ISLAMABAD: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has inaugurated a programme to deliver free education to the transgender community.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui, while talking to a private news channel, said, “We have decided to launch a programme for the amelioration of transgender people.”
“Through this programme, we hope to return their long-lost self-respect and dignity to them and make them responsible citizens of the society,” he added.
Highlighting details of the programme, he said, “We have received a positive response from the community and have already started receiving applications for the programme.”
The AIOU has been providing free education (from matriculation to PhD level) to handicapped, visually impaired students, and even jail inmates.
The students at the university are provided with computerised facilities to aid their learning. At least 44 regional offices of AIOU have been set up for students across the country.
Education programmes in Chakwal, Nankana Sahib, Kharian and Thatta have also been launched to educate girls who were pulled out of school for various reasons.
“Under the programme in Thatta, 400 girls have passed exams of Grade-8. Some 377 amongst them have preceded on to take the matriculation exams,” said Dr Siddiqui.