Indore: Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) was introduced by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in Class IX (Hindi, English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science subjects) and in final examination of Class XI in select subjects (Economics, Biology and Geography) from March, 2014, for development of logical explanation in students, but it failed to have any visible effect on educational development.

“Considering the modicum partial attainment of desired objectives of OTBA and also based on the feedback of stakeholders, the Board subsequent to the resolution passed in the Governing Body Meeting, has decided to withdraw the OTBA from the Scheme of Studies in Classes IX and XI from the Session 2017-18,” stated a circular issued by Joint Secretary (ART&I) Manoj KR Srivastava.

Further, the circular was uploaded on CBSE’s academic portal to inform the decision of the Board that was to be noted by all concerned for actions accordingly.

Discussing OTBA, Sahodaya treasurer Vijay Tiwari said, “OTBA was started by Director (Academic, Research, Trainings and Innovations) Dr Sadhana Parashar after Indian students failed to perform well in an international competition.” He explained that further when students’ answer sheets were evaluated it was found that students had failed terribly in ‘logical explanation’ section.

“OTBA is basically a form of extempore, which failed,” Tiwari said. He could not enumerate the exact reason for its failure, but he felt that maybe it was improperly launched or failed to implement as needed.

Quoting the reason that added to the failure of OTBA, Tiwari said, “Students became careless about examination as cc pattern made it quite easy for them to get good grades.” He elaborated that extempore and other similar activities as OTBA have always been conducted internally in schools.

Talking about OTBA pattern, teacher Sudha Pandey said, “The pattern itself confused students and because of it unclear rules, even teachers found it cumbersome in application.”

 She explained that most people are happy with the decision of withdrawal of OTBA. “We would still promote extempore and other activities for logical development internally,” she added.

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