Punjab govt to establish separate schools for transgenders: Minister

minister said the first of its kind 'transgender-only' school will be established in Multan

LAHORE: Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas has announced the provincial government will establish separate schools for the transgender community in selected cities of the province and the first of its kind will be established in Multan very soon.

Addressing a ceremony in Lahore today (Tuesday), the provincial minister said that the government had decided not to enroll transgender persons in regular schools due to reservations regarding the behaviour of other students.

“The attitude of students of regular schools could be insulting towards the transgender community, which is why we have decided to establish separate schools would be established for them,” he added.

Murad Raas further said it was unfortunate that no government, except for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, had thought about the welfare and provision of facilities to the community.

He also appreciated the efforts of the education chief executive officers and the teachers for a successful enrollment drive across the province, expressing the hope that a large number of out-of-school children would be enrolled in schools.

“Selected schools under the IASP would be upgraded according to the needs before starting classes,” he said, adding that the registration of such schools was in progress and would be completed till July 15.

In response to a question, he said that only a small number of private schools were open for summer classes to cover the syllabus, adding that from August 1, all government institutions would also be reopened.

He urged parents and school heads to ensure implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) in schools.

Earlier in the day, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood announced the launch of an e-portal and a mobile application for the issuance of equivalence certificates.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Shafqat Mahmood asserted that the development would simplify an overly cumbersome process.

“Previously, the students used to apply at the Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) office and stood in long queues and it was a very cumbersome process,” he said, adding that the students stood the risk of losing important documents during the process.

The Education Minister said, “Now, after meetings with the local and international boards, we have set up an online system for equivalence certificate, which will help facilitate the students greatly.”