SEA-PLM 2019 Fact Sheet

Long title
Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM)
Frequency of data collection
Every 4 years
  • Late 2014 to early 2015: framework development
  • 2015 - 2018: instrument development, translation, and field test
  • 2018 - 2019: sampling and logistics
  • 2019 (January-November): data collection
  • 2019 - 2020: data processing, analysis, and report writing
  • 2020 (December): release of international report and international database
  • Generate reliable data and evidence for monitoring learning outcomes across and within countries.
  • Understand what factors facilitate or hinder effective learning of children along their school journey.
  • Promote cross-border exchange on learning and education policies.
  • Build the capacity of participating countries to design and conduct solid learning assessments.
  • Strengthen national education stakeholders’ capacity to analyze, interpret and use learning outcomes data.
  • Help countries to 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.
  • Contribute to countries’ efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4; in particular, track progress on foundational learning (SDG 4.1.1) and knowledge and skills related to global citizenship (SDG 4.7).
Research questions

Not stated explicitly

Assessment domain(s)
  • Mathematical literacy/Mathematics/Numeracy
  • Reading literacy
  • Writing literacy
  • Global citizenship 
Study framework (summary)

Assessment or survey framework

Mathematical literacy

  • Context
  • Process
  • Content

​​​Reading literacy

  • Context
  • Process  
  • Content

Writing literacy

  • Context
  • Process
  • Content

Global Citizenship

  • Content
    • Global citizenship systems, issues, and dynamics
    • Global citizenship awareness and identities
    • Global citizenship engagement
  • Attitudes and values (for the first two content domains)
  • Behaviors and skills (for the third content domain)


Contextual framework

  • Context of the wider community
  • Context of schools and classroom
  • Context of home and immediate out- of school environment
  • Context of the individual

For each of the four contextual levels, the framework is organized according to antecedents (external factors that condition the ways in which learning takes place) and processes (factors that directly influence learning).

Participating entities


6 countries



Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Viet Nam

Target population and sample (summary)

Target population

Grade 5 students, regardless of their age and experience before and after entering primary school.



  • Per country
    • Between 149 and 233 schools
    • One Grade 5 class per school
    • Between 4,800 and more than 6,000 students
  • Across all countries: more than 31,000 students
Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Student achievement tests

  • Paper-and-pencil assessments of students’ mathematical, writing, and reading literacy.
  • 18 different test booklets administered randomly in each sampled classroom and school.


Global citizenship questionnaire

  • For students, it was administered as a separate module to the background questionnaire.
  • For teachers, the respective questions were integrated in the background questionnaire.


Background questionnaires

  • Including the following four
    • Student questionnaire
    • Parent questionnaire
    • Teacher questionnaire
    • School questionnaire
  • All four were paper-and-pencil
Study director(s)
Study website(s)
SEA-PLM Secretariat


Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat

Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Bldg, 920 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Email: seaplm (at)

Phone: +66 (0) 2391-0144

Fax: +66 (0) 2381-2587



United Nations Children’s Fund - East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office - Education Section

9 Pra Athit Rd, Chana Songkhram, Pra Nakhon, Bangkok,10200, Thailand


  • amarivin (at)
  • etanner (at)
  • fbenavides (at)

Phone: +66 (0) 2356-9499

Fax: +66 (0) 2280-3563