Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has inaugurated a programme to deliver free education to transgenders. AIOU is known for the uplifting of marginalized sections of the society, Geo News reported.

The varsity’s Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui, in a comment, said, “We have decided to launch a programme for the amelioration of transgender people of Pakistan. Through this programme, we hope to return their long-lost self-respect and dignity to them and make them responsible citizens of the society.”

“We have received a positive response from the community and have already started receiving applications for the programme,” he added.

The AIOU has been providing free education from matriculation to PhD level to handicapped, visually impaired students, and jail inmates. The students are provided with computerized facilities to aid their learning.

Forty-four regional offices of the university have been set up in the country, available for access by students all over the country.

Programmes in Chakwal, Nankana Sahib, Kharian and Thatta have been launched to educate girls who were pulled out of school for various reasons.

“Under this programme in Thatta, 400 girls cleared grade-8 exams and 377 among them proceeded to take the matriculation exams,” Dr Siddiqui said.