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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Laos Scores Lowest in ASEAN’s Primary Education

This Week

Lao primary school students have received the lowest scores in math, reading, and writing among six ASEAN countries in a large 2020 study.

According to the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM), Lao primary students scored lowest amongst Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. Students in each country were tested in math, reading, and writing skills.

Lao students received the highest scores in math skills. According to the test results, 45 percent of the students were able to interpret simple graphs, find what is half of any even single digit number, and tell time.

Above that, another 22 percent were able to add four digit numbers, subtract two digit numbers, and some even use factions and decimals. Only 33 percent were unable to do simple math problems. These students still have trouble with counting objects or recognizing numbers.

Lao primary students scored lower in reading and writing skills, with 50 per cent of Lao students were unable to read everyday texts and were only able to match a word with the correct picture of the word about 25 percent of the time, with less than 25 percent able to read simple texts about situations they have not experienced first hand.

Only 2 percent of students graduating 5th grade tested above the Sustainable Development Goal’s “basic” reading proficiency for end of primary education.

Finally, for writing proficiency, 52 percent of Lao primary students were able to describe a picture in writing with more than a few basic words that focused on a couple traits but unable to describe the whole picture or to use full sentences.

The SEA-PLM report was produced, with the support of UNICEF, in order to improve data collection in ASEAN on education and share successful education policies between ASEAN countries. Primary education is a critical part of a child’s future and national development.

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