Known for her meticulous yet innovative teaching methods, Richa Sharma heads the popular Educational YouTube Channel Parcham Classes.
Richa Sharma is one of the most prominent educators on YouTube who are actually focused on providing quality content. Her YouTube channel, Parcham Classes has a sincere user base that benefits from Richa Sharma’s honest efforts towards making the forum more integrated and inclusive. Richa Sharma’s ideas regarding education, and life in general, are progressive and commendable. Her eye for detail beats any kind of marketing gimmick. A hard-working family person, Richa’s humility and confidence are infectious.
Parcham Classes is a platform where the needs of all students, appearing in various competitive exams, are fulfilled. The core team of young, dedicated, and experienced individuals is a key to its success. The channel specializes in mnemonics and concept-based teaching. The videos on Parcham Classes is in both Hindi and English languages.
Here is an excerpt of the exclusive interview Wonderpublish conducted with Richa Sharma recently:
Q. 1: Tell us about your beginnings? Since how long you have been running Parcham Classes?
Ans: The channel came into existence in 2017, but the activity was more during the last one year. I was basically into mnemonic training. I thought let me imbibe that into the conventional way of teaching and that is how the idea of this channel came up. When we started in 2017, we were into just the regional level of exams. And a year earlier, we started with national level exams as well.
Q. 2: What do you think of rote learning?
Ans: Rote learning is one of the ways of learning. It is essential in the early days of psychological development because you need memories of certain things by heart. Toddlers learn by repeating certain things over time. So in a way, it is one of the most important methods of learning. And if you have the capability to cram or you are good at it then why not. That is a good way of learning.
It might not be effective for everybody. Some learn by repeating, some learn by writing things down, and some want creative ways to go about learning. So I don’t see cramming as a less effective way of learning.
Q. 3: How was the initial response to Parcham Classes?
Ans: Initial response was really encouraging. As I told you, we started with the regional level of competitive exams. I was in a regular 9 to 5 job so wasn’t very regular earlier. I’m still working my day job but since the onset of lockdown, I could find regular time for the channel. And it was my husband, Dilip, who told me to broaden my base and not restrict myself to the regional level. Since he was also available during the lockdown, we made this leap to the national level. Then I started on geography lessons which became so famous so quickly that it felt like a historic turn of events for me as I wasn’t expecting such a turnaround.
Having said that, I am in a place now where I’m contemplating taking a call whether to focus on the channel solely or not. But yeah, certainly, the teacher in me will not be sitting silently.
Q. 4: How much research and time does it take you to make a video? Let’s say the video on Rivers of India.
Ans: The Rivers of India was a challenging mini-project for me and I took it up particularly because students face a lot of problem with this particular topic. Nobody has covered it exhaustively. It is usually found in paid courses. And there is a lot of ambiguity in this particular topic. So I had to study a lot and refer to many sources. Each part used to take a day’s time because I had to be one hundred per cent sure of the authenticity of what I was going to teach.
Everybody at home supported me. We are a joint family. My in-laws backed me completely. My mother-in-law took care of the entire household and told me to focus on studying and work on the channel. My husband used to take care of the child. So the face of the channel may be mine but the efforts are of the entire family.
Speaking of my schedule, I used to start early in the morning and until the evening I used to study. In the evening I used to go to the studio to record and then come back to start over.
Q. 5: Tell us about your studio set-up and team?
Ans: It is a kind of a DIY studio. Initially, we had a projector which I used with a whiteboard. Back then we didn’t even have these flash or ring lights. That too we have made in a DIY manner. I don’t have a formal set-up even today except for the smart panel. But we still believe in the spirit of DIY.
And if I speak about the core team, we are a team of some 5-6 individuals. All of them are real hard workers. We have one team dedicated to digital marketing. Then there is one team that takes care of the analytics and accounting areas. We also one person who takes care of collaboration opportunities. But yes, I still do video editing and uploading myself only.
Apart from that, we have one teacher who takes daily current affairs classes on the channel. She is the only one from the outside. So as of now, we are a team of 3 teachers and a team of 5 overall.
Q. 6: What are the basic skills required to be a good YouTube educator?
Ans: First of all, you need to be technically literate. I won’t say I’m a pro but I learn on the job. But I’d say the ability to connect with the audience is very important. So whatever you are offering you need to be empathetic and able to connect with people. And consistency which I was lacking in the initial days.
Q. 7: What do you think makes Parcham Classes different from other Educational YouTube channels?
Ans: There are many good YouTube channels out there. And I don’t mean good in terms of the number of subscribers and views, but in terms of the quality of the work that they are doing. Moreover, I consider many of the “educators” on YouTube as entertainers.
What makes us different is I think the approach. Till now we aren’t focused on a particular exam. We are focused on particular topics or chapters. We are trying to give right from the basics to the advanced concepts. Now whichever exam you are preparing for, you can refer to the content. And honestly, a lot remains to be done. But whatever we come up with we aren’t limiting ourselves and are trying to cater to the needs of a larger set of students. And of course, the usage of mnemonics particularly in my videos. This is what makes us different.
Q. 8: What’s next for Richa Sharma and Parcham Classes?
Ans: As I told you before, I need to make a decision as to which way to go forward in my career. Also, the students are demanding live classes nowadays. I am not a very huge fan of live sessions reason being I don’t think they are as effective. But I guess it’s a trend. We are also in the process of launching our app which should come out in the coming months.
Listen to the entire conversation with Richa Sharma on Spotify or watch on Youtube:
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