The renowned 164-year-old revered institution, where Mahatma Gandhi once studied, will now be transformed into a museum, confirmed the authorities while declaring the shutdown of Alfred High School.
In 1887, Mahatma Gandhi passed out of the school at the age of 18 years.
As per the reports of an official, the school authorities have already started issuing School Leaving Certificates to 125 odd students of the school to make progressive way for the transformation. All the students of the school will be shifted to the Karansinhji High School. “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.
The proposal to convert the Marathi medium school to a museum was sent by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) last year. Also known as Mohandas Gandhi High School, the institution is 164 years in age. The proposal was accepted by the Gujarat Government last year itself.
As the proposal got a nod from the state government, Education department was instructed to start handing over the school to the RMC, confirmed B N Pani, Rajkot Municipal Commissioner.
“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.
Founded on 17th October 1853, the school was originally named as Rajkot High School. Founded under the British rule, the school was the first English medium school in the Saurashtra region of India at that time.
The school was further renovated in 1875 by the Nawab of Junagadh. After the renovation, the school was renamed Alfred High School, after Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The present name of the school, Mohandas Gandhi High School came into existence after the independence.
The unsatisfactory records of the school:
Although the school had a reputable name associated with it, the education system was pitiable here. The 60-odd students of the school failed to pass the SSC Board examination. Reva Patel, the district education in charge of Rajkot, confirmed on Wednesday that the process of shutting down the school started on April 29. She also mentioned that the enrolment of students in the school has seen a significant fall this time because of the lack of good results. “The board results were not improving despite (the government) trying various options and the number of students was also going down every year.”
Patel said: “Recently, we wrote to parents informing them about the decision of transferring students to alternative schools. We have started getting replies and most parents have agreed to get their wards admitted to Karansinhji High School.”