ISLAMABAD: Staying true to its mission of uplifting the quality of life of marginalised communities through education in Pakistan, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has inaugurated a programme to deliver free education to transgenders across the country.
According to details, AIOU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui said, “We have decided to launch a programme that will considerably improve the living standards of the transgender community in Pakistan. This programme has been designed to improve the confidence of transgenders and help them live with dignity as responsible citizens of 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 the handicapped and visually impaired students along with jail inmates. It is important to mention here that the students are also provided computerised facilities to aid their learning.
Presently, 44 regional offices of the university have been set up in the country which are easily accessible to students from all parts of the country. In addition, 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, 400 girls in Thatta cleared grade-8 exams and 377 among them proceeded on to take the matriculation exams,” Dr Siddiqui said.