OTBA for Classes 9 and 11

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced that the (Open Text Based Assessment) OTBA for classes 9 and 11 has been done away with from this academic year. This means that the students would no longer be allowed to carry textbooks to their examination halls.

The concept was introduced by CBSE in the year 2014. For class 9 OTBA was introduced for Hindi, English, Mathematics, Social Science and Science and for class 11 it was introduced for Economics, Geography and Biology.  Under OTBA, students were given study material four months prior to the exam and were allowed to take their case studies to the examination hall. By doing this an attempt was made to shift the focus from rote-learning to applying the information decisively. “Schools had to prepare question paper out of the material provided by the CBSE and students were asked questions based on that,” shared a senior official.

However, the concept received a lot of criticism from the schools. As per CBSE, the objectives of this concept were not met. Thus, “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 9 and 11 from the Session 2017-18”.

“The system had many flaws as rather than developing the critical abilities of the student, the system was being used by some schools to tell the questions in advance to the students and they used to study just that. This only helped them score well. After consulting everyone a decision to discontinue it has been taken,” shared a source.

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