The Education Department, Government of Sindh has announced the education policy for the transgender community. Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah made the decision after meeting a delegation of representatives of the province’s transgender community.
The members of the delegation included Bandia Rana, Executive Director, Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA), Zehrish Khanzadi, Program Manager, and activist Shahzadi Rai, and Dr. Sarah Gul, Executive Director, Mort Interactive Society.
He said that eunuchs would be included in the provincial government’s Alternative Learning Pathway (ALP) program.
According to the highly controversial 2017 census, there are a total of 10,418 transgender in the country, which was also rejected by eunuchs.
Sindh has the second-highest population of transgenders– 2,527 or 24% – while Punjab topped the transgender population of the country with 64.4% or 6,709 registered persons.
However, transgender rights group charity Trans Action Pakistan estimates that there are at least 500,000 eunuchs across the country.
Provincial Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah told that ALP was a proposed route for out-of-school children and students using the high-speed curriculum under the program through kindergarten through an informal center in just 2.5 years. Can acquire skills up to fifth grade.
He said the same student could either join the mainstream in a formal government school in the sixth grade or choose the ALP elementary qualification in the second grade.
Sardar Shah said that the provincial government has recently notified ‘Middle Tech Stream’ under which students are allowed to acquire professional skills with traditional middle class subjects, he added. The ALP program is being implemented under the Provincial School Education and Literacy Directorate of Non-Formal Education. Department.
He said that Sindh would be the first province to formulate an education policy for eunuchs who would be provided equal opportunities in education and other fields.
The education minister said that information about eunuchs would be included in the curriculum so that school children could be sensitized to eunuchs.
He said that the representatives of transgender would soon formulate a policy of meeting with the head of curriculum section of the education department in this regard.
Zehrish Khanzadi of the Gender Interactive Alliance told that representatives of the eunuchs had sent three demands to the provincial education minister during a meeting with them.
He said that he had asked the Minister of Education to appoint teachers from eunuchs to implement the 0.5% quota announced for the people in the jobs of the provincial government.
Ms. Khanzadi said that she has also asked the provincial government to adopt a module of schooling system in Punjab where a transgender can matriculate in four years without any age limit.
He added that such schools were providing education to people in Multan and Bahawalpur.
The GIA leader said the third demand was to include the introduction of the transgender community in the curriculum. “We are known in society for the stereotypical profession of begging, dancing and sex work, which is not true,” he said, adding that people have the ability to take up any profession provided they have equal opportunities.