Africa Education Watch joins calls for GLC to evolve and stop denying students legal education

Africa Education Watch joins calls for GLC to evolve and stop denying students legal education

Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch has waded into the admission saga that has engulfed the Ghana law School for some years now especially in the recent case of the 499 LLB students who were not admitted though it has been alleged that they actually met the threshold to gain admission into the school.

Africa Education Watch is urging the school to admit the students deeming the stance of the school as unfair while also expressing disappointment in how the school is treating the students even though they had passed the exams.

Also, the think tank has accused the Ghana School of Law of attempting to unfairly impose a quota on the number of admissions and lawyers produced, for no justifiable reason, especially when data from the Labour Market suggests not only a shortage in the supply of lawyers in Ghana but an increase in their demand.

“This action of the Ghana School of Law contradicts government’s own agenda of doubling tertiary enrolment by 2030 and creating equal opportunities for career progression and skills development as a means of curbing graduate unemployment. How would the Government of Ghana attract more students into tertiary education when graduates from our law faculties, even after passing the Law School’s entrance exams, cannot gain admission to the Ghana School of Law?,” Africa Education Watch.

“Over the past ten years, the annual backlog of law faculty graduates who are denied access to professional legal education on the basis of Ghana School of Law’s unfair admission quotas is a key contributor to graduate unemployment in Ghana, and a major source of frustration among the youth.

“Globally, training institutions have adopted virtual learning systems and technologies to sustain and increase access to legal education in the face of limited physical infrastructure and the COVID-19 pandemic effect.

“Should there be genuine concerns regarding limited physical space, the Ministry of Education through the various tertiary institutions have enormous experiences in managing high numbers through virtual schooling initiatives, which should never pose a challenge to the Ghana School of Law adopting to admit the 499 students into a virtual school.

“We call on the Ghana School of Law to admit the 499 students either as in-person or virtual students, in line with government’s tertiary education policy.

“We urge the Ghana School of Law to develop a virtual learning infrastructure to increase its student intake in successive years, to run simultaneously with on-going brick and mortar expansion strategies. We call on His Excellency the President to intervene in this act of injustice,” a statement said on Wednesday, October 13.

Africa Education Watch statement is in response to the persistent trend of admission tussle at the Ghana School of Law between the admission authority and students LLB graduates who sit for the entrance examinations. With this year no different, over two thousand LLB candidates who sat for the 2020/2021 academic year Ghana School of Law 2021 were deemed by the school to have failed the Entrance Exams. Only 790 of them passed representing approximately 28% while the failure represents 72%.

This has bought the General Legal Council, the body in charge of legal education in Ghana, intense criticism spurred especially by the new rule applied in this year’s exam requiring candidates to pass 50% in each of the two sections A and B in the exam, a rule that did not exist prior to the examination.

The General Legal Council received flak for this development.

One of its fierce critics Prof Kwaku Asare is also known as Kwaku Azar lamented that the law school has created a monopoly in legal education which is destroying welfare and restricting output.

He also lamented the fact that Ghana does not do well in university rankings because most the courses are irrational.

For instance, Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, criticised the GLC for applying a rule it set after the 2020/2021 law school entrance examination.

Mr Kpebu a legal practitioner also slammed the GLC for applying a rule it set only after the 2020/21 exam adding that the GLC which is made up of the best of the best lawyers in the country is aware that retrospective application of rules or orders has very limited space in Ghana hence, they should not have applied it in the examination.

By: Stella Annan | Twitter @activetvgh

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