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After CBSE, Maharashtra State Board now considering open-book exam

Updated on: 04 March,2024 04:47 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh |

Board chairman hints at implementing pattern in certain schools

After CBSE, Maharashtra State Board now considering open-book exam

The OBE model will be adopted in select schools. Representation pic

As the CBSE board plans to initiate a pilot run of the Open Book Exam (OBE) for select subjects in Std IX, X, XI, and XII during internal examinations, the Maharashtra State Board is also contemplating experimenting with an open-book exam pattern soon, as stated by the state board chief.

Following the lead of the CBSE, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has indicated its intention to explore OBE. Sharad Gosavi, chairman of MSBSHSE, mentioned that the board will formulate a plan and implement the pattern in certain schools. “We will analyse the response received from the examination and assess how students perform,” Gosavi explained.

In his statement on Thursday, Gosavi suggested that the state government is seriously considering testing the OBE pattern in state board schools as well.

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“While no decision has been made yet, there have been discussions within the state education circle regarding the potential benefits of this pattern, such as enhancing analytical skills among students and discouraging rote learning,” said a senior official from the school education department. “However, any decision will only be made after thorough testing and evaluation to ensure it is beneficial for the students. Currently, there is no concrete decision on this matter,” the official added.

The pilot run for OBE will happen exclusively in selected schools during November and December this year. It will primarily focus on subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Science for Std IX and X, along with English, Mathematics, and Biology for Std IX and XII. This approach to assessment aligns with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) released last year.

The primary objective of this pilot run is to evaluate the time students require to complete such tests and gather feedback from both teachers and students. The development and design of the pilot test are slated for completion by June, with the CBSE seeking assistance from Delhi University for this undertaking.

The open-book concept proposed by the CBSE board has evoked mixed reactions from various stakeholders. While some have welcomed the move, others have raised concerns regarding its implementation.

Gosavi addressed the press during a briefing on the SSC examination, scheduled to commence on Friday, March 1. “The state board will administer the SSC exams from March 1 to March 26, with a staggering 16 lakh students registered to take the tests this year.”

“According to data provided by the state board, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of students appearing for SSC exams compared to previous years. This rise is because students who passed class VIII from CBSE board schools have now enrolled in state board schools for class IX under the RTE provisions,” Gosavi added.

Addressing concerns about potential disruptions due to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Gosavi assured that the examination and assessment process will proceed unaffected.

Emphasising the importance of relying on official sources for exam-related information, Gosavi cautioned students against following timetables printed by other organisations. He urged students to refer to the state board's website for accurate schedules.

Gosavi also warned against misbehavior and malpractices during exams, “Strict action would be taken against offenders. To prevent malpractice and cheating, 400 teams have been deployed, and students encountering any issues during the examination are encouraged to contact the helpline numbers provided by the divisional board, which are accessible via the state board's website.”

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