Now, CBSE goes for on-screen marking

To be introduced next year, system will help streamline paper assessment of board students, who often complain about their papers being hurriedly examined; technology is being used in UK, US and Australia

From next year onwards, there will be fewer complaints from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) students, who feel their exams papers are hurriedly corrected by the examiners, as the board is in the process of introducing Onscreen Marking System (OMS) to streamline and improve the accuracy of marking system of answer sheets. 

Welcome move: The OSM system it reduces the chances of error in 
tabulation of marks and the scope of leaving any answers unevaluated. 
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Initially, the board will assess only English (core) paper of Std XII students in the March 2012 board exams. And if the scheme is turns out to be successful, it will be introduced in other subjects as well. The technology is being used in several countries, including the US, the UK and Australia. "We are starting only with English paper for Std XII. We are focusing only on one paper for now as we don't know the number of students who'll be appearing for the exams. We don't have the official figures also," said Rama Sharma, public relations officer, CBSE. 

The OMS will be implemented for all CBSE students in Delhi first and only after reviewing its responses, it will be introduced in schools across the country. Officials say that the OMS has an edge over the manual method as it reduces the chances of error in tabulation of marks and the scope of leaving any answers unevaluated.

According to the board, in the OMS, the answer sheets will be scanned and the images will be uploaded on a server. Every examiner will be given an ID through which they will be able to access the answer sheets through computers installed in schools that will be identified as evaluation centres by the CBSE. 

Each examiner is expected to evaluate 20-25 answer booklets in a day. Examiners will evaluate their answer booklet on the computer screen and enter the corresponding marks in a separate window. At the end of evaluation, the software will point out if the examiner has forgotten to evaluate any answer. The software will calculate the total marks.

"We have even proposed to companies to develop the software and have provided training to teachers who will assess papers through the OMS. Most of the teachers have already been trained," Sharma stated.

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