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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Socially Useful Productive Work

In my school days we had a specific subject called SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work). There we were taught carpentory, candle making, crafts etc. That was considered SUPW. Those days I could not understand what is SUPW.

Now in hindsight I realize the subjects we were taught - languages, mathematics, science etc, somehow was not viewed as SUPW. May be the thinking was if the student do not get further education, he will have some skills to make a living.

I realize in my working life - in career of science and technology, that sciences and math taught to us actually was not considered socially useful by the teachers - as I realize very few teachers actually tried to co-relate what they were teaching with real life. I was lucky to have mathematics and physics teachers who were able to some how bridge the gap. But not for example the biology teacher. Hence my interest in physics and math. Similary we had a fantastic teacher in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Neural Networks during my Masters classes - and I can say I sustained interest in these subjects later on as well - but not for example in Databases!

Well can we make each subject taught in the schools Socially Useful Productive Work! May be we can!

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