Socially Useful Productive Work

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Students of Little Flower Public School, Bangalore working in Narayanapura area as a part of SUPW

Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) is a subject in Indian schools where students can choose from a number of vocational education activities[1] - emand knitting, gardening, cooking, painting, carpentry and other crafts and hobbies, and clubbed community service for senior students (class X onwards). Students learn to work as a team and to work with skill and deftness. It was introduced in 1978, by the Ministry of Education to promote Gandhian values and educational ideas of Mahatma Gandhi.[2]

It remains an ancillary, but mandatory part of course curriculum in schools affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE),[3] which conducts two examinations in India: the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC). It is taught in some Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools, which includes Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya schools.

In addition to developing individual skills, SUPW aims to help develop among the students the habit to work as a community, encourage community thinking, increase awareness of scientific advancements and develop a scientific outlook. The training acquired in the classroom is expected to help students to solve day-to-day problems of the community.

In some schools of India game subjects like Yoga, Cricket, swimming,chess,table tennis,basketball,athletes,football,dance,music are also a choice. In some schools SUPW period start from 6th and 7th class onwards


SUPW may be described as purposive and

meaningful manual work, resulting in either goods or services

which are meaningful to the society.

- Report of Review Committee, 1977[2]

Recommending education through craft, Mahatma Gandhi said, "..The core of my suggestion is that handicrafts are taught not merely for production work but for developing intellect of the pupils".[4] This idea was taken forward by the Kothari Commission (1964–66), which suggested introduction of 'work experience' in education. Subsequently, after the recommendations of 'Ishwarbhai Patel Committee' (July, 1977), which first coined the term 'Socially Useful Productive Work' or SUPW, the subject was first introduced to the school curriculum in 1978, by Ministry of Education, Government of India.[5]

Crafts and hobbies[edit]

As per the " Programme of Action of the [National Policy on Education] of 1986",which emphasis promotion of culture and creativity in school children, SUPW curriculum may also include, Pottery, Clay Modelling, Paper Mache, Mask Making, Tie & Dye, Rangoli, Wall decoration, Cane work, Bamboo work, Book binding, Paper toys.[3][6][7]

Further reading[edit]

  • A Text Book of SUPW, Vol. 1, by Juhi Aggarwal. Pitambar Publishing, 2005. ISBN 8120908538.
  • Position Paper: Work and Education NCERT, January 2007.


  1. ^ Rashtriya, p. 85
  2. ^ a b Krishnamurthy , p. 20
  3. ^ a b "Socially Useful Productive Work And Community Service: Classes IX-X" (PDF). Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  4. ^ Kochhar, p. 147
  5. ^ "The Education quarterly, Volume 30". Ministry of Education & Social Welfare. 1978. p. 25. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ "Socially Useful Productive Work/Work Experience" (PDF). Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT).
  7. ^ "New initiative to train school children". The Economic Times. Sep 29, 2002.

Additional sources[edit]

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