CBSE Term 1: Odisha Schools Face Tech Hurdles For OMR Sheet-Based Exams

Bhubaneswar: With Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Term 1 board exams getting underway, schools in Odisha are finding the newly-introduced OMR sheet-based tests to be quite a challenge.

The CBSE is sending question papers online, which schools have to download, print and distribute within a short span of time.

Not only are schools having a tough time tackling these technological issues, authorities insist that the new process demands teachers and staff need to be more meticulous and careful while conducting the exam and evaluation.

“The evaluation process is challenging. Also, the students have to be extra careful while answering the questions. If they darken the correct option but forget to write the correct answer in words in the box given alongside, the response to the question will be treated as not attempted,” said BJEM School principal Sandhya Jena.

According to chairman of SAI International School Shilpi Sahoo, the bigger schools have managed to arrange printing of question papers, but technological challenges are a concern for schools lacking proper infrastructure.

Many experts, however, believe that the new process is useful in assessing the conceptual knowledge of students.

“The new pattern of objective questions is more about testing whether the students’ concepts regarding a specific topic are clear or not,” said Sahoo.

Some schools arranged orientation programmes for students prior to the exams, while some others added objective questions to the school’s learning portals for students to practise at home.

At SAI, the slow learners were segregated and a mentor was specifically allotted for them to cope with the changed pattern.

COVID-19 safety protocols also remain a cause of concern for school authorities, with some schools finding it difficult to convince parents to get their children tested for COVID before sending them to school for exams.

“All safety protocols are being followed. But it is hard to convince parents to not send their children to schools, who had tested positive, for at least two weeks. We have kept separate isolation rooms as well,” said Poly Pattnaik, founder of Mother’s Public School.

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