Law students demand review of examination results

Law students
File Photo of Law students

The National Association of Law Students (NALS) has expressed disappointment in their Entrance Examination results and as a result is calling for a review or remark of their examinations.

According to the Independent Examination Committee (IEC) of the General Legal Council (GLC), 790 out of 2,824 candidates passed the exam organised earlier this year.

The pass rate is in line with previous years, except for 2020, where 1,045 Law students out of 2,763 passed the entrance examination.

In 2019, only 128 candidates out of a total of 1,820 passed the exam.

Read Also: ‘Make system flexible to accommodate more law students’

In 2017, 500 students were admitted into the school, with 450 students admitted in 2016.

The poor pass rate has in the past sparked calls for a reform of legal education in Ghana.

Critics have said the General Legal Counsel deliberately restricts people from gaining access to legal education.

Admission to the Ghana School of Law for professional legal education requires that successful candidates obtain a minimum rank of 50%.

But in a statement, the NALS said these number admitted constitutes nearly 25% drop in admissions when compared to the 2020 election year admission.

“NALS notes, in shock, an explanation Notice, under the hand of the Director of Legal Education, explaining the definition of 50% pass mark used for the admission, and a publication of another list of index numbers with raw score of candidates who sat the said examination,” NALS wrote.

It added that,“NALS regrets ascertaining thereto that, contrary to the earlier results, some 1289 out of the 2824 candidates, representing 45.6%, obtained 50% aggregated score hitherto set as pass mark. Yet, there was a dear very inexcusable exclusion of some 499 candidates, constituting 39% of candidates who obtained this 50% and 18% of all the candidates.”

According to the Association, it was saddened and noted that the published 2021 success rate would have been even poorer, not because students under-performed, but because the original intention was to admit only 550 students predetermined irrespective of the actual performance, as captured at paragraph 1055S, at page 186 of the 2021 budget statement presented to Parliament by the Finance Ministry.
“NALS is appalled that it was Parliament that modified or recommended the Modification to about 800 and not admission based on actual performance,” it stated.

NALS was of the belief that the credibility of the examination has been jeopardized by such acts and further heightens growing suspicion and lack of faith in the examination among students.

“Thus, NALS thinks that all stakeholders ought to be warned that despite the yearly increase in applicants and the backlog of students, there is continued delay in decentralizing the Course to capable law faculties as well as delay to publish a procedure allowing candidates the Opportunity to have their results reviewed or remarked,” it stated.

The Association stressed that,“NALS recalls the judgement in Prince Ganaku & 4 ORS v GLC (Suit no HR/008/2020) per her ladyship Justice Gifty Agyei Addo dated 13° October 2020 and 15° December 2020 ordering the GLC “to give the Applicants the opportunity to have their examination results reviewed or remarked’ with a published procedure — which judgement the GLC has hitherto appealed against.”

NALS again said, “In the circumstances, NALS cannot support this or any other arbitrary or afterthought change to the definition of 50% pass mark simply to manipulate the number of candidates considered for admission. NALS finds the change very inconsistent with 2019 and 2020 Entrance Examination pass marks, determined on a simple straightforward 50% aggregated score.”

It therefore called on the Right to Information Commission, Civil Society Organizations, and progressive public-spirited members of the Bar Association to join NALS to come to the immediate aid of dissatisfied candidates, pursuant to Article 21(1)(f) of the 1992 Constitution and Sections 13 and 18 of the Right to Information Act 2019 (Act 989).

Statement below:

Ghana| Atinkaonline.com| Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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