Swecha, meaning freedom in Telegu - the language spoken in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, is a chapter of the Free Software Movement of India in those two states. Swecha’s mission is to cultivate widespread understanding of the importance of free and open source software.
Bridging the Digital Divide
Swecha partnered with ThoughtWorks and a volunteer network of students, academics and IT professionals to develop BalaSwecha, meaning “freedom for students”, a software tool to help students learn more effectively in government secondary schools. These schools, unlike their private school counterparts, often experience electricity outages, have limited infrastructure and are understaffed. This limits the ability to empower students with technology and to give them a good education.
BalaSwecha addresses 18 core competencies identified by teachers to foster students’ development, including critical thinking, analysis and interpretation. Since science supplies are expensive and difficult to purchase, the development team also built virtual labs that allow students to run science experiments.