LAHORE: Transgender children will be able to enrol in government and private schools with a guarantee of equal treatment.
This was stated in a notification issued by the Punjab School Education Department (SED) on Thursday. SED gave instructions to the district education authorities (DEAs) and the chief executive officers (CEOs) in all 36 districts in the province.
All CEOs have been given special instructions regarding transgender students. “In order to recognise/ protect the rights of transgender children in Pakistan under the Transgender Person (Protection of Rights) Act 2018, it is advised that the following instructions be observed by the school administration while dealing with transgender children,” the statement read.
The notification also instructs officials to include their gender when they are being admitted to schools. “In the column of gender, their real status may be mentioned at the time of admission.
During the annual enrolment and retention campaign, equal importance may be given to boys, girls and transgender children in order to achieve 100% enrolment and retention targets.
The notification directs CEOs to ensure the instructions are implemented in all government and private educational institutes of Punjab. It added the matter must be treated as top priority.
According to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Acts 2018 passed in May, the government is obligated to provide education to transgender citizens, among other things. It says that the government shall take steps to provide free and compulsory education to transgender people under Article 25 A of the Constitution.
The act also restrains public and private institutions from discriminating against any citizen. It is unlawful for an institution, whether private or public, to discriminate against a person on the basis of their sex, gender identity and/or gender expression, the Act states.
“There shall be no discrimination against transgender persons in acquiring admission in any educational institutions, public or private, subject to fulfilment of the prescribed requirements. All educational institutions shall provide education and opportunities for sports, recreation and leisure activities without any discrimination, and on an equal basis with others.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2018.