograda Noastra”), starting with 2004, the iRi team analyzed a number of issues related to children integration in schools. One of the main findings was the academic progress, school and extra-curricular participation, competing spirit, but also the personal motivation of students to study in the rural areas is lower than in the urban areas, where they benefit from an advanced infrastructure for an efficient process of studying (furnished and confortable classes, necessary equipment and teaching material, renovated libraries and reading halls, hobby groups, multimedia centers for pupils and teachers, qualified and sufficient professors, etc.).

Starting with 2011, the Institute for Rural Initiatives decided to launch the Awards program “The best student from school” – re-launched in 2018 as the Awards program “Student with the highest academic progress” – an annual competition meant to stimulate and motivate the learning and fair competition in disadvantaged rural communities in order to increase the academic performance level and extra-curricular activism among students. The program is based on a vast volume of experience, gathered through different projects, implemented by iRi during 15 years of activity, with the local and international partners’ support.

Originally (2011), the program was launched in 2 communities in the South of the Republic of Moldova (Cahul district): Alexanderfeld and Zîrnești. Later, starting with 2012, it was possible to extend the program in Mingir, Hincesti district, and in Gribova, Drochia district.

The uniqueness of the program

The uniqueness of the program “Student with the highest academic progress” is that the program is oriented only to rural communities and has a permanent character. If other similar programs existing in the country have an isolated character and often with a strong advertising character of one or another commercial company, the iRi awards program has a sustainable character (at least 7 years). At the beginning we must strive to ensure this initiative lasts 10 or even 15 years. For this program we will also need support from the Moldovan Government, foundations interested in the program development, and why not from the citizens who see meaning in the work the Institute for Rural Initiatives is doing.

What do the awards consist of?

The finalists of the awards program “Student with the highest academic progress” are handed diplomas, gifts and money. The value of the gifts differs from one community to another depending on the amount of the local contribution. The Institute for Rural Initiatives offers a fixed amount annually, which is the financial “base” of the program.

The first achievements of the program

During 2011-2019, the Institute for Rural Initiatives, together with its partners, succeeded to award 66 pupils. This year, iRi expects to award 3 students from 3 rural schools from 2 districts of Moldova.

The achievements of the program were noticed not only by students and parents, but also by the administrations of those 3 schools which had seen positive changes related to increased competitiveness between students from the beneficiary school.

The Institute for Rural Initiatives together with its partners welcome any efforts aiming to support and promote this initiative in any rural school from Moldova.

The Institute for Rural Initiatives and its partners are convinced that the implementation of this idea will contribute in a short and medium term to the growth of a healthy academic competitiveness among the students from the beneficiary schools, as well as their active participation in the community.

Who can participate in the competition?

All students from 6th to 9th grade from the school, which was selected by the Institute for Rural Initiatives, have the opportunity to participate in the competition.

When is the program announced?

The program is declared open at the beginning of each school year during the official opening ceremony, in September. The information about the program is posted during the school year on the information board of each school.

The process of registration in the competition

How to apply?

Students wishing to participate in this competition must complete the Application Form and leave it at the school secretary office.

Participation criteria:

Students wishing to participate in this competition must pay attention to the following conditions of participation:

  • the annual average of the student must not be less than 7;
  • the student must show not only a good academic average, but also an increasing academic progress compared to the previous year(s);
  • participation in other academic competitions would be an advantage.
Winners’ selection

The winners are selected by the school administration (Senate) and the iRi team. The final decision is written down in a formal decision act where the arguments are presented.


The deadline for submitting the completed participation forms is on the eve of the end of the school year (May 25), when it is possible to evaluate the academic performances.

The results of the competition are solemnly announced at the end of the school year (the school closing day ceremony – May 31).

Press releases related to this project