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CBSE conducts open book exam trials for students of 9th and 11th
In order to wean away students from rote learning, this year the central board of secondary education (CBSE) conducted the Open Text Book Assessment (OTBA) for grades eleven and nine since the second week of February. Depending the response of schools and students, the OBTA may be extended to 12th grade in future.

According to the CBSE, the open book examination has been introduced to steer students away from rote learning. The question paper was given with text in the form of reports, articles or case studies to draw inferences from it. The test items were made open-ended to apply analytical thinking during OTBA trialling.

My view point is that OTBA, in fact, has implications for teacher preparation, classroom processes and quality of teaching. Moreover, by changing the examination system, there are fewer chances to improve classroom instruction which is matter of hard work by changing the inertia of teachers. My interaction with the parents in neighborhood reveals that there is a mixed response to OTBA, most parents felt that it will promote the private coaching industry all the more if it gets extended to grades ten and twelve.

As usual, some teachers have started labelling students as 'weak students' and 'non-thinkers' instead of gearing up for the appropriate teaching methods. However, the publishing industry is upbeat that they will publish new volumes of fatter, thicker and expensive textbooks helping students to 'crack' OTBA.


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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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