Tuesday, 25 April 2023 09:10

SEA-PLM 2019 evidence: Holistic well-being of children leads to better learning outcomes

Participants from SEA-PLM participating countries, SEAMEO member countries, and partner organisations who attended the webinar Participants from SEA-PLM participating countries, SEAMEO member countries, and partner organisations who attended the webinar

Virtual | Anieluz Pastolero: The SEA-PLM 2019 data reveals that children who possess good physical and mental states and have basic knowledge and concern about environmental issues tend to perform better academically than those who do not. 

This was the crux of the discussion during the policy forum webinar on “Child Well-being and Learning in Six Southeast Asia: Insights from the SEA-PLM 2019 evidence” held virtually on 17 March 2023. 

The policy forum webinar discussed the study conducted by UNICEF-Innocenti Global Office of Research and Foresight highlighting bullying as the most prevalent form of violence experienced by children in school, affecting 35% of students from participating countries. The report recommends establishing a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, offering counselling services, and promoting intercultural activities to create a secure learning environment.

Surprisingly, the introduction of environmental topics has a positive impact on children’s learning outcomes in reading, writing, and mathematics. The report found that children are concerned about various environmental issues such as pollution, water scarcity, energy shortages, and extinction of plants and animals.

Co-author of the report, Ms. Ximena Jativa, acknowledged the multifaceted nature of child well-being. She recommended intersectoral collaboration to ensure social and child protection, investing in basic WASH facilities (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene), reviewing policies on mental and physical well-being, allocating resources, and providing school-based safety nets like meals to ensure the holistic improvement of child well-being for Southeast Asian students.

While the SEA-PLM is primarily a learning assessment for grade 5 students in the region, Mr. Antoine Marivin, SEA-PLM Senior Project Manager, stressed the importance of investigating factors beyond the traditional cognitive proficiency tests that affect a child’s learning achievements.

The SEA-PLM findings highlighted the importance of being aware of the status of children in school and the need to prioritise their well being.

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