It has been only a few days since the Union Cabinet has approved the ‘New National Education Policy 2020’ and since then it has been the ‘talk of the town’. The Ministry of Human Resource Development on 29th July 2020 introduced the NEP, 2020 reconstituting the 34-years-old National Education policy which was modified by P.V Narasimha Rao in the year 1992.
The credibility of the education system of our country has always been a debate among the students and the teachers. Like Mark Twain said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”. It is the 21st century and there were no such sweeping reforms made in the field of education in the last 34 years.
Back in 2009, when Amir Khan in his movie ‘3 idiots’ said, “Kaamyab hone ke liye nahi, Kaabil hone ke liye padho”, which roughly translates to “Learn not to be successful but to be capable”, we all felt it. What makes National Education Policy more appealing to the young generation are its throughgoing key proposals. These if brought to force, might actually change the entire Education system of the nation and inculcate the Global model of Education in our country. The policy, therefore, aims at completely transforming the education system by 2040.
Keeping in mind the changes, it might bring about in Legal Education it must be said that Legal Education requires proper training in the practical field and this is one reason why Legal Education is mainly based on internships in courts, Law Firms, NGOs, etc. Since the National Education Policy has aimed at providing higher education through a multi-disciplinary approach, students who aspire to study law can expect to train themselves vocationally and prepare themselves for the practical field at an early stage and by the time they graduate from schools, they will already be trained to face the practical world.
The new National Education Policy also focuses on the importance of research and the critical thinking abilities of the students. This move is gladly received as this would attract students into the field of legal research and academia. The field of law is ever-evolving and there is so much more to the law than just litigating and practicing, the better standards of teaching as recognized by the policy might actually help law students to get better exposure and will also train them to compete at global forums, like ICJ or ICC.
Also, the emphasis on the mother tongue will enable to students to gain legal knowledge in their own mother tongue. Let’s not forget, that legal education has often been criticized as a lot of bright students fail to achieve their dream to pursue legal education because they completed their schooling from vernacular school.
However, the real effectiveness of the Policy will only be tested when it would be implemented. As rightly said by George Couros, “Learning is creation. Not consumption. Knowledge is not something a learner absorbs, but something a learner creates.”
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This article is written by Swarnali Das and edited by Rupreet Kaur Dhariwal.