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Winners of Citizens Day quiz awarded in Riigikogu


The most successful competitors in the 2016 Citizens Day quiz and the authors of the winning entries in the ‘100th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia – Birthday Child or Guest of Honour?’ essay competition were awarded by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA) in the conference hall of the Riigikogu. A total of 33 students, eight teachers and 27 schools received recognition.

Toivo Sikk, the head of civic education with MISA, says that this year’s essayists placed themselves in the role in which they see themselves in Estonia today. “A quarter of those who submitted entries saw themselves as the birthday boy or girl, saying that as Estonian citizens they couldn’t picture themselves any other way,” he explained. “The majority though saw themselves as guests, happy to celebrate the anniversary and proud of their country’s achievements.”

The Citizens Day essay competition, which was held for the sixth time, was won in the General Education Grades 7-9 category by Katariina Kraak from Võru City Centre School, while the winner in the General Education Grades 10-12 category was Jakob Westholm Upper Secondary School 12th-grade student Robin Merilai. The best essayist in the Vocational Education category was for the second year running Gerda Kuusemets from Rakvere Vocational School.

Describing this year’s Citizens Day quiz, Sikk remarked: “The number of kids that take part depends largely on how pro-active their social studies teachers are and how much they motivate them, but also on the kids themselves and how willing they are to persevere. It’s gratifying to see so many teachers using the quiz as a way of making the kids’ lessons more exciting, and basing grades on the results the kids get.”

A total of 7386 students completed this year’s quiz. A further 955 took part but did not complete it or were unable to do so in the time given. The questions for the Grades 5 & 6 quiz were written by students from higher grades in both Estonian and Russian, with 1570 completing it in the former and 757 in the latter language. The quiz for General Education Grades 7-12 and Vocational Education students was in Estonian. A total of 5286 students from these higher grades completed this quiz in the given time.

Jass Juuremaa, a student from Häädemeeste High School who took part in both the quiz and the essay competition, was inspired to write an essay by the theme. “You were able to approach this year’s theme from a number of different angles, so that gave me free rein to express my ideas,” he said. “It was also a theme that speaks to everyone, since Estonia’s 100th birthday is just around the corner.” He was encouraged to take part in the quiz by his history and social studies teacher Eve Pajuväli. “I’m interested in politics and civil society, so having a go at the quiz gave me a great chance to put my knowledge to the test,” he explained.

1st place in the Estonian version of the Grades 5 & 6 quiz went to 6th-grade student Alina Solovjova from Tammiku Basic School in Kohtla-Järve, while the winner of the Russian version of the quiz was 5th-grade student Dana Volkova from the same school. The winners in the Grades 7-9 category were Mirjam Matilda Heinla from Lüganuse High School (Estonian as the language of instruction) and Aleksandra Ratkovitš from Kohtla-Järve Tammiku Basic School (Russian as the language of instruction). The General Education Grades 10-12 winners were Jass Juuremaa from Häädemeeste High School (Estonian as the language of instruction) and, tied for first, Julia Kirs and Ekaterina Borodina from Tallinn City Centre Russian Upper Secondary School (Russian as the language of instruction). The winner and runner-up in the Vocational Education category were Diana Saar and Sander Raudauk from Kehtna Vocational Education Centre.

The organisation of the Citizens Day essay competition and quiz is financed from the state budget via the Ministry of Education and Research.

For further information please contact:

Toivo Sikk
Head of Civic Education
Telephone: +372 659 9850