Lahore Opens Its First Transgender School Providing Free Education

Pakistan’s Punjab government has opened the first transgender public school here in the provincial capital in an effort to empower more transgender persons in the society.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Punjab government had set up three transgender schools in the province – Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan – to educate and teach skills to trans persons.

These institutes provide free education from primary to higher secondary classes while imparting skill training which includes tailoring, cooking and cosmetics.

The Lahore school, which opened on Wednesday, will function in two shifts where the first half will be devoted to imparting mainstream education while the second half will focus on teaching technical skills.

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“The Lahore school for transgenders will function in two shifts. In the first shift, education will be imparted to the students while in the second shift, they will be trained in technical skills. The government will provide free books, uniforms, school bags and pick and drop service,” Punjab School said in a statement education Department.

A total of 36 transgender persons have been enrolled in the school so far.

The statement further added that the teachers in the school are also from the transgender community, while two counselors have been engaged to help the community understand their problems.

Punjab province has 64.4 percent of the country’s transgender population, with 6,709 people registered in this category.

However, Lahore and its surrounding areas alone reportedly have a population of 30,000 transgender persons.

Access to education is the right of every Pakistani but transgender people face discrimination in the country and many of them struggle to find employment.

The country’s upper house – the Senate – unanimously approved a bill in 2018 to protect the rights of transgender people, giving them the right to determine their gender identity.

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