ISLAMABAD: The education ministry has decided to set up a learning centre for the transgender community at some of the government-run educational institutions in the capital.
Officials told Dawn that the learning centre would operate in the second shift, after regular classes, and the ministry would launch only one centre in the pilot phase.
“The ministry would establish more centres if the need arose,” they added.
The decision was taken by the ministry a few days ago after Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain directed the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to take steps to set up the centres to facilitate the transgender community.
These centres would be established on a priority basis and this proposal has been added to the education secretary’s Task Management System for a periodic review to keep track of the progress.
Input from representatives of transgender community to be sought for setting up centre, education secretary says
Education Secretary Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry said that in the first phase, one centre will be set up as a pilot project and later on more centres would be created if the need arose.
The secretary said the issue of the transgender community was highlighted during a meeting regarding out-of-school children, chaired by the education minister.
During the sitting, the minister asked the officials concerned to set up these centres for the marginalised community.
“We are in contact with the representatives of the transgender community and with their input, we will set up the learning centre,” he added.
The secretary said that the Punjab government had established a similar centre in Multan.
“We will also seek input from the Punjab government if required,” he said.
In 2021, a transgender protection centre was inaugurated by the human rights minister in Sector H-9/4.
The said centre provides legal aid, basic health facilities, psychological counselling, and temporary shelter to the transgender community as well.
It may be mentioned here that the ministry has also decided to set up Shuhada Model College at the police headquarters on the request of the capital police.
The college would offer technical and vocational education to students, offering matric-tech and inter-tech programmes.
Later, the status of the model college would be elevated to a residential cadet college jointly managed by the FDE and the capital police.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2023