Pak’s Punjab govt to set up 1st public sector school for transgender people

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Lahore, Jul 6 (PTI) Pakistan’s Punjab government on Tuesday announced establishing a first public sector school for transgender people in the province.

In 2018, an NGO opened the country’s first educational and vocational training institute for the transgender community here.

“The government has decided to open separate schools in the Punjab province and the first-of-this-kind will be established in Multan city, some 350 kms from Lahore, soon,” Punjab Education Minister Dr Murad Raas told reporters.

The government has taken the decision after a more-often complaints from the transgender community that the attitude of students of regular schools towards them is “insulting”.

The minister gave credit to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf government for taking steps for “provision of education and jobs to the transgender community”.

The private school “The Gender Guardian” for the transgender community in Lahore offers 12 years of academic education from the primary level to higher secondary level with 15 faculty members. Of the 15-teaching staff, three are from the transgender community.

The school is imparting technical education, fashion designing, beautician and hair styling courses, graphic designing, computer and mobile repairing among others.

Transgender people often face discrimination in every sector in the country.

Disappointed at the government’s approach, a Lahore High Court (LHC) judge recently directed the Punjab chief secretary to strictly implement the Transgender Persons (protection of rights) Act 2018 in letter and spirit by not allowing the departments to discriminate among male, female and transgender persons.

Justice Faisal Zaman Khan, on a petition by a transgender person against the rejection of his application for the post of an Urdu lecturer, observed that in a conservative society “like ours”, the rights of transgender people have been recognised by the Supreme Court as well as the LHC in their verdicts upon which a comprehensive legislation has also been made to give them equal rights.

The court said “this section of society is still treated as less equal or non-existent”. PTI MZ CPS

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