The Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) is a new comparative learning assessment programme designed by and for countries in Southeast Asia. The programme aims to generate reliable data and evidence for monitoring learning outcomes across and within countries and understanding what factors facilitate or hinder children's effective learning along their school journey. It also aims to promote cross-border exchange on learning and education policies and build participating countries' capacity to design and conduct solid learning assessments. Furthermore, it seeks to strengthen national education stakeholders' capacity to analyze, interpret and use learning outcomes data. Finally, SEA-PLM aims to help countries identify, prioritize and address educational challenges in key policy areas, such as curriculum development, resource allocation, pedagogical practice, and planning at national and sub-national levels.

Through the first round of SEA-PLM – SEA-PLM 2019 – stakeholders obtained robust evidence to answer the critical question: How do children in Southeast Asia perform against regional metrics in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of primary school? Participating countries gathered information to help monitor the progress of disadvantaged subgroups of children and schools at the end of primary years by exploring equity related to context and learning achievement. SEA-PLM 2019 findings will improve countries’ understanding of children’s Grade 5 learning achievements and barriers to achievement. SEA-PLM 2019 particularly measured achievement in Grade 5, as this period is considered an appropriate age for developing basic learning and competencies. Grade 5 was chosen by participating countries as a standard grade where all children should still be in primary school. 

SEA-PLM also has the potential to address other educational questions through regional comparison of learning environments, children’s experiences and school practices, as well as specific areas, such as the global citizenship education module developed in the SEA-PLM 2019 contextual questionnaires. Moreover, the SEA-PLM programme is structured so that children’s achievement can be measured over time through subsequent cycles of assessments. This is particularly relevant in the context of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, as SEA-PLM 2019 provides an original baseline for children’s learning. With this baseline, participating countries will be able to compare children’s learning levels before and after COVID-19, which disrupted students’ learning despite various distance-learning strategies and programmes in each country.

 Timeline of SEA-PLM 2019

seaplm 2019 timeline