Thursday, 03 February 2022 15:41

The 12th Regional Steering Committee marks the official introduction of the next round – SEA-PLM 2024

Jolin Nguyen, Bangkok, Thailand

26 – 28 January 2022 – The Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) Secretariat, co-chaired by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat and UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and Pacific (UNICEF EAPRO), has successfully organised the 12th SEA-PLM Regional Steering Committee meeting virtually. The meeting was attended by 70 participants who were representatives from 6 SEA-PLM 2019 countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, together with other SEAMEO Member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Thailand, Technical Advisory Group (TAG), and partner organisations including the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Programme Management Team, Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE), Mott Macdonald, University of Bath (the United Kingdom) and UNICEF country offices.

Marking the closing of the first round of assessment - SEA-PLM 2019 - and the official introduction of the second round of assessment - SEA-PLM 2024, the meeting was significant for shaping the future of SEA-PLM in several ways. Primarily, it provided an opportune platform for the key stakeholders and the SEA-PLM Secretariat to drive the directions of the SEA-PLM programme, especially in consideration of the grant to the SEA-PLM programme from the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) through the ASEAN Secretariat.

The meeting focused on presenting and endorsing the new long-term SEA-PLM five-year strategic plan (2021-2025). It stimulated discussions on many important topics such as technical preparation, funding, partnership, challenges, and opportunities for the next SEA-PLM assessment round. As part of the meeting, bilateral discussions with countries, partners, and the SEA-PLM Secretariat were conducted to ensure regional consensus on programme planning, resources mobilisation, technical activities, and country modalities of participation. Furthermore, the long-term principles of the SEA-PLM programme were also discussed and featured via the external evaluation from Cambridge Education/ Mott Macdonald in terms of Relevance, Efficiency, Likely Impact, Sustainability, Equity, and Gender Equality.

As co-chair of the SEA-PLM Secretariat, Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua -Valenzuela, Director, SEAMEO Secretariat, articulated that the SEA-PLM roadmap and multi-sectoral partnership from the region would be welcome to pave the way towards a more inclusive and better quality of education for all children. In addition, Mr Francisco Benavides, Education Advisor, UNICEF EAPRO, co-chair of the SEA-PLM Secretariat, highlighted the need for an authentic partnership between and among countries to ensure the success of SEA-PLM 2024. Mr Benavides reaffirmed the commitment of UNICEF EAPRO to co-chair the regional SEA-PLM Secretariat and to continue the technical leadership and technical assistance to the SEA-PLM Strategic plan and goals.