Modern countries send kids to a school system that trains them at a young age. Competition brings out the best and brightest. Some may say "it makes others insecure". Sure, the lazy kids might but it brings out the best of kids and as a kid in academic competitions, I say it is great :)
I believe academic competitions are good for students. I believe when academia falls into rote patterns that become boring and mundane then students tend to learn less. Academic competitions give students an opportunity to learn in a different format which allows a variety in the learning process and benefits the student in the end.
Yes, I do think that academic competitions are good for students to participate in, and if you look during the contests the students who are in them are learning a lot. This is a way to make learning fun for kids, and change from the traditional ways of learning material.
Yes, academic competitions are good for students, because they help students have confidence. Students are also taught to be good winners and losers. They are taught what they can accomplish with their educations and they are taught to have pride in their accomplishments. Students are also taught what other things they have to learn.
Academic competitions are good for students because they encourage and reward students for excelling in their studies. Sometimes the competing students get the honor of representing their school at area events and that can be a source of pride. Academic competitions for students can sometimes lead to scholarship opportunities as well.
All students excel in different ways and have different strengths and weaknesses, each mind is different. With such a variety of capacities, it makes no sense to try to make students compete in some any standardized form, it stifles creativity which is actually an important component of learning and academics.
Academic competition can breed negative stress in it's creation of a "winner" and "loser". Such labels can have harmful effects on a person's self esteem, especially in the case of the, "loser", who in turn could feel bad about themselves, when in fact, they shouldn't because perhaps their strengths exist outside the confines of a particular standardized competition.