Assessment Systems in Southeast Asia: Models, Successes and Challenges

Over the past few years, the SEAMEO member countries have undertaken several education reforms which include re-thinking of curricula, re-training of teachers, and re-structuring of organizations, among others. Reforms on student learning assessment systems in these countries have been on-going, but to date, these activities have not been examined closely nor discussed thoroughly in educational meetings, seminars, or conferences.


To fill this gap in research, SEAMEO INNOTECH conducted a regional comparative study of the student learning assessment systems of SEAMEO member countries to determine the features of these systems and to identify success factors as well as examine issues and challenges that the Ministries of Education face as they assess the learning or school performance of their students.


Out of the eleven member countries, ten (10) participated in the regional research. These countries were Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. The different Ministries of Education (MOEs) nominated a representative who then answered a survey on the student learning assessment system of their respective country and presented country reports at a regional research workshop conducted at SEAMEO INNOTECH in July 2012. The workshop also served as the avenue for the Center’s Research Studies Unit (RSU) to validate the responses of the country representatives on the assessment survey instrument.


This monograph summarizes the major key findings of the study. It reviews the salient features of assessment systems of SEAMEO member countries and current practices, focusing specifically on learner assessment systems at primary and secondary school levels. It also presents the challenges being faced by each member country in implementing assessment systems as well as the innovations initiated in assessment policy making.


Finally, it also provides policy recommendations for the MOEs to consider when they strengthen or improve on their student learning assessment systems. It is hoped that this publication will support SEAMEO member countries in their efforts to further strengthen or enhance their existing assessment systems which will lead to improvements in the learning achievement of their students.

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Assessment Systems in Southeast Asia: Models, Successes and Challenges

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