The Alfred High School here – the 164-year-old institution where Mahatma Gandhi studied – has been shut down by the authorities to make way for a museum. The proposal to convert this state-run Gujarati medium school, also known as Mohandas Gandhi High School, into a museum was accepted by the Gujarat government last year.
Mahatma Gandhi passed out from the school in 1887 at the age of 18. Going ahead with the decision, school authorities have started issuing school leaving certificates to all 125-odd students, said officials. “We have started issuing leaving certificates to the students, who can now secure admission in any school of their preference for the next academic year” said the District Education Officer Reva Patel.
Last year, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation(RMC) had sent a proposal to the state government to shut down the school and convert it into a museum. Upon receiving the proposal, the Gujarat government had recently asked the Education department to start the process of handing over the school building to the RMC, said Rajkot Municipal Commissioner B N Pani.
“We have hired a consultant to carry out the work of converting this building into a museum at a cost of Rs 10 crore. This museum would showcase life and times of Gandhiji, Sardar Patel and many other prominent personalities,” said Pani.
The school, earlier known as Rajkot High School, was founded on October 17, 1853 during the then British rule. It was the first English medium school in Saurashtra region at that time. The present building of the Alfred High School was built by the Nawab of Junagadh in 1875 and was named after Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh.
After India’s independence in 1947, the school was renamed the Mohandas Gandhi High School. Though Gandhiji’s name was attached to this institution, the school had a poor record in imparting education. Few years back, none of its 60-odd SSC students were able to clear the Class X board exam.