Mahatma Gandhi's Education

- By Susan Wallace

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is famously known as Mahatma Gandhi was more than just a lawyer. He is remembered as an anti-colonial nationalist as he was the leader in India's independence movement. His non-violent tactics became famous around the world and influenced some freedom fighters around the world including Martin Luther King.

Gandhi's education was met with challenges right from elementary school up to college. Despite these challenges, he managed to accomplish his goals and inspire many people around the world. Here is a brief overview of Mahatma Gandhi's life during his school years.

Primary Education

Where was Gandhi educated? He received his primary education in the city of Porbandar. Being a famous and influential person, some people assume Gandhi was among the brightest students in his school. Contrary to this, Gandhi was an average student. He was not very good at academics or in any sporting activities, however, he grasped some of the most important aspects of his education including good morals. He was also a shy and timid student. The school he went to was a school consisting of boys only and was located on the Western Coast of India.

High School Education

Alfred High School, Rajkot

Alfred High School, Rajkot

Gandhi later moved to Rajkot, a city located in the western part of India. The move was necessary due to his father's new job. He joined Alfred High School, an all-boys school, at the age of 11 years. There was a lot of improvement in his performance in high school compared to elementary school.

The young Gandhi who was not good at anything could now be recognized as a good student in various subjects including English. He did not excel in other areas such as Geography. He was still the same shy student but he still maintained the good conduct he had from a very young age. One thing that never changed was his handwriting. It was never pleasing. This is probably due to the fact that he learned by writing on dust using his fingers.

His high school life was a challenge since he married at 13 years and had to take care of his family. His father later got ill which was added a challenge to his life as well as his education.

Alfred High School was later renamed after Gandhi after India's independence. In 2017, the school was closed and converted to a museum.

College Education

Samaldas College, Bhavnagar

Samaldas College, Bhavnagar

Despite Mahatma Gandhi's education challenges during his high school years including being taken a year back, Gandhi managed to complete his high school. He enrolled in Samaldas Arts College, the only institution that was offering a degree. Gandhi later dropped out of college and went back home to his family in Porbandar.

Gandhi in London, 1906

Gandhi in London, 1906

After some time, Gandhi decided to go back to college. He opted to take a different course, Law. Since he had studied in India all his life, he decided to make a change and study in England. His decision was met with many challenges starting from his own family. His mother was not supportive of him leaving India and the local chiefs excommunicated him. To put his family and other people who thought he would be influenced to go against his religion, he made a vow not to eat meat, drink alcohol or get involved with other women.

He joined the University College London (UCL) and completed his Law degree successfully after 3 years. He managed to adapt to English culture while still honoring the vow he made to his family. During his study in London, he managed to improve his shy nature when he joined a public speaking group that trained him on how to be a good public speaker.

After graduating from UCL, Gandhi returned home to his family. Unfortunately, his mother had already passed away.

With the education that Gandhi got from elementary school all the way to college, he managed to have a successful career despite the challenges he faced.


Mahatma Gandhi is considered one of the most iconic and influential figures in the world. He was raised in a middle-class family and was not so exemplary in school especially in elementary school. Gandhi managed to learn and respect the moral principles as well as character training that he got from school.

Gandhi did not have an easy life while in school. In high school, he had improved in his performance but he was taken a year back after getting married at the age of 13 years and his father ailing.

His first attempt at college failed when he dropped out of Arts College but he later went to London to study Law at the University College London (UCL).

*Susan Wallace is an accomplished biography writer and blogger.| Email: