CBSE schools brace for online Q papers in major exams starting next week – Times of India

NAGPUR: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is sending question papers for its ongoing Term-1 board exams online, following which schools download, print and distribute these in a specified time-frame. But with major exams starting next week, schools now have to brace for the logistical challenge of printing hundreds of copies within a limited time.

As reported by TOI earlier, the CBSE is conducting board exam in two phases for 2021-22 academic session. The first phase, called Term-1, is currently underway and so far only the minor (optional) subjects have been held.


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A CBSE principal said, “Once the major papers start, the number of printouts needed will be much higher. Since all this has to be done an hour or so before the exam, we cannot afford to have any technical issues either with the printer or the power supply.”
For example, the current student load of say 40 to 50 students will jump to almost 400 once the major exams start. Though number of examinees will vary from centre to centre, there is no denying the fact that numbers jump multifold once the major exams start.

CBSE has tested the system through mock drills and at least in Maharashtra, no major problems have been found. A senior CBSE principal said, “No one has yet said that it can’t be done. Every school, which is an exam centre, has equipped itself with high speed printers and power backup system. Some have even called printing service provider company to send a technician to school on standby, though I think it’s going a bit overboard.”

Another principal said, “Each day before the exam starts, at a specific time we have to download the paper from the online portal created for exam management. The paper can be downloaded after entering the key (code) which is generated at that very moment. During this entire process, neutral observers are present to ensure the process is fair.” Once downloaded, the question paper has to be printed, as per the number of students appearing.

A CBSE school teacher said if the online question paper delivery system becomes a norm, then major logistical burden will be removed. “Earlier, physical question paper would have to be stored with custodian banks. Then to transport the same to centres in rural areas was another challenge. That massive exercise held across the country will now be eliminated, all thanks to the online question papers,” she said.

Same day valuation

The current Term-1 exam answersheets are OMR-based, and a strategy being used by CBSE will see results coming faster. Schools are evaluating the OMR sheets on the same day and uploading marks. “The physical OMR sheets will still be sent by post, but this same day evaluation will save a lot of time,” a teacher said.

“I have not discussed in detail, but it’s clear that by the time the physical OMR sheets reach CBSE, marks would have been uploaded already. Then scanning of OMR will only be in a way cross-checking, so results will come very fast,” said the teacher.

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