Most Southeast Asian countries have traditionally provided access to education to remote, disadvantaged and marginalized learning communities through multigrade instruction. These countries implement multigrade instruction as a necessity rather than a choice. Their demographic and geographical characteristics call for the organization of multigrade classes. In some instances the lack of educational resources such as classrooms and teachers has further increased the need for this educational delivery approach.
Recognizing that multigrade instruction will likely continue to be a significant feature of the educational system of most Southeast Asian countries, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) spearheaded a regional review of quality indicators of multigrade instruction through its SEAMEO Regional Education Program
(SIREP). The study aims to identify present models of multigrade schooling, and quality of instruction in Southeast Asia.
The regional review reveals that significant progress has been achieved since the 1920’s when countries first implemented multigrade instruction to resolve issues of access to educational opportunities. However, there are still challenges that must be addressed such as the need for advocacy to raise awareness on improving quality in the multigrade schools. In some countries policy support that specifically deal with
multigrade instruction and multigrade schools concerns is sorely lacking at both the national and local levels. Sometimes education sector planning fails to consider the situation of multigrade schools.
This report aims to identify quality indicators of effective multigrade instruction. It likewise proposes an action agenda, which will hopefully provide guidance to multigrade school implementers on how to maximize the impact and benefits of multigrade instruction for learners. This report further presents an interesting mix of practices and strategies which may be useful for multigrade teachers and school heads.