A village school is held in a small building. It has hardly more than two or three rooms. Sometimes it has only one big room, under shady trees. The boys sit on ‘mats’ and sometimes on the bare ground under shady trees. There are only one or two teachers who teach all the four or five infant classes.
The students generally belong to poor families. They are very poorly dressed. They are generally dirty and bare-footed. Their noses are often found running and they seldom wash themselves. In the school there are no arrangements for bathing and washing.
The village school master is an important man in the village. His word is law for the villagers. He is a teacher, post master, doctor and judge. He is low paid. He is simple in habits and dress. He is harsh and strict towards his students. They are terribly afraid of him.
He sits on a cot and teaches all the classes one by one. He works hard with his students. He is devoted to his work. He is afraid of the inspecting officers of the Education Department. He prepares the classes day and night and the school premises are also swept neat and clean when an inspector is to visit the school. After the visit, he is again free and rests on his oars.
He is also in charge of the village sub post office. He delivers the mail to the villagers and also writes letters and other documents for them. He reads out the newspapers to the villagers. They think and believe that he is the only person who can give them up-to-date information about what is going on in other parts of the world.
The villagers carry all their disputes and troubles to him. He acts as the judge. His decision is generally accepted. He gives legal advice in their law-suits. He also acts as a doctor. He distributes quinine and other simple drugs among the villagers when some epidemic breaks out. The ailing villagers often consult him and he prescribes simple medicines for them.
The villagers have implicit faith in him. They supply him most of his needs. He is contented with his lot and wishes for nothing better. He is proud of his position in the village and sometimes gives himself airs.