Alfred High School, a premium institute of Rajkot where Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi studied, has been closed down and all 150 students here have been given away their leaving certificates.

It was a terse notification from the Gujarat Government in 2016 that a museum on Mahatma Gandhi worth Rs. 12 crore was to be created at Alfred High School or Mohandas Gandhi High School and that the students will be shifted to Karansinhji High School. There was adequate space at the Alfred High School to carve out a museum and also run the school.

The students and teachers were handed down leaving certificates and asked to fend for themselves. According to reports, the arrangements were being made to move the entire staff and students elsewhere by the end of this month. The school was constructed during the British rule by Kernel Singh and was the first English school in the region.

Originally called Rajkot English School, it was founded on October 17, 1853 and later became a full-fledged high school. By 1868, it was known as Rajkot High School and was named Alfred High School in 1907. Following India’s independence in 1947, the school was renamed “Mohandas Gandhi High School” in the honour of Mahatma Gandhi.

At age of 18, Mahatma Gandhi had graduated from this school in 1887. In the year 2012, the Indian Government has bought thousands of documents relating to Mahatma Gandhi that were set to go on sale in an auction in the UK. The archive belonged to Hermann Kallenbach, the Jewish architect and bodybuilder, who became Gandhi’s close friend when he lived in South Africa.

The Indian government struck a deal with Kallenbach’s family to buy the documents for an unknown figure. Most of the letters were written by family, friends and others with very few written by Gandhi himself.