Motivating students who have scored a passing mark in the national matriculation examination has become a tradition of high schools, communities and organizations. Various Secondary Schools and communities have also arranged academic achievement award programs to motivate top students. Excellence awards given by schools to their students at all levels has a great potential to positively affect the learning process as well as school environment.
The academic achievement award programs undertaken by schools, communities, and organizations particularly The National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), are aimed to motivate students and enhance school environment. Motivation as a psychological tool should be taken seriously by all schools to encourage students to increase academic performance at all levels of education. Motivating students who have finished secondary education is one important measure to be taken for successful experience in higher education. Eritrea as developing country needs to produce college graduates that are able to thrive in a fast-changing world, meet its challenges and solve problems.
High school in Eritrea is seen as a transitional stage in young students’ lives and the national matriculation examination acquires a special significance. Therefore, any kind of motivation given to students at this juncture has tremendous impact on their commitment to complete college education. Students need a multitude of assistance to be able to adapt to change and innovate. To do so, they must be motivated by their parents, teachers, and the community as whole. The academic achievement award programs conducted by high schools can be taken as extrinsic motivators. It creates a feeling of reward and validation among students. It encourages students to put forth extra effort for better results. Students receiving recognition and praise from their teachers and community become determined to continue their excellence with more significant effort. Awards, whatsoever, push students to increase their effort and academic performance. There is a positive relationship between receiving academic achievement award and increase in student motivation; schools must include programs of motivation in their annual plan to motivate students so that they become life-long learners.
All schools, communities and organizations like the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) and National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) should put academic achievement award programs in high regard in order to manage and elevate the behavior and learning of young students.