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What is SEA-PLM


The Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) is a regional assessment aiming at setting a common approach to assessing learning outcomes at primary grade 5 students.


Why is SEA-PLM important?

A learning assessment developed specifically for the Southeast Asian countries. SEA-PLM will generate data on students’ performances within countries and across the region and help promote common standards and regional collaboration.
An assessment that measures learning outcomes for Grade 5 students in Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Global Citizenship, reflecting ASEAN values. It will help identify which children are excelling and which need more support, and promote understanding and tolerance of different ethnic and religious groups, gender and children with disabilities.
An assessment that includes background questionnaires that gather key data from students, parents, teachers and schools. It will help governments identify how they can improve their education systems, including teacher training and school management.
A survey that will be administered in repeating cycles by ASEAN and SEAMEO Member Countries. It will help to track trends in learning outcomes over time and the impact of interventions to enhance learning for all.
A set of metrics that can in time also include younger and older children. This will allow children's progress to be measured as they move through the education system.
An assessment framework that is specifically developed to suit the context of ASEAN and SEAMEO Member Countries. SEA-PLM reflects regional and national characteristics and is respectful of the cultural and political learning context of the students.

Programme Impact: Countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) have an enhanced understanding of factors affecting learning achievements in primary education and take actions to ensure that all children achieve meaningful learning outcomes.

This goal will be pursued through three complementary outcomes:

  1. Enhanced capacity to generate and analyse data at regional, national and sub-national levels.
  2. Enhanced capacity to utilise assessment data for education improvement and more equitable learning outcomes at regional, national and sub-national levels.
  3. Enhanced ASEAN and SEAMEO integration and collaboration in the education sector.










  • SEA-PLM is the only multi-country assessment of Global Citizenship in the context of Southeast Asia.
  • It is the first assessment in the world to assess writing across languages and scripts.
  • The SEA-PLM framework and items have been developed analyzing countries’ curricula from the Southeast Asian region.
  • The development of the SEA-PLM is the result of a close collaborative work with the SEAMEO Member Countries.
  • It is embedded into national systems and structures building capacity with government Ministry representatives.
  • Rasch and SOLO Taxonomy are applied to develop and gauge the item response.












Initiated in 2012 and supported by all SEAMEO Education Ministers and High-Officials, SEA-PLM is led by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and UNICEF East Asia and Pacific (EAPRO) with technical support from Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER).  

The below timeline describes key moments from its inception in 2012 to its current status: