AJMER: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cleanliness drive and India's Mars mission top the agenda for Class IX students in the Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA) of the Central Board of Secondary Education scheduled for April 2015. Carrying 10 marks the test will be included in all five subjects of Class IX.
The OBTA was started last year in both Class IX and XI.
The CBSE has recently released the subject study material to schools and asked students to prepare and research the given topics. Teachers have been instructed to discuss these topics in classrooms so that students can evaluate and analyze them. "The test is to check the high order thinking skills of a student," said a teacher.
In Class IX, the OTBA will be in English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science and Social Science but in Class XI, the OTBA will be in Economics, Biology and Geography only. "We have sent the sample question papers and evaluation methodology to schools so that teachers can discuss them with students," said an official.
Cleanliness drive is among the OTBA topics in English and Hindi subjects. Students are required to spell out its importance, evaluate its merits and offer arguments on it. "This topic is included in both English and Hindi while last year the topic was child labour and condition of children in India compared to different countries of the world," said a teacher.
The Mars mission topic, also in English and Hindi subjects requires students to collect material on ISRO's Mars mission in terms of technological advancement. "The topic is same in English as well as in Hindi and the main aspect of it is to know the advancement in space technology," added another teacher. Other topics in these language papers are environment in English and health education in Hindi.
The OTBA topic in Science subject is again Mars mission but here the topic is related to physics and development in astronomy. The other topic is environment in which problems related to ecology are given to students. In Mathematics, the topic is Athithi Devo Bhava (A guest is equivalent to God), in which the number of foreign tourists is given and students have to calculate the mean and mode related to the economy. "The figures were given up to 2011 and the study material highlights the increasing arrival of foreign tourists. The material states that in Rajasthan, foreign tourists are attracted to Jaipur and Udaipur though there is no mention of Pushkar or Ajmer," said a teacher.
Further, in Social Science, the topic included this year is poverty and its challenges.
In Class XI, Economics, the topic is present challenges, in Geography it is weather and in Biology diversity of living organism is included as a topic. The OTBA will be conducted with the main papers in Class XI in the final examination and in Class IX it will be conducted with the second formative assessment and will carry 10 marks which will be included with the marks of the main subject.