Vietnamese primary students are best performers in Southeast Asia

HCMC - Vietnamese primary students are the best performers in Southeast Asia in terms of learning outcomes under the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM) program, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

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Primary students in HCMC visit their school garden – PHOTO: THANH HOA

The results of the SEA-PLM in 2019 were announced at an online conference of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) on December 1.

Among the six participating countries comprising Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines, Vietnam’s primary school students ranked first in all three competencies surveyed, namely reading, writing and mathematics.

In terms of reading, Vietnamese students had the highest average competency level of 6/6. The percentage of Vietnamese students achieving the sixth level of competency was 82%. Malaysia ranked second with 58% of students achieving the sixth level, while the percentages of the rest were all below 10%.

In writing, Vietnamese students had an average capacity of six out of eight. The percentage of students reaching the eighth proficiency level was 20%, while the rates in the remaining countries were just 2-4%.

In mathematics, Vietnamese students had an average competency level of eight out of nine. The percentage of children with the highest level of competency was 42%. The rates among the rest were all below 10%.

The learning gap between urban and rural students as assessed by the SEA-PLM has narrowed. However, students in mountainous and remote areas are still lagging far behind students from other regions.

In 2019, the survey was conducted at 150 schools in Vietnam with the participation of 832 teachers, 4,837 students and 4,160 parents.

Commenting on the results, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said the findings will help the ministry identify immediate and long-term policies for the development of primary education. Specifically, the ministry will focus on developing education for mountainous students, supporting ethnic minority students in difficult circumstances and building a strategy to improve education for parents.

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.