PESHAWAR: The Pakistan National Literacy Programme (PNLP) is planning to offer free primary and secondary education services to members of the transgender community.
In this regard, PNLP and Blue Veins — a non-governmental organization working for the rights of people who are transgender — signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday with the aim that all associated institutions of PNLP across Pakistan will offer free primary and secondary education for the transgender community, design adult literacy programmes, and skill-based education and other courses.
PNLP Director General Atif Amin shared that the majority of the transgender community is uneducated or undereducated which automatically disqualifies them from participating in social, cultural, political and economic activities.
“Along with teachers’ apathy towards the transgender community, exclusion from society, poverty, continued discrimination, violence are some of the key factors which can be attributed to the poor participation of people who are transgender in educational activities. However, we are optimistic that our efforts will change this situation,” Amin stated.
With the new programme, he said, they hope to build the confidence, develop physical fitness of people who are transgender and enable them to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the core values of education. The PNLP also will provide free laptops and skill-based diplomas for the transgender community.
Qamar Naseem, the programme coordinator for Blue Veins, said that formal education for members of the transgender community was still a distant dream.
This community, he said, is deprived of family and school environment, forcing people who are transgender to discontinue their education and risk their future career opportunities.
He shared that education is essential for the development of any democratic country and Pakistan is no exception.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2018.