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As Southeast Asian countries continue to manage the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic crisis in education, continuing investment in teacher workforce is critical to improve quality of education and learning across the region.  Teachers remain one of the most essential factors influencing students’ learning outcomes.  Hence, new evidence to inform effective policy making and plan sustainable systems provide opportunities to strengthen teacher education, support, and training.   

The SEA-PLM Secretariat co-managed by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat and UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and Pacific (UNICEF EAPRO) are pleased to invite SEAMEO Member countries and partners to participate in a rich policy roundtable discussion on supporting teachers to improve learning in Southeast Asian countries.  The discussion will bring together Southeast Asian countries and their partners to reflect on new evidence from SEA-PLM 2019 and ongoing national policies and plan for supporting teacher workforce in basic education.

The SEA-PLM Secretariat will launch a new regional secondary analysis report - SEA-PLM 2019 latest evidence in basic education: Supporting teachers to improve learning in 6 Southeast Asian countries.  This paper provides a comparative analysis of Grade 5 teachers’ demographics, training and professional development, instructional practices, working conditions, allocation and specialisation across the 6 participating countries before the COVID-19 pandemic.  It explores existing challenges and gaps to inform policy discussions and long-term planning for effectively recruiting, training and managing teachers.  This paper provides substantive recommendations with the aim to help participating countries to develop long-term, sustainable policies for teachers and building back better in education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries and partners are invited to reflect and share insights in the four following areas of reflections emerging from the SEA-PLM data and building back better in education amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Developing a pipeline of well-prepared teachers by improving pre-service education and ongoing professional development aligned to teachers’ needs;
  • Improving teachers’ working conditions in order to attract and retain motivated, experienced teacher workforce;
  • Investing in information and communications technologies (ICT) and supporting teachers to leverage technologies to support student learning;
  • Strengthening data generation and using data-driven systems to effectively monitor and manage the teacher workforce.



The policy roundtable will be virtually organised via Zoom platform for invited participants.


  • SEAMEO Member countries
  • SEAMEO Centers
  • National and regional partners



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SEA-PLM Secretariat