Roshni Mukherjee is a woman on a mission—developing a mobile phone app for her website examfear.com that she launched in July 2011. She is adding names of government schools she wants to collaborate with. She’s also working on preparing a demo for tutorials in regional languages. For this 29-year-old, 24 hours in a day seems not enough. “I hope to have a test run for the app before next year’s board exams and add more subjects like History and Geography before March 2016. There’s no time and no revenue,” says Mukherjee, a former employee of an IT company.
She isn’t doing it for money. Mukherjee could have settled for a fat paycheck and chosen to work abroad, or taught at a prestigious school following her passion for teaching. But she didn’t. She left her high-flying job to teach children through her website. “For six years as a quality analyst, I was always in front of the computers. I would dream of using technology to teach children,” the founder of ExamFear Education says. She worked on a portal after office and on weekends for almost three years.
The idea was to create an online classroom offering tutorials to students who find it difficult to cope during exams. “No one actually learns anything in India. We all just mug up things or find our way around getting passing marks in subjects we don’t understand. I want to change that,” she says. The motto behind examfear.com is to make students learn and make learning fun. “Choosing a name for my website was the easiest part, “ the Bengaluru-based entrepreneur says.
Why online classes? “With the Internet, I can reach thousands of students,” she says. Today, over one lakh subscribers are learning the basics and complexities of subjects through 4,200 videos uploaded on examfear.com and its YouTube channel. It has tutorials for Class VIII-XI in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology from CBSE board. “I am also working on tutorials for junior classes,” Mukherjee says.
She plans to compete with schools and coaching centres that have mushroomed everywhere. “My online tutorials are nothing like what’s taught in a classroom or coaching centre,” the Delhi University alumnus says.
Complex topics are broken down into simple ideas. Illustrations and graphics are added to make tutorials interesting. For example, the topic of ‘probability’ has been explained in an easy-going manner with relatable examples. “A lot of students have access to the Internet, not just in cities but also small towns and villages. Spending thousands of money on coaching centres might not be feasible for a lot of them. With lower Internet rates, it’s easier to read online. There’s flexibility of time,” Mukherjee says. Smartphones, too, have added more students to subscribers’ list. She plans to add a contributory link and Google ads to her website to fund examfear.com.
Her driving force are the comments on the videos from students, parents and teachers sharing their happy stories and good scores. “These faceless names encourage me every time I feel down and out,” Mukherjee says.