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Tuesday, 26 December 2023 11:24

SEA-PLM keeps momentum for the 2024 Main Survey

Seoul, Republic fo Korea | Apiradee Treerutkuarkul: The Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) Regional Secretariat has advanced the preparation for the Main Survey in 2024 by hosting the 3rd SEA-PLM Regional Technical Workshop from 11 to 15 December 2023, in collaboration with the Korea Institute for
Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE).

This collaborative effort engaged participating countries and partners in active discussions surrounding the psychometric results of cognitive and contextual instruments. National experiences gleaned from the Field Trial operations showcased best practices and lessons learned that can help inform the Main survey operations. Guided by the SEA-PLM technical standards, countries deliberated and agreed on the final selection of test items, instruments, procedures for the upcoming assessment scheduled for next year.

Training attendees

Crucial to this regional event was the annual gathering of national technical teams, essential for aligning and synchronising national and regional calendars and expectations. The alignment aimed to ensure a seamless and timely execution of programme activities both at the regional and national levels.

Field trial in the Philippines presentation

Present during the event were the national teams of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor Leste, and Viet Nam, co-chairs of the SEA-PLM programme—SEAMEO Secretariat and UNICEF EAPRO, key partners from AKCF and ASEAN Secretariat, technical experts from ACER and cApStAn LQC, among other collaborators of the programme.

Dr. Jimin Cho, Vice-President of KICE, acknowledged the significant milestones achieved in preparing for the 2024 assessment. Dr. Cho also articulated a vision of transforming the program into a sustainable and robust mechanism for monitoring student learning outcomes in the region.

Training completion certification

The SEA-PLM Co-chairs, led by Datuk Dr. Habibah Abdul Rahim, Director of SEAMEO Secretariat, and Ms. Mitsue Uemura, Regional Education Advisor of UNICEF EAPRO, commended the diligent efforts of participating countries and the guidance provided by technical partners. They emphasized the foundational work undertaken to facilitate the successful execution of the Main Survey the following year. Furthermore, they urged all workshop participants to not only focus on assessment plans but also to recommit to the core objective of the programme – collectively enhancing the quality and equity of education across the region.

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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