SEA-PLM 2019 latest evidence in basic education: low-performing readers in 6 Southeast Asian countries

Results from SEA-PLM 2019 Main Regional Report highlighted a large proportion of children across 6 countries in Southeast Asia whose performance did not meet minimum expectations for their age in reading, writing and mathematics. This paper focuses on reading performance, and profiles children who are considered to be low reading performers in their respective countries, and discusses what these children can do and how they are distributed throughout the region. It then explores how systems and schools support low-performing children. This paper looks at potential solutions by investigating the characteristics of children who demonstrate academic resilience – that is, being able to perform well despite coming from a disadvantaged background. The findings from the study contribute to policy recommendations for how low-performing children can be better supported to reduce the risk of students being left behind academically across basic education.

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