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Deepa Sharma Sood , Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, October 02, 2013
Is this the beginning of the end of rote learning? With a view to relieving the students of the burden of mugging up content and helping them acquire the skills of information processing, comprehension, analysis and inference, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sent new text material for Classes 9 and 11 to schools.

The schools will use the open-text-based assessment (OTBA) material in summative assessment-2 of Class 9 and the Class 11 annual examinations in 2014. The Hindi version of the material will be uploaded on the board website. Each text material includes sample questions.

The board has asked teachers to read, discuss and analyse the text material that covers objectives and outcomes concepts, application description, further explanation, exploration of the case, problem, and situation involved, higher order thinking skills, and analysis from different perspectives.

Teachers should assign the material to students in groups for further understanding, analysis and discussion. They have to guide them, give them feedback and encourage open responses in solving situations.

The teachers are free to take sample questions to develop more such problems that are based on the text but require answers through application of concepts, further extrapolation, comparison and inference.

"It will discourage rote learning. Only if the students read, learn and have proper understanding will they be able to answer questions," said BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School principal Paramjit Kaur.

"Teachers will now be asked to introduce the material in classes and give assignments to the students," said Shamrock Christian Senior Secondary School principal Pradeep Singh, adding: "If students have understood the chapters, solving the sample paper will be easy."