The Karnataka State Higher Education Council, which includes top academicians, vice chancellors, has proposed to provide free education to transgenders, right from primary school to post graduation.
With the laws still being formed, the only concern raised by the community is about being involved in the policy making and about the provision of training. In 2014, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment recognising transgenders as the ‘third gender’ and asked to give them admission in educational institutions and employment opportunities without gender bias.
In June 2015, Directorate of Correspondence Courses and Distance Education, Bangalore University announced its decision to offer free undergraduate and postgraduate courses to the transgender community.
If implemented, this step would be a landmark step progressing towards the empowerment of the third gender. The decision has not been taken yet, but the landmark step towards the betterment times and a free & equal India.
In a country like India, with high cultural stature and diversity, it is imperative to change the colonial education system and include sex education into the curriculum. Homophobia is ingrained deep into individuals because of the lack of education and support from the community, in general. Educating individuals about their sexuality at an early age will reduce the harassment faced by homosexual students, which in turn leads them to drop out of schools. The drop out rate in India, due to sexual harassment and bullying is as high as 70%.
There is no getting around the fact that the school is a microcosm of society and that what happens in school is a barometer of societal values. Therefore, it is imperative to have sexual education included in the curriculum to allow students to have a new perspective and understand facts and make a decision.
Karnataka State Government deserves accolades to form a committee for policy making of providing free education to trans genders. If implemented well, cutting through the shackles of rudimentary societal norms, the pioneering landmark policy will help bring a positive change in the society.