Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz has announced the establishment of transgender schools at the division level. Additionally, she directed the relevant officials to provide educational facilities to special children in at least one government school in each district.

Dawn reports that these decisions were ta­­ken at a meeting held to re­­­view proposed school education reforms in the province.

While chairing the revi­­ew meeting, CM Nawaz said: “Schools for trans­ge­nder [community] will be established at divisional level.”


PTI-initiated Transgender schools

Nine of the 11 divisions in Punjab already have schools for the transgender community. The initiative was taken by the previous PTI government under the supervision of the then Punjab Minister for School Education Murad Raas.

Trans Educational School Sys­t­­em, Multan, Principal Ali­sha Sherazi told Dawn that no one from the government had contacted them for the establishment of transgender schools, as such schools already exis­ted in different cities of Punjab like D.G. Khan, Gujran­wala, Rawalpindi, Sargo­dha, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Multan and Bahawalpur. Only the one established in Lahore was later closed, she added.

Transgender schools

Alisha Sherazi, a trans­gender and a former cons­u­ltant of UNDP who did her MPhil in Education, Planning and Manage­m­ent from Burhanuddin Za­­kariya University, expl­ai­ned that three of the scho­ols including D.G. Khan, Multan and Bahawalpur were giving vocational tr­­a­ining to members of the transgender community. Four labs for IT, stitching, cooking and make-up classes were established in those schools, while other schools were focusing on academics, according to the principal.

The government did not have the exact figures of transgender community’s population in the Punjab, Alisha added.

At the meeting, CM Maryam Nawaz directed relevant authorities to implement a new comprehensive procedure.