Maharashtra Mulls Open Book Exams, Stakeholders Divided

Maharashtra Mulls Open Book Exams, Stakeholders Divided

Students, parents and teachers are divided over the feasibility and the impacts of OBEs that the Maharashtra board is mulling its implementation.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 01:06 PM IST
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The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) is considering the implementation of open book exams (OBE), drawing inspiration from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

The move comes in response to ongoing discussions within the State’s Education Department on the potential benefits of adopting an OBE pattern. It is believed that it could help cultivate analytical skills among students while discouraging rote learning.

According to a statement by Sharad Gosavi, the chairman of the MSBSHSE, the board plans to roll out the OBE format for students from classes 9 to 12. According to Gosavi, the primary objective behind this initiative is to restrain malpractices in examinations and enhance students' understanding of the concepts and syllabus formulas.

How did student, parents and principal reacted?

However, the proposal has sparked mixed reactions from various stakeholders. 

Sammrudhi Hirave, a 12th-grade student from Kelkar Education Trust's Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Mulund, expressed scepticism, stating, "Open book exams shouldn't be there. Because if exams are conducted in this manner, students won’t be sincere and won’t study at that moment, leading to problems in preparing for further entrance exams."

In contrast, Hirave’s younger sister, Archana Hirave, a 9th-grade student at MH High School, Thane, supported the idea of OBE, suggesting its potential benefits for students.

Anjuman-I-Islam's Saif Tyabji Girls' High School’s Principal Shama Tarapurwala welcomed the proposal for OBEs but advocated for their limited use, particularly for internal and preparatory examinations. She asserted, "It’s a good decision, but keeping open-book exams for internal preparation exams is a great idea because our goal is to ensure that students remember key concepts while understanding them."

However, Tarapurwala expressed dissatisfaction about implementing OBEs for final and board examinations.

Sharing similar sentiments, Parul Bhatt, whose son is studying in the 10th grade at Rustomjee International School, Dahisar, criticised the idea, deeming it "ridiculous." Bhatt argued against the practicality of OBEs for final assessments, fearing that it might discourage students from studying diligently.

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