Opinion: OPEN-book module in CBSE exams will help reducing cramming
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from this academic session is introducing the open-book, under which the students will be informed four months in advance about the chapters and paragraphs from which analytical questions would...
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from this academic session is introducing the open-book, under which the students will be informed four months in advance about the chapters and paragraphs from which analytical questions would be asked. The questions will not be simple and straightforward but test 'higher order thinking skills' and analytical power of students.
In fact, in education cramming, also known as mugging or swatting, is the practice of working intensively to absorb large volumes of informational material in short amounts of time. It is often done by students in preparation for upcoming exams, especially at the last minute. Cramming is often discouraged by educators because the hurried converge of material tends to result in poor long-term retention of material.
In the recent study conducted on 23,000 students of 89 high-end schools across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, to find out the quality of education imparted in the schools, the performance of class IV students was found to be below international average. Students seem to perform on par with international average in class VIII, mainly due to their higher achievement in procedural questions. Moreover, the misconceptions acquired in lower classes continue in higher classes without any correction in their learning," the survey concluded.
I think this is a positive measure as it will help reduce cramming by students. I don’t prefer that the students should mug up answers. Instead, they should prefer to analyse and understand concepts logically before putting them on paper. This practice will give students adequate time to analyse a given problem or concept from all angles and them prepare a comprehensive response. This will also help students identify a specific area of analysis. Often, subjects have vast syllabi but by narrowing down the focus, students can concentrate on specific aspects of a topic and turn it into their strengths.
Another trend was identifying the pattern of repetition of certain questions every year in the examination. Students would mug up answers to those questions and manage to score a decent grade. However, this move will discourage such tactics and people will start looking at concepts instead of looking at them as questions to be learnt. Even in subjects like Physics and Math that are based entirely on application, students would mug up derivations and theorems and reproduce them in the examination. What is also crucial is that this move specifically targets students belonging to classes IX and X.”
Frankly speaking, being associated with the premier educational institutions these two classes, from the foundational base of higher classes. By encouraging focus on concepts at this level, CBSE is ensuring that a solid conceptual base is created.
But as per the survey results show how a lot needs to be done before children can get into the habit of conceptual culture. Such habits cannot be inculcated at higher level. The method of teaching has to be innovative from primary level itself. According to another experience, introducing flash cards since primary level can bring about the change. The flash card system trains a child's brain to think conceptually rather than mugging.
In fact, in India, we follow the concept of mass education and thus rote learning. The open book system being introduced by CBSE appears good, but we have to prepare our kids to get used to it. Such changes should not be incorporated at higher level. Unless done in a gradual way, it will be difficult to achieve the desired result.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of City Air News.)