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MPs clash over mass failure

There was heated debate in Parliament yesterday, on the mass failure of students who wrote the entrance examinations into the Ghana School of Law for the 2019/2020 academic year, with the house generally recommending to the General Legal Council to re-mark the failed scripts of the students at a very reasonable cost.

One thousand eight hundred and twenty prospective law students wrote the entrance examination into the Ghana School of Law last year but only 128 students passed and gained admission into the law school, prompting the disgruntled students to petition the President and Parliament over their predicaments which they attributed to systematic failure and crisis in legal education in the country.

The student body of National Association of Law Students in its petition accused the General Legal Council (GLC) of deliberately instituting filtration mechanisms to deal with its systematic failure to provide corresponding facilities to accommodate the increasing number of prospective students.

The students also said the mass failure did not reflect their actual performance and the deliberate attempt by the authorities to discourage them from asking for re-marking by pegging the re-marking fee at a whooping GH¢3,000.

Most of the Members of Parliament (MPs) including the minority chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga completely sided with the students’ concerns and said politicians as well as technocrats in the educational sector had failed to ensure that there was corresponding expansion in infrastructure to cater for legal training as the population grew rapidly.

The minority chief whip said Parliament as an institution has failed on its oversight responsibility as well as National Accreditation Board and the National Council for Tertiary Education to ensure that universities with the requisite academic facilities are given the permission to run law faculties and also to ensure that more satellite campuses of the Ghana School of Law are opened to accommodate the increasing number of qualified students from the accredited tertiary institutions.

The MP for Bawku Central suggested that the current law should be amended to ensure that accrediting law faculties of tertiary institutions would be done with professional recommendation from the Ghana Legal Council.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Adansi/Asokwa, K.T. Hammond in his submission said the status quo for production of quality lawyers must be maintained stressing that students of these days do not want to learn hard to justify their admission into the Ghana School of Law.

“Mr Speaker, students of these days don’t like to learn, they don’t want to spend on books. Most of them use social media English language to take their exams and that is seriously affecting the standard of education in the country,” he said.

The house however adopted the report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs which recommended for the nation to carry out massive legislative and structural reforms towards finding lasting solution to the challenges in the system by introducing a private member’s bill to deal with that.


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