Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel today laid the foundation stone for a project to convert into a museum, the state-run school here known as Mohandas Gandhi High School, where the father of the nation had studied. The 164-year-old Gujarati medium school was earlier known as Alfred High School and Mahatma Gandhi had passed out from the school in 1887 when he was 18.
The school was founded on October 17, 1853 during the British rule while Gandhiji studied there for seven years from 1880. After independence, the school was named after the Mahatma.
Last year, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) had sent a proposal to the state government to convert the school into a museum and the proposal had been accepted by the government. After the decision was taken, school authorities had started issuing school leaving certificates to the 125-odd students.
“The cost of converting the school into a museum is around Rs 15 crore,” officials said adding that the museum will showcase the life and times of Gandhi, Sardar Patel and other prominent leaders of the country.
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 became independent in 1947, the school was renamed as Mohandas Gandhi High School. As per the records, Gandhi graduated from this high school in 1887 at the age of 18. Though Gandhiji’s name was attached to this institution, the school had a poor record in imparting education. A few years back, none of its 60-odd SSC students were able to clear the Class X board exam.