When Concepts Are Clear, What Is There To Fear
Meet Roshni Mukherjee, founder of Examfear.com that imparts free education to children with difficulty in Science and Math. She has been awarded by our President, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee on 22nd January 2016 for her noble effort. She has also been a speaker in TEDtalks in 2016.
Hailing from a middle-class Bengali family, Roshni was an academically bright student and completed her Masters' in Physics in 2011. However, her passion to teach children, specially those who cannot afford quality education and help them to understand the concepts of Science and Math in a simple and easy way made her to venture her own free-of-cost educational channel, ExamFear.com in youtube. At present, she has 74,000 subscribers from Classes 6-12 and also the students preparing for Medical entrance exams (NEET). Roshni always try to correlate science and maths' theories with real-life example to make difficult concepts easier to understand. The use of images and graphics makes the lessons even more interesting and comprehensible. Read through the excerpt below through our Editor, Tulika Dey to know more about her journey and her work.
What led you towards creating a free-of-cost channel to disseminate knowledge through 'Examfear Education' in Youtube?
I started creating ExamFear videos in 2011, while I was working for an IT company. I always had a passion for teaching. I could sense a huge scope of improvement in the teaching methods. Lack of good teachers & good schools with quality education in remote areas prompted me to start with creating online video lessons so that I can reach all parts of the country. Quality education, at the same time is quite expensive which makes it unaffordable for many parents. Therefore, the motto was to provide free education maintaining the quality.
I could have taught a handful of students, had I been a school teacher. I wanted to reach the masses. I wanted to reach students in remote areas, I wanted to reach students who can’t afford expensive education, I wanted to reach the parents who want to guide their kids to help them learn. I knew Internet has solution to everything. An online platform was the best option to reach people.
What were the obstacles that you had to overcome when you first started Examfear?
Time management was the biggest challenge in the initial years. Since I had a full time job in IT when I started ExamFear videos, so it was a tough task to manage time for making these videos. I struggled in the initial years spending all my weekends creating ExamFear videos, and a couple of hours at night on the weekdays. However, now that I have resigned my job at HP, I am fully dedicated to ExamFear and trying to make it bigger and better.
Sustainability is an ongoing challenge. As we provide all our content to the students for Free, we do not generate good revenues. We ,so far depend on contributions (if any) from our viewers and Ads on our YouTube channel. There are several costs involved behind this Free education platform starting from the website maintenance, server costs, content creation, editing and support. So, it is definitely a challenge to sustain and grow the platform.
Did you get family support when you quit your job to follow your passion?
Yes! My husband has always been my pillar of strength. He was extremely positive and supportive when the thought of quitting my full time job first strike me. I am blessed to have a super supportive mother who always encouraged me to do better in life.
What are the shortcomings in teaching techniques in schools that children fall short of aligning theoretical knowledge with practical life?
Indian education system is more exam-centric. Students, parents as well as teachers focus more on good grades(marks) rather than better understanding. In this rat race of scoring more, many a times , children go for rote learning rather than conceptual understanding.
This weakens their base. Therefore, it is important that we encourage children to understand whatever they learn, and try to relate them with their day-to-day life. If they have a clear understanding, they will anyways do well in their exams.
We, at ExamFear Education, launched Science Experiments videos that help children perform simple Science experiments with things easily available at home. This opens up their minds and they relate to the scientific concepts better.
How is your channel different from others?
Our channel focuses mainly on the basic concepts of every topic. We try to relate what we study in our textbooks with our day-to-day life. The videos are made interesting with animations and pictures which help students understand better. Besides, we follow the Indian curriculum while making the videos. We have so far created videos lessons on Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, English Grammar, Science experiment for Classes 6-12. We have also created good amount of content for students appearing for Medical entrance exams (NEET).
We conduct Live sessions regularly to directly chat with students and address their issues. Our website (examfear.com) provides Notes, online tests, NCERT solutions and Doubts section, all for free.
How long do you take to resolve student queries and if anyone wants to connect to you on a regular basis, what are the procedures?
We conduct Wednesday Live sessions on our YouTube channel. We send a notification well in advance, and students can post their questions. We address them in the Live session. If a student has any academic question (related to a subject) , she/he can put that in the “Ask Questions” section of examfear.com. Link: http://www.examfear.com/question/
As soon as we answer the question, the student receives an email that his/her question has been answered.
What suggestions would you like to give to children who really struggle with Science & Maths?
Watch our videos! (haha)! On a serious note, our videos have a lot of students improve in Maths and Science.
Maths & Science are subjects that need to be understood and not memorized. Understand and Practise! You will surely improve.
What are your future plans for expansion?
Expansion of ExamFear Education in terms of more content on different Subjects & Classes is the plan now. I also plan to translate these videos in regional languages so that it can bring a huge impact in the lives of thousands of students in the remote areas who are more proficient & comfortable with the regional languages. Infact, we have already started creating English Grammar videos in Hindi. We also plan to develop complete content for competitive exams like NEET (Medical Entrance Exam). We are also introducing Social Studies’ videos very soon. The idea is and will always be to make this Free education platform bigger & better.
People like Roshni are lights of hope in dark and dreary nights. I am sure her story would create passion and inspiration among many others who have a noble thought. We wish Roshni all the very best in all her future endeavours!