CBSE invites response to component introduced this year for classes IX, XI

The CBSE has called for online feedback from schools and students on the Open-Text Based Assessment (OTBA) scheme which has been introduced for classes IX and XI this academic year.

While some students have already attempted the anticipated OTBA questions as part of their final examinations, in some city schools, the exams are still under way.

OTBA has been introduced as a component for five subjects in class IX and three subjects in class XI. According to the Board, it aims at relieving students from ‘mugging up’ and drives them towards acquiring skills in information processing, comprehension, analysis and critical thinking, among others.

The questions, based on a text already given to students by the Board, have been introduced in Hindi, English, mathematics, science and social science summative-II assessment papers for class IX, and geography, economics and biology annual examination papers for class XII.

Though students are not allowed to carry the text, it will be printed as part of the question paper, according to the CBSE.

Suma Padmanabhan, principal, Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School, said students’ feedback had been positive so far. “When we get the valuation key, we’ll get a clearer idea of where the students stand,” she said.

However, S. Apoorva, a class XI student who wrote the economics paper, said that while she thought the text was relevant to the subject, the questions could have been more comprehensive and organised. “Though the passage was very interesting, there was just enough time to finish answering the questions,” she said.

The feedback questionnaire, which is available on the CBSE website, calls for suggestions on aspects relating to relevance, application, and conduct of the test, among others. It asks for feedback on whether OTBA has helped students think beyond the syllabus, whether it is an extension of concepts taught to them, and if there were any administrative difficulties during implementation, among other aspects.

The board also asks if OTBA should be extended to classes X and XII, and for other subjects in class XI.

Amudha Lakshmi, principal, Chettinad Vidyashram, suggested that OTBA may be extended to class X. “Class IX students were able to comprehend the passages in science and mathematics well. But it will take a year or two to gauge the effectiveness of anything new,” she said.

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