ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Open Book Test: Lessons from the Pandemic


Given the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed, there was a total breakdown of the education system in India as elsewhere. The whole examination and evaluation community suddenly found itself at a loss. Given the large number of students and the comprehensive mistrust in the teachers and their agency, nobody even entertained the idea of an open book test (OBT), which would assess what the students had already been taught, particularly in the case of board examinations. OBT can, in principle, assess what we should be actually looking for in our students, including critical thinking and rational responses. The central and state governments had an easy way out: pass all the students in all classes except the board examinations, for which a complex formula was evolved with the approval of the Supreme Court.

This rather easy way out was denied to the voluntary sector. The CSRs that funded different non-governmental organisations (NGOs) legitimately demanded accountability for the funds they had provided and wanted to know what a given NGO had done to reach out to the students during the pandemic and then how did it evaluate the impact of its efforts. Vidya Bhawan Education Resource Centre (VBERC) in Udaipur is one such NGO that is currently receiving funds from Hindustan Zinc and IndiGlobe, among others.

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Updated On : 10th Sep, 2021
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