The Punjab School Education Department (SED) has inaugurated the first transgender school in Lahore to educate and teach skills to the trans community.
The school has been established in Government Girls High School Barkat Market, New Garden Town where one portion is specified for the transgender school. A double-story building with three classrooms has been constructed in the school, which will work in two shifts. In the first shift, the enrolled students will get formal education while in the second shift they will be taught technical skills.
Initially, around 36 transgender persons have been enrolled in the school. The enrolled students will get free books, uniforms, school bags, and pick and drop service, sponsored by the Punjab government. Teachers of the school would also belong to the transgender community. The Punjab government has also deputed two consultants to help the community understand their problems.
This is the fourth transgender school in the province. SED established three transgender schools in Multan, Bahawalpur, and Dera Ghazi Khan last year. These institutes are already providing free primary and higher secondary education as well as three vocational skills, including stitching and sewing, cooking, and beauty make-up.
Murad Raas inaugurated the school
Punjab Minister for School Education Murad Raas inaugurated the school on Wednesday. A number of people from all walks of life, including civil society activists, educationists, and transgender persons, were present on the occasion.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Raas said that even though three schools were already working, the department faced a lot of challenges in establishing the transgender school in Lahore.
Renowned fashion designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin known as HSY said educating the transgender community was a good initiative. He said transgender persons should get an education and should be included in the mainstream.
The transgender community lauds the initiative
Transgender person Neeli Rana lauded the government’s initiative to educate their community. Transperson Alisha Sherazi, who has completed her MPhil and was enrolled to Ph.D. in Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, said providing education to transgender persons was a historic step.
A transgender leader Naya said educating transgenders and giving them vocational training could make them valuable citizens of Pakistan and they could play their role in the development of the country.