Kerala has always been ahead of its time when it comes to education. And yet gain, it has taken a giant leap forward by following the introduction of the transgender policy to the country last year. The state is set to be home to India’s first transgender school.
Lack of access to education and employment opportunities caused them to end up forced into sex work or moving around in organised groups, begging or demanding money.
But soon the scenario is set to change with this revolutionary policy that aims to end the societal disapproval shown towards this minority community.
It will be called Sahaj International School and will be led by six members of the transgender community, who are associated with the TransIndia Foundation headed by social activist Vijayaraja Mallika. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to recognise them with dignity back in 2014, the majority of the masses still refuse to treat them as ordinary individuals.
So, they have always been denied access to education at public or private schools. Some have even dropped out due to harassment because they were different.
After a lot of struggle, Mallika and others' efforts have borne fruit with the opening of this school and she is understandably elated, “Even though organizations like Kochi Metro are coming forward to provide job opportunities for transgenders, the lack of qualifications is seen as a challenge among transgenders.”
After being rejected by more than 50 property owners, they have had a lot of trouble in getting a place to start the school. Finally, a Christian organization stepped up and offered to lease out a space for the school.
The first 10 students of the school hail from differing social backgrounds and the aim lies in not only making sure that members of the community fulfill their right to education but also getting respectable jobs.
The curriculum of the school will employ various programs based on skill development and also academic examinations corresponding to Class X and Class XII.
There will be a pool of teachers and social workers who have volunteered to take classes for the students. Other skill development programs will also be included in the curriculum. It is under the aegis of 'Sanathana', a project that is developed primarily to make sure that transsexual dropouts complete their Class X education.
The school will be inaugurated on December 30 and will follow the curriculum under the National Open School system by the human rights activist Kalki Subramaniam.
Good going India!
Title image: indialatestnews