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26th February 2024 (12 Topics)

An Open Book


The Indian examination system is undergoing scrutiny due to its impact on student mental health and its alignment with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is piloting open book exams (OBE) for Classes 9 to 12 to explore alternatives to traditional examination methods.

Traditional Examination System:

  • Prime objective: The Indian examination system, dating back to the early 20th century, was primarily designed as an elimination process.
  • Unchanged: This system, unchanged for decades, has been associated with high levels of exam-related anxiety among students, as revealed by an NCERT survey.
  • Contributing to metal health issues: Despite minor adjustments, the traditional exam system persists and contributes to student stress and mental health issues.

Introduction of Open Book Exams (OBE):

  • Addressing shortcomings of traditional exams: The CBSE's decision to conduct a pilot study on OBE for Classes 9 to 12 is a welcome initiative aimed at addressing the shortcomings of traditional exams.
  • Competency: While OBE is a relatively new concept in India's school system, it aligns with the paradigm shift envisioned by NEP 2020 towards competency-based learning and analytical skill development.
  • Creativity among educators: The OBE pilot emphasizes student- and teacher-centric learning, necessitating pedagogical changes and fostering creativity among educators.

 Implementation and Future Directions:

  • Goal oriented: The transition to OBE requires careful consideration to ensure it aligns with NEP's inclusivity goals and does not exacerbate existing inequalities.
  • Role of educator: Educators play a crucial role in implementing OBE effectively by mentoring students and assessing their analytical abilities through writing and language skills.
  • Feedback: Continuous feedback from teachers and ongoing conversations among education stakeholders are essential for refining the OBE model and enhancing its effectiveness in the long term.
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