It took some time for Varad Puntambekar, a student of class 11 in Bhopal to understand the two questions of Biology that were given from a booklet as part of the Open Text Book Assessment introduced by CBSE this year.
"But when I could get the answer, I realised how closely it was linked to real life situations. And I could get a very good score," says Varad.
While teachers and principals describe the new concept of the Open Text Book Assessment introduced by the CBSE this year as ' good and creative', the students feel that before extending it to board classes, there should be flexibility and modifications especially in timing, since the papers are stretched for three and a half hours.
This year, the concept was introduced in the class 9 (all subjects) and class 12 (Geography, Economics and Biology). However, the Board has decided to consider on extending the concept to class 10 and 12 depending on the responses.
CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi told HT: "We have introduced the OTBA in schools to steer students away from rote learning. Such an assessment will help children apply studies practically. We are considering extending the same to classes 10 and 12 but haven't decided yet."
"I strongly feel that the concept should be introduced in all classes beyond ninth class and in all subjects. When they move out of schools they have to face such out of box questions, so it is better that we train them from before," feels Bhopal Ajay Sharma, principal of Delhi Public School.
"I feel that it should be introduced in all the subjects and in all the classes. The whole objective of learning is not about constant delivery. We have to transact good learning, not just content," Lata Vaidyanathan, principal of Modern School Delhi added.
But whether it should be a part of summative assessment or not is debatable. "The option should be left to schools. The extension of time to three and a half hours is also needs to be debated," Vaidyanathan added.
"It is an excellent way of relating the subject with a real life situation. I am sure this will improve the scoring of the students," says Meena Goyal, principal of Nava Hind School.
"There should, however, be a parallel reduction of syllabus content to ease the burden. Also there should be some modification in the timing."
"The concept takes the student away from rote learning but for extending to board classes one has to be trained more on it," Varad adds.
"It is a good concept as it digs out creativity but for introducing in board classes there has to be some modifications," echoes Sanya, a student of class 9.