SEAMEO, UNICEF to release results of a new learning assessment
MANILA, Philippines — The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Association (SEAMEO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are set to release a report on the learning assessment of grade 5 students among ASEAN countries, the organizations announced on Monday.
According to a post in the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics’ (SEA-PLM) website, the results of the 2019 study will be launched on Tuesday at Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit in Thailand. It will also be broadcasted through an online platform for virtual participants.
The announcement also detailed that a policy discussion on the SEA-PLM results will be also held on Wednesday. Representatives from participating countries are expected to give their insight during the roundtable.
In a separate post, SEAMEO and UNICEF said that the study highlights the learning outcome of selected students from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam.
“In 2012, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Association (SEAMEO) and UNICEF initiated the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) in an effort to assess and monitor students’ acquisition of knowledge and skills and to further improve the quality of primary education in Southeast Asia,” stated in SEA-PLM’s website.
“The process of design, trialling and improvement to the assessment framework, tools and protocols has involved a range of government and technical stakeholders, ensuring that the assessment can deliver high quality data and that it is embedded within national education systems,” it added.
A five-year study on student literacy
The whole process involved in the study started in 2015. SEAMEO and UNICEF conducted test development, translation, and trial testing until 2018. The sampling and logistics as well as the data collection were done from 2018 to 2019. Meanwhile, the analysis and report were finalized this year.
The study covers four categories: mathematical literacy, reading literacy, writing literacy, and global citizenship literacy.
“SEA-PLM develops cognitive and contextual questions on the basis of a conceptual framework designed by experts and countries. The framework defines the contents to be measured and is contextually suited to the region, national curricula and current research in education,” the study’s methodology read.
“Framework and instruments are designed to be used by all participating countries and between different assessment rounds allowing for comparison of trends over time,” it followed.
According to the study, a minimum of 150 schools were sampled from each participating country. One grade five class was chosen randomly from a sample school.
The tests were administered via paper-pencil testing. The students were asked to answer multiple-choice and open-ended questions within the given time limit. A total of 30 minutes were given to each of the three learning areas (reading, writing, and numeracy).
“Standardized guidelines and instructions guide countries at each stage of the assessment administration. Countries are responsible for training government staff, school coordinators and test administrators, ensuring that the assessment standards are applied consistently,” SEAMEO and UNICEF explained.
“Quality control of the assessment is undertaken by government and external observers,” the organizations added.
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