Pune: Not a single transgender student has enrolled for Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) courses even after the announcement of exemption of fees for them. This has forced IGNOU to extend the deadline for admissions till August 18.
Last month, Sakal Times reported that IGNOU had announced a fee exemption for transgender students for any of the academic programmes offered by them. The last date for admission was July 31. However, the university has received zero response from the transgender community so far.
“The university has received no application from transgender students for any course till now. We are assuming this might be due to lack of awareness about it. Hence, the university is planning to reach transgenders by conducting seminars related to health, hygiene and education with the help of NGOs that work for their welfare. Hence, we have extended the date and are trying to publicise it to reach them,” said Senior Regional Manager of IGNOU, Masood Parveez.
Bindumadhav Khire, Founder of Sampathik Trust, took to social media to spread awareness about the academic courses and facilities offered by IGNOU to transgender students.
“There are possibilities that many are not aware of the scheme, also it can be that transgenders, who want to avail the opportunity, are unable to do so due to valid identity document procured by them.
“I have planned a meeting with all NGOs on Saturday to discuss and understand the reasons of why there are no takers for such a noble opportunity. We will proceed to the conclusion after a survey and also guide transgenders who wish to study further with admissions,” he said.
For school dropouts
Khire added that IGNOU will also provide a short term bachelor’s preparatory programme for transgenders who are school drop outs or could not complete Std XII.
This will benefit them to seek admission to higher education courses given by the university. To be eligible, the transgender candidates will have to submit a certificate from the Central or State government or a medical officer, or their Aadhaar cards.