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Home > Delhi Voucher Project

Evaluation of the Delhi Voucher Project
SUMMARY

Need for Evaluation

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) launched India 's first School Voucher Project, the 'Delhi School Voucher Project', on 28th March 2007 as part of the School Choice Campaign. To demonstrate the power of School Choice, CCS awarded school vouchers worth up to Rs. 3,600 per year per child to 408 students in 68 wards of Delhi . The vouchers would be given for a minimum of three years. CCS would continue to support the students further if funds are available.

After completion of the first year of the Delhi Voucher Project, CCS felt it was necessary to evaluate the project to understand its impact on voucher students and their parents. CCS wanted to find out whether the parents' attitude towards education had changed and what kind of school choice they exercised after receiving the vouchers. Additionally CCS wanted to learn about the voucher students' learning achievements during the first voucher year and how far their learning levels had improved, if it had. CCS also intended to discover possible implementation problems of the project. Towards this end, CCS appointed the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), New Delhi , to conduct the study.

Sample Size and Research Design

During the study 816 school going students (of Class I-VII) and 1107 parents were interviewed in 64 wards of the East, Central, North-East and North-West districts of Delhi. CCS and CMS decided to cover all the voucher students in the study. The CMS team was able to take interviews and conduct learning achievements tests of 371 voucher students (pre-primary - class VIII), 371 children attending private schools (pre-primary - class VIII) and 371 children attending Government schools (pre-primary - class VIII). The parents of all these children were interviewed. Learning Achievement Tests were conducted with 1113 children. Not to scale house mapping was also done during the study in order to locate the distance of the treatment child's house to his/her present school. A total of eight teams, each consisting of one supervisor and four investigators, collected data in the field from 22nd August 2008 to 11th September 2008 (twenty two days).

In the absence of baseline data of the learning levels of the voucher children before receiving the voucher a quasi-experimental design was applied in the present study in order to get insight into the learning achievements of the voucher children in the first voucher year. Samples for the study were drawn in the following manner:

Treatment Category - Students who have received school vouchers: 371 children

Control Category 1 - Students from the same school and grade but who did not receive school vouchers: 371 children

Control Category 2 - Students from the neighbourhood Government schools and Aangan Wadi Centres (pre-primary classes) but who did not receive school vouchers: 371 children

The learning levels of these three groups were compared to get an idea of how well the vouchers students are doing in their studies compared to private and Government school students. All students were tested in Hindi, Mathematics and English to compare their learning achievement levels. Three separate tests were conducted for the three subjects. All three groups were also interviewed to learn about their attitude towards education.

The Main Findings

  • Overall, the voucher children have performed better than the children studying in private schools and the children studying in Government school in English, Mathematics and Hindi in all grades.
  • The study found that the majority (63.1 percent) of the voucher beneficiaries exercised the freedom of choice after receiving the school voucher. They switched over from a Government to a private school after receiving the voucher.
  • More than 90 percent of the parents of the voucher beneficiaries and the parents of children attending private schools were happy with the learning progress of their child in the school, their child's teachers and the discipline in their child's school. A comparatively lesser percentage of the parents of children attending Government schools were happy with the learning progress of their child (83.1 percent), their child's teachers (80.9 percent) and the discipline in their child's school (75.5 percent).
  • The majority of the parents of the voucher beneficiaries and the parents of children attending private schools (70.8 and 73 percent respectively) liked the teaching methods in their child's school. A comparatively smaller percentage (52.6 percent) of the parents of children attending Government schools liked the teaching methods in their child's school.
  • The majority of parents of the voucher beneficiaries (74.5 percent) and the parents of children attending private schools (70.5 percent) found no weaknesses in the school where their children were currently enrolled. However, only 45.6 percent of the parents of children attending Government schools said that they found no weaknesses in the school where their children were currently enrolled.
  • Around 15 to 16 percent of the parents of the voucher beneficiaries and the parents of children attending private schools respectively reported inadequate infrastructure in their children's schools. However, 28 percent of the parents of children attending Government schools reported inadequate infrastructure in their children's school.
  • A high majority (94 percent) of the voucher parents mentioned that their children were happy with their present school. 61 percent of the voucher parents felt that in the present school their child has become more regular with school work. More than 50 percent of the voucher parents felt that their child has become more disciplined and studied more in the new school.
  • All parents of all three student categories want to educate their children up to at least standard 10 and many of them want to educate their children up to the higher secondary level and above. The parents want their children to be professionals such as doctors, engineers and teachers. Like their parents the children also expressed that they wished to study to higher levels and want to become doctors, engineers etc.
  • A high majority (nearly 90 percent) of the voucher children and children attending private schools perceived that being educated in the present school would provide them with chances for a better life and future. However, comparatively lesser percentage (61 percent) of children attending Government schools felt that being educated in the present school would provide them with chances for a better life and future.
  • More than 50 percent of the voucher parents mentioned that in case the school voucher payments are stopped their children would have to go back to Government schools.

 

 

 

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