Displaying items by tag: SEAPLM

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.

Published in NEWS
Tagged under

Manila, Philippines | Anieluz Pastolero: The Philippine Senate Committee on Basic Education cited the SEA-PLM 2019 evidence as a crucial resource in shedding light on the prevalence of bullying in schools and its impact on learning outcomes during the public hearing to review the implementation of the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 on 13 February 2023. 

Led by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the Committee underscored during the hearing the use of data such as those provided by SEA-PLM 2019 and called for an improvement in reporting mechanisms to encourage students to report bullying incidents. 

The SEA-PLM 2019 data revealed that 63.2% of Grade 5 students in the Philippines experience bullying at least once a month in schools. This figure is consistent with the National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children conducted by the Council for the Welfare of Children in 2016, which found that 65% of students in the Philippines have experienced bullying. The same level of prevalence is also affirmed by the data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which the Philippines participated in 2018.

The Philippine Senate hearing emphasized the need to address bullying in schools in the country and to prioritize the well-being of students. The data from SEA-PLM 2019 highlights the significance of the issue and the need for effective measures to address it, including improving reporting mechanisms and implementing policies that protect students from bullying and creating a safe school environment.

Project Manager Alejandro Ibanez represented SEA-PLM Secretariat and SEAMEO Secretariat in the said hearing.

Published in NEWS
Tagged under

SEA-PLM 2019 Latest Evidence in Basic Education: Supporting teachers to improve learning in 6 Southeast Asian countries

This publication is the third in a series of regional thematic studies initiated by the SEA-PLM Secretariat—SEA-PLM 2019 latest evidence in basic education.

This paper highlights the diversity of the Southeast Asian teacher workforce, their classroom conditions, and their level of preparation and training upon entry to the profession.
The findings recommend the development and implementation of policies and programs to strengthen the teacher workforce and redirect the focus to ensure teachers have supportive working conditions, and comprehensive training and professional development aligned with the teacher workforce’s needs.

This document has been published and is available for download

Appendix A: Further reading

Appendix B: Statistical tables

Appendix C: Stata syntax

Powerpoint presentation

Recommended citation: UNICEF & SEAMEO. (2021). SEA-PLM 2019 Latest Evidence in Basic Education: Supporting teachers to improve learning in 6 Southeast Asian countries. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Published in NEWS

From June 10th until12th the Cambodian Technical Team organised the training of over 250 Test Administrators and School Coordinators at Battambang University, Battambang. All SEA-PLM participant countries implement a standardized training to those selected to coordinate and administer the tests to students and questionnaires to students, parents, teachers and principals. This is to ensure the same steps and script is applied consistently across all schools.

mr ung chinngLearning assessment, described by Director of Education Quality Assurance Department (EQAD) Mr. Ung Chinna as the current "pop-star of education" in Cambodia, is receiving increased emphasis at the policy level, promoting the better use of information generated through assessment to form the basis of education reform across relevant departments and key stakeholders. SEA-PLM plays an important role in this transition. Through providing capacity development to EQAD staff in how to manage large-scale assessments at international standards, the team are able to apply these standards to national and international assessments, and increasingly advocate for the need of assessment from the national to school level.

It is also through the support of major partners such as UNICEF that this growing focus and capacity in using learning assessments to identify gaps and inform educational reform is achieved. UNICEF Cambodia is a vital partner for SEA-PLM in Cambodia, contributing both funding and organisational support to its implementation.

The training, mostly delivered by Technical Team Manager Mr. Sar Sarin, was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, UNICEF Country Office, SEAMEO Secretariat and the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER).

Published in NEWS
During the 50th SEAMEO Council Conference, the 4th Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers (4th SDEM) was convened on 24 July 2019 to provide a platform where Southeast Asian Education Ministers would discuss on the trends in education affecting the region in the digital era and Industry 4.0, as well as on how to make SEAMEO education goals more relevant and responsive to the changing contexts. The 4th SDEM focused on issues related to inclusive education and how to utilize technology, discussed new opportunities and challenges, identified the critical role of technology such as machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education as well as provided directions for SEAMEO towards its post-2020 Strategic Plan.

H E Dr Maszlee Malik, Minister of Education Malaysia and SEAMEO Council President welcomed the delegates to the 4th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers (SDEM) and invited them to listen to some expert perspectives on Sustainable Development Goals specifically on Inclusive and Equitable Education and Lifelong Learning, Technology and the Future of Education as well as Partnership and Collaboration for the Future of Education. In his remarks, he pointed out that the forum is directed to cover issues and progress that support the implementation of the SEAMEO Education Agenda and 7 Priority Areas toward the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 4. 

The 4th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers was led by the SEAMEO Secretariat in collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok Office.  There were roundtable sessions with highly respected speakers to deliver thematic keynote presentations. 

Session I Theme: Sustainable Development Goals and the Implications for the Inclusive and Equitable Education and Lifelong Learning in Southeast Asia

In this session, Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi presented UNESCO's views on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by outlining three key messages;

  • Southeast Asia (SEA) countries are not on track to achieve the SDGs.
  • SEA will not achieve the SDGs by 2030, particularly SDG4 with current practices.
  • SEA must change according to current times and trends.

He reiterated that the SDGs must be reinterpreted critically in light of the new challenges of current times and the shifting demands from the job market. He urged SEAMEO members to discuss, deliberate and determine the next key recommendations that will consider these issues.

This session was followed by a roundtable discussion led by Ms Azlina Kamal, an Education Specialist of UNICEF Malaysia as the moderator. The session aims to get the reflections, insights as well as experiences on the said theme from the panelists H E Dr Maszlee Malik, Minister of Education, Malaysia; H E Assoc Prof Dr Khamphay Sisavanh, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Lao PDR; H E Dr Leonor Magtolis Briones, Secretary of Education, Philippines; and H E U Win Maw Tun, Deputy Minister of Education, Myanmar.

Session II Theme: The Future of Education: Leveraging Technology in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for Quality and Equitable Education

In this session, Dr Fengchun Miao, Chief of the Unit for ICT in Education, UNESCO Headquarters presented the future of education to address leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve SDG  4 - Education 2030 by outlining the issues include:

  • How to ensure ethical, inclusive & equitable use of AI in education?
  • How can education prepare humans to live and work with AI?
  • How can AI be leveraged to enhance or reinvent education?

In this opportunity also, UNESCO extended an invitation to audience to participate in 2019 UNESCO ICT in Education Prize with the theme "The Use of AI to Innovate Education, Teaching and Learning", on 31 October 2019.

This session was followed by a roundtable session led by Dr Chantavit Sujatanond, SEAMEO RIHED Director as the moderator. The session aims to get the reflections, insights as well as experiences on the said theme from the panelists H E Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Hamzah bin Hj Sulaiman, Minister of Education, Brunei Darussalam; Dr Totok Suprayitno, Head of Research and Development Agency, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia; H E Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education, Singapore; and H E Prof Dr Phung Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training, Vietnam.

Session III Partnership and Collaboration for the Future of Education in Southeast Asia.

In this session, Mr Francisco Benavides, UNICEF Education Advisor, UNICEF EAPRO delivered the topic of partnership focusing on how partnerships and collaborations will help us in the future. Instead of trying to stress on the importance of partnerships, he seeks to bring to the floor some elements or evidences of how some partnerships can lead to successful results or failures in educational reforms. The first part of the presentation is to link this partnership approach. The key points discussed are as follows:

  • Why partnerships and the SDG agenda?
  • Education challenges and evidence from successful reforms
  • Types of partnerships and examples in the EAP region
  • Some ideas for reflection

He spoke on governments with strategies that will benefit children. He underlined that clear vision and strong leadership from all sectors are crucial to create a strong partnership and collaboration. There is no question about the importance of having a vision that is embraced and led by a group of people leading which in this case are the ministers of education.

After the session a roundtable discussion led by Mr Hyun Mook Lim, Director, UNESCO APCEIU as the moderator. The roundtable discussion aims to get the reflections, insights as well as experiences on the said theme from the panelists H E Dr Maszlee Malik, Minister of Education, Malaysia and SEAMEO Council President; H E Dr Nath Bunroeun, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia; Ms Duriya Amatativat, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Education, Thailand; H E Mr Maria Olandina Isable Caeiro Alves, Ambassador

Session VI Voices from Associate Member Countries

Ms Bernadine Caruana, Counsellor (Education & Science), Australian High Commission, Malaysia; and Ministry of Education and Training, Australia shared her perspective on the future of education and future work and the drive to build 21st century skills. She mentioned that bringing in technologies and innovations can only be done through partnerships. She added that the speed of change is so great that if we are not working together nor building on each other's knowledge would be a loss. Working together to gain faster outcomes is for the betterment of the nation.

Mr David G Ferron Priestley, Counsellor for Education in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and India, Embassy of Spain in Canberra; and Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Spain talked about the aspects of EU Post ET 2020 which has similar goals like SEAMEO. He focused on the Post ET 2020 Strategy which is based on the Gothernburg Pillar of Social Rights. He identified five significant aspects that guaranty equality, quality, and equity. The five aspects include education, artificial intelligence, life-long learning, and languages.

At the end of the session, the SEAMEO Secretariat Director, Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua Valenzuela presented the Strategic Dialogue of Education Ministers of Education: Commitment to Action which had been presented to the ministers which testify the commitment of the SEAMEO members.

The document testifies the commitment of the SEAMEO Ministers of Education which contains the SDG goals presented in the conference as well as AI and situations in each member country.

The document also conveys a commitment to action among the SEAMEO member countries as well as affiliate institutions and partners on three key areas:

  • to work cooperatively to promote inclusive education driven by innovation and empowering a new generation of teachers and lifelong learners in the use of digital technology
  • to create a policy environment that will help bridge the digital divide and pursue digital transformation in a more systemic level through informed policymaking assisted by SEAMEO Centres research and development initiatives, promoting relevant and contextualized pedagogy for the digital era
  • to encourage partnerships and alliances that create and build an innovative SEAMEO educational ecosystem where mutual ideas can be created and promoted paving new ways of learning and teaching beyond teaching technological skills.

To close the 4th Strategic Dialogue for Education Ministers, H E Dr Maszlee Malik, Minister of Education, Malaysia thanked everyone for their participation and attendance. The keynote speeches and roundtables were presented highlighting three important themes. The first roundtable focused on the SDGs and the quest for more inclusive and equitable learning. He thanked the Deputy Ministers of Education from Lao PDR, the Philippines and Myanmar for sharing their educational programmes which moved towards universal access to free basic education. He closed his remarks by stressing that the success of SDGs hinges upon the ability to collect and analyse data successfully as well as ensuring that education is a collective responsibility from every level of society.

Published in NEWS
Tagged under

The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) and the United Nations Child Fund (UNICEF), as well as the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), the technical consortium of SEA-PLM have spent many years working with participating countries to develop, trial and improve the technical and logistical procedures and roles needed to successfully implement the large-scale regional assessment.

This being said with SEA-PLM being embedded within national education systems the practicalities of preparing for the assessment differs slightly in each country, depending on its individual education structures and mechanisms.

So what does SEA-PLM actually look like at a country level?

To take a closer look at the in-country roles and functions of SEA-PLM we head to the Philippines who implemented main survey data collection during February. With the involvement of 16 regions, 119 Divisions, and 176 schools the archipelagic nation has had to be meticulous in its approach for preparing all relevant parties for the first round of SEA-PLM.

For each participating country, a Technical Team Manager (TTM) and Technical Team (TT) including positions such as school contact person, logistics coordinator, sampling coordinator, coding coordinator, data manager, and administration staff are appointed.

At the heart of SEA-PLM coordination in the Philippines sits the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) of the Department of Education (DepEd), with Chief Education Program Specialist Ms. Gretchen Cordero assigned as Technical Team Manager. Responsible for the coordination of all activities at the national level and the supervision of the Technical Team, Ms Gretchen is coordinating not one but three large-scale learning assessments. A priority of this year is to look into our system of assessment and see how our students are faring compared to other countries in the region.

Core tasks of the Technical Team include the selection and training orientation of School Coordinators and Test Administrators, the translation, review, printing, and distribution of test booklets and questionnaires, student sampling and quality monitoring.

Ms. Gretchen commented that overall the preparation process had run smoothly, a minor challenge however was that half of the test booklets had to be printed in-house due to procurement processes. This meant a lot of late nights for my staff to ensure that all booklets were printed in time!

So what about the school level?

Similar to the Technical Team there are multiple roles required at the front line of school testing. Two essential positions are that of the School Coordinator (SC) and Test Administrator (TA). In the case of the Philippines, the additional position of District Testing Coordinator (DTC) plays a significant role in supporting School Coordinators and preparing schools for testing.

DTC Ms. Remylinda T. Soriano explained to us how she had coordinated the orientation session with teachers, parents, and students ensuring they understood the purpose of SEA-PLM and what would be required from them on the testing day. With the testing day finally upon them, Ms. Remylinda shared what a happy day it was and how proud the school was to have been selected to represent the Philippines.

For security purposes test booklets and questionnaires are not delivered to the school until the testing day meaning that parents, teachers, principals, and students all complete the test and questionnaires on the same day. The task of assessment material delivery and collection is that of a National Quality Control Monitor (NQCM).  NQCMs are from the central level and also fulfill the purpose of school observation, filling out standard checklists and reporting back to the Technical Team. 

When the testing day finally arrives it is the Test Administrators moment to shine. Test Administrators are selected from different schools than those participating in the assessment and all undergo training to orient them towards their role. One Test Administrator Mr Benjamin Cruz Junior described the testing process to be straightforward, with the detailed instructions and script provided it is simply a matter of following it.

It is because of these people and many more that national data collection for SEA-PLM is made possible. A core priority of SEA-PLM is the capacity building of national teams to prepare and implement learning assessments at an internationally recognised standard. In the Philippines, the impact of the preparation, training and support process of these key roles, as well as the utilization of existing DepEd structures and mechanisms have all contributed to the strengthening of local capacity and the successful collection of school data for SEA-PLM.

Published in NEWS
Tagged under
Friday, 09 August 2019 14:19

SEA-PLM 2019 Begins in Myanmar

The first regional assessment of the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) entered its final stretch on the 28th January, with Myanmar being the first country to begin data collection in schools. This large-scale survey will take place in Myanmar, Philippines, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia during 2019 according to the different school calendars.

Led through the cooperative tradition among Ministries of Education in the region, SEA-PLM is a project jointly managed by the Southeast Asian Ministers for Education Organisation (SEAMEO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). With the shared vision of improving and redefining learning outcomes, SEA-PLM provides metrics that are founded within the regional context and inclusive of 21st Century skills.

Mr. Aung describes SEA-PLM as an innovative and very advanced assessment in the region, as well as internationallyThe implementation of the first assessment is the culmination of 5 years' worth of research, capacity building, and field trials, all to develop a suitable set of assessment and survey instruments specifically designed for the region. For each of the participating countries, approximately 3500 grade 5 students enrolled in an average of 150 schools are randomly selected to represent their country. The Australian Council of Education Research (ACER) an independent technical operator is used to select schools and students, providing technical support to national teams as they prepare and implement the assessment.

Deputy Director of the Department of Myanmar Examinations Mr. Aung Htike has been working as a SEA-PLM Technical Team Manager since June 2015 and is highly experienced in the management of large-scale learning assessments. Leading a Technical Team made up of 35 members from seven different Departments and Universities across Myanmar, Mr. Aung with his team coordinated the first assessment in 202 schools across the country. To successfully achieve this huge undertaking, Myanmar uses the Six C approach; Commitment, Capacity, Communication, Collaboration, Consistency, and Coordination.

Over a three-week period, 5715 students undertook standardized tests in Myanmar language in reading, mathematics, writing, and global citizenship. One Myanmar teacher shared how she could not sleep the night before the test because she felt so nervous and excited to be chosen to participate. To paint a fuller picture of the factors contributing to learning outcomes the principals, teachers, and parents of selected students also complete background surveys. While all tests and questionnaires are anonymous and not designed to assess the individual performance of students or teachers, it is still a nerve-racking experience to be chosen to represent your country.

An important element of SEA-PLM is to ensure comparability and consistency of the meaning of test items between countries. Questions are similar in all participating countries and have been designed in collaboration with national and international experts, reflecting the disciplinary domains and cognitive processes considered important to have been achieved by students by the end of primary school.

The road to developing comparable and suitable test items and assessment tools have been a long and complex one.  In order to design suitable metrics, surveys and assessment tools were trialed during 2018 in 7 different countries on reduced school samples. In Myanmar, Mr. Aung and his team participated in this process by joining in multiple capacity building workshops and implementing field trial assessments in 35 schools during November 2016. 

Countries have committed considerable human and financial resources to this assessment because they can see that it has something very important to offer them. SEA-PLM will generate key data on each country's context on how students perform in school and what factors are affecting learning outcomes. From these gaps in national education policy and systems can be identified and improved.

What is impressive about SEA-PLM Mr. Aung says is that it both assesses the four different domains and that the items of these four domains are specifically tailored for Southeast Asian students, allowing them to apply their knowledge and learnings in real life situations.

Published in NEWS
Tagged under