Vietnam ranks first among region’s primary school student learning outcomes: report

Tuesday, 2020-12-01 16:45:33
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Pupils during a Vietnamese language learning class at Tran Nhan Tong Primary School in Nam Dinh Province. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Vietnam ranks first among Southeast Asian countries in terms of primary school student learning outcomes under the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) programme.

The news was announced at an online conference of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) on December 1, held to assess the results of the SEA-PLM in 2019.

The regional programme assesses student learning outcomes at primary Grade 5, with its key focus being to support member countries in developing robust learning assessment systems, enabling them to monitor student learning outcomes, thereby contributing to a more equitable and meaningful education for all children across the region.

Accordingly, among the six participating countries Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines, primary school students in Vietnam ranked first in all three competencies surveyed, namely Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

Specifically, in the Reading domain, the SEA-PLM survey measured student competency across six levels, in which Vietnamese students showed the highest average competency level of 6/6. The percentage of Vietnamese students achieving the 6th level of competency is 82%. Malaysia ranked second with 58% of students achieving the 6th level of competency. The percentages of the remainder were all below 10%.

In terms of Writing, the SEA-PLM survey measured students' competency across 8 levels. Vietnamese students had an average capacity of 6/8. The percentage of students reaching the 8th proficiency level was 20%. This rate in the remaining countries was 2-4%.

In Mathematics, the programme measured student competency across 9 levels, in which Vietnamese students had an average competency level of 8/9. The percentage of children with the highest level of competency (level 9) was 42%. The rates among the remainder were all below 10%.

Parental educational attainment has a great influence on children's educational performance. Specifically, the higher the educational attainment the parents have, the better their children's learning results. The learning gap between urban and rural students as assessed by SEA-PLM has narrowed, with almost no difference remaining. However, students in mountainous and remote areas are still well below the results of students from other regions.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc assessed that SEA-PLM gives participating countries an objective and fair measure of their quality of education, creating opportunities for countries to learn and share experiences and policies in the development of education.

The programme results will help the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam identify immediate and long-term policies for the development of primary education. In particular, the ministry will focus on developing education for mountainous students, supporting ethnic minority students in difficult circumstances, building a strategy to improve education for parents and investing more on schoolboys.

Launched in 2011, the SEA-PLM aims at assisting SEAMEO member countries to better measure and understand the learning situation of primary students according to both general and individual criteria, thereby helping countries improve the quality of their education system.