Following on the success of the Delhi Voucher Pilot, we ran School Vouchers for Girls (SVG) in 2009. SVG was a school voucher project run by School Choice Campaign for girl children from the North East Delhi region. The project targeted girls who had completed Class 1 in state run schools and provided them an opportunity to enroll in a school of their choice for subsequent years. Through SVG, we funded education expenses (up to INR 3700 for the first year, and increasing by INR 100 each year) of 400 girl children for four years, thus ensuring successful completion of primary education.
School Vouchers for Girls ran in seven wards of North-East Delhi – Welcome Colony, Chauhan Bangar, Zaffrabad, New Usmanpur, Maujpur, Janta Colony, Babarpur, where there was a high concentration of minority and socially backward communities. In 2009, a survey of this region reported that there were 2,583 girl students who had completed Class 1 in schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Application & Selection
The first phase of this project was the creation of awareness of school vouchers. With the help of ‘Social Action with Your Assistance’ (SAYA), parents of eligible children were informed about this project and encouraged to apply. Assistance with filling up applications was provided. All children applying for a school voucher were part of an aptitude assessment study, which will function as the baseline for learning achievements. The selection of successful voucher children was done using a randomised computer program on 21 July 2009 in the presence of local ward councilors and leaders. This program is similar to that of a ‘lottery’.
Vouchers & Schools
Once selected, parents were able to choose a school for their children, based on the list of empanelled schools. After choosing the school, the parents applied for admission to the school, and were given vouchers for an agreed amount. The vouchers consisted of four equal amounts, which the parents could then use to pay school fees in a quarterly manner.