Education think tank, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) is asking the General Legal Council (GLC) to admit some 499 candidates who were denied admission into the Ghana School of Law, despite passing the 2021 entrance exam.
According to Eduwatch, the action by the Ghana School of Law to deny the students access to legal education is unfair and cannot be justified.
It insisted that the move contradicts the government’s agenda of doubling tertiary enrolment by 2030.
It made the remark in a press statement issued on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
“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?”
Eduwatch however, proffered a solution to the Ghana Law School should it be constrained by physical space.
It insisted that the school can either accept the students as in-person or virtual students.
According to the think tank, this forms part of “government’s tertiary education policy.”
“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 the government’s tertiary education policy.”
Meanwhile, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has also in a petition asked Parliament to order the General Legal Council (GLC) to provide raw scores of candidates who took part in Ghana School of Law entrance exams for 2020 and 2021.
NUGS believes only a response from the GLC on the retrospective implementation of the new rules of the exams will resolve the perennial mass failures recorded during the professional law school entrance exams.
The union says its own independent checks show that the total number of students who passed the 2021 examinations stands at 1,289 and not 790 as the General Legal Council’s new regulations make it, hence, its petition to the legislative arm of government.
“We wish to petition your high office to order the General Legal Council to appear before the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs committee with raw scores of the examinations from this year and last year.”
“Mr. Speaker, we deem it necessary for the raw scores of both the previous year and this year to be examined by the committee because we believe it will demonstrate whether the separation of scores from the two sections existed before the just ended examinations”, the petition read in parts.
The 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance exams saw 28 percent of the LLB candidates gaining entrance to Ghana’s only institution for training lawyers, with 790 out of 2,824 candidates passing.
The poor pass rate has in the past sparked calls for a reform of legal education in Ghana.
Critics have said the GLC deliberately restricts people from gaining access to legal education.