Over the weekend I did an interview for the university radio station about my creative writing class. Creative writing is not, I'm told, usually a part of German education, not even at the primary or high-school level. The emphasis is, instead, on writing essays and other non-fiction, non-poetry forms. This is why only one of my students had ever written a short story before. Leipzig is one of the few universities to offer any courses in creative writing.
The student interviewer asked me if I thought the "skills" learned in my class would "be of any use to students later, since probably they will not become writers of fiction." It's an interesting question. Underlying it is the assumption that the only purpose of a university education is to acquire useful skills. I disagreed with that. Another purpose is to broaden the mind, to deepen both the range of experiences one has and the range of things one can respond to intelligently. Learning about point of view, dramatization, character development can make one a better reader. Reading and writing SF opens the door to speculation about future technology as experienced in very human terms. And creativity in the area of writing may encourage creative thinking in other areas. Even if it doesn't, it still seems to me a valuable endeavor to try at least once.
Not to mention that Sf is fun.