Delhi govt launches curriculum for making teachers sensitive to issues of transgenders
Taking the first step towards sensitising the teachers in city schools about the issues faced by transgender persons, the Delhi government has launched a training curriculum for prospective teachers in one of its nine District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) centres.
The Delhi government’s State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) runs nine such DIETs in the city which offer elementary teacher education courses. Majority of students from these institutions are appointed as primary teachers in the civic body-run and Delhi government schools. Many of them also join private schools.
The initiative was launched at the DIET centre in Keshav Puram that covers the north Delhi district. The initiative was approved by the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) of the SCERT.
Pawan Kumar, a lecturer at the DIET Keshav Puram centre, said the project started from the northern part of the city because a big chunk of transgender population in the city lives in this district. “The north district has a huge population of transgenders living in areas such as Burari village, Majnu Ka Tilla and Turkman Gate. The community is deprived of access to education. And one of the major reasons behind this is that our campuses are not inclusive and our teachers are not sensitised. We have decided to train the students pursuing teachers’ training course better equip them in handling and understanding trans students,” he said.
Under this curriculum—Study of educational and healthcare status of transgender persons in north Delhi—the teachers will get to meet the members of transgender community in order to understand the barriers between their access to education and health-care services.
The centre will organise monthly workshops and lectures by experts from different universities and NGOs in which people from transgender community will come and speak about their experiences. The first workshop was organised earlier this week.
Kumar said the centre will also compile a report about their observations and submit it to the SCERT. “We are also collecting data on socio-economic conditions of the transgender persons, aged between 15 to 35 years, living in different parts of the city. We will try to find the reasons behind transgender students dropping out of schools. We will also take their suggestions on what policy decisions can be taken to make schools more inclusive for them. The initiative is likely to extend in other DIET centres also,” he said.
The government is also planning to include a module in the training of in-service teachers this year. HT had in January reported that the Delhi government had decided to introduce a curriculum to train its teachers in handling the concerns of transgender students “sensitively”. A senior official at the SCERT said that the plan is under process.
Amrita Sarkar, of SAATHII NGO, who had also attended the first workshop at DIET centre in Keshav Puram said that centre is also planning to develop short-term course for the transgender persons. “These courses will help those transgenders who drop out of schools and could not complete their basic education,” she said.