It is not surprising that education and competition are intimately related. On one hand, it is natural for children to compete and, therefore, understandable that competition is put to educational use. On the other hand, competition may be found so important in adult life, that a society especially educates their young to compete. For instance, in Sparta, the most prosperous Greek city in the 8th and 7th centuries BC, physical education was dominated by contests, in particular the Olympic Games, where Spartans often won more than half of the top honours.
An educational theory claims that, since competition is part of every culture and since education should transmit culture, it is necessary to incorporate competition into education to help children get used to it in later life.
The Benefits of academic competitions can not be over-emphasized. Some are stated thus:
- To build in students self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, and the ability to thrive under pressure
- To help discover and nurture young talents with the aim of following-up with them through the development of their career
- To help promote literacy by providing children with a positive goal to work toward, and give them a forum to display the fruits of their hard work
- To create a platform where students of all ages and background participate on an equal, competitive basis
- To enable students improve on their learning concepts, and develop concrete goals for themselves. As a result, there is a self-assessment which helps them narrow their gifts to a direction and help them make excellent career choices.
- To create friendly, sportsmanlike rivalry among the schools