CBSE planning open book board tests for Class 10, 12

January 9, 2014, 11:45 am

CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) is planning to hold open book exams for students of Class 10 and 12 boards. The board introduced open text-based assessment in select subjects for students of Classes 9 and 11 this academic year. For the first time in the country, school students will take such a test this March.

CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said the board was "actively considering" inclusion of the open book component in the boards. "It will change the way teaching and learning happens in the classroom ," he said.
The board will discuss the feasibility of extending the reform to board exam students in February. "After the Class 9 and Class 11 students take the test, we will get feedback from students and consider their views as well," Joshi said.

Academics split on CBSE’s open book test plan

Some academics expressed concern that the reform could tilt the scales either in favour of CBSE students or against them, when compared to students taking other board exams. But Joshi said that he does not foresee issues when it comes to acceptance . "Every board has a different evaluation system, and designs different question papers, so I don’t see a problem there ," he said .

He added that though there has been apprehension over the subjectivity of teachers when it comes to evaluation , the board has tried to address it by providing a detailed marking guide that will balance it out .Principal of Kola Perumal Chetty Vaishnav Senior Secondary School , L Neelakanta Pillai , said all CBSE schools will accept the test. While many have lauded CBSE’s latest reform , others have criticized it as being impractical , particularly because teachers may not be equipped to evaluate such a test.

In response, Joshi said the board would focus on strengthening teacher training and empowering teachersin 2014. "We are going to focus a lot on teacher training . For a programme to succeed, teachers have to be confident . We are going to focus on changing the teaching methodology in the classroom ," Josh said .

The board also plans to allow 75 more schools to adopt the CBSE-i syllabus . So far , the international syllabus brought out by the CBSE has been introduced in 80 schools across the country . "There is a demand from schools for the syllabus , but we are not increasing the number much . This year 300 applied, but only 75 schools have been given approval ," Joshi said .