Transgender people across Multan took their first class at a school in Gulgasht area of Multan city on Thursday, July 8th.
It was inaugurated by Punjab Government and the provincial minister of education tweeted; “One step at a time, education for all”. The minister, previously at the opening ceremony of Insaf Afternoon School Program said that the government had decided to not enroll Trans people in regular schools due to reservations about behavior and treatment of other students.
In the first phase, 18 students have been enrolled and classes will be from 4 pm to 6 pm according to Secretary Punjab Education, Dr. Ehtisham Anwar.
Educated Trans people and volunteer teachers from the same school are hired to teach them. The government has also provided pick and drop services, school uniforms and course books to the students.
The student have been divided into four stages, elementary, primary, secondary and higher secondary. The school will conduct classes of 1 to 12 grade(source: associated press).
The Secretary of Education Minister of Punjab said, “In the next phase, we will introduce vocational training program for them including hair dressing, makeup, tailoring and cooking courses.” This will not only educate transgender people, but will increase opportunities of business and livelihood for them as well, he added.
“We are grateful to the government for opening up this school and for providing free education to our community,” said Ayesha Mughal, a transgender person who has been campaigning for the rights of their community for years.
Earlier this year, the first Islamic school for transgender people was opened in Islamabad by Rani Khan, another transgender person, without any governmental support.
Providing free public education to trans people acted like a breath of fresh air for the community in a bleak society where despite the imposition of the “Transgender Persons (protection of rights) Act 2018”, they still face daily hate and discrimination based on their gender.