Islamabad: In line with the bill “Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018,” passed by the National Assembly earlier in May this year, Pakistan’s province Punjab government has issued instructions to all the district administrative officers and heads of the government and private schools to ensure enrolment of transgender children “on equal basis” across educational institutes in the province.

The interim government of Punjab has issued these instructions via a letter dated August 8 calling upon the school administrations to “recognise/protect the rights of transgender children in Pakistan under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 (Act No. XIII of 2018).”

There is no room for gender-based discrimination against the transgender children, the letter further says.

“The transgender students must be treated on equal basis and in column of gender, their real status of “transgender” may be mentioned at the time of admission,” the letter says adding that during annual enrolment and retention campaign, “equal importance may be given for boys, girls, and transgender in order to achieve 100pc enrolment and retention targets”.

The letter signed by a Section Officer of the School Education Department of the Punjab government has directed the provincial education authorities, heads of the government and private educational institutes in Punjab to take the transgender children’s issue as their “top priority”.

It may be mentioned here that National Assembly on May 8, only days before the end of its term had passed the transgender persons protection bill unanimously. It aims at ensuring rights of transgender persons.