The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin to order the General Legal Council to appear before the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary affairs committee of Parliament with raw scores of the examinations from this year and last year.
In the petition, sighted by www.diamondfmonline.com, NUGS said “we deem it necessary for the raw scores of both the previous year and this year be examined by the committee because we believe it will demonstrate whether or not the separation of scores from the two sections existed before the just ended examinations”.
Read below the full petition to the Speaker of Parliament.
NUGS PETITION: PARLIAMENT SHOULD ORDER THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL TO RESPOND TO RETROSPECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW EXAMINATION RULES WHICH LED TO THE FAILURE OF SOME LAW STUDENTS WHO SAT THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS.
Mr. Speaker, the National Union of Ghana Students took notice of the mass failure of law students who sat the entrance exams for the professional course at the Ghana School of Law.
The issue which has become a perennial occurrence took a rather shocking turn, when this year, some students who per our verification from the scores released by the Independent Examinations Committee of the General Legal Council passed the exams as per the 50% threshold but are now deemed to have failed due to a new regulation which requires students to have obtained at least 50% in each of the two sections in the exams.
The implementation of this new regulation led to the failure of several hundreds of students who would otherwise have passed. We believe the total number of students who passed this year’s examinations stands at 1.289 and not 790 as the General Legal Councils new regulations make it.
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 be examined by the committee because we believe it will demonstrate whether or not the separation of scores from the two sections existed before the just ended examinations.
The examinations ran by the Independent Examinations Committee of the General Legal Council has so far not been transparent to the public. We would like to draw your attention to a practice of the examination body which forces students to sign an undertaking to accept the results of the examinations without question.
Mr. Speaker, there is the need for parliament to investigate the perception that the examinations are not a reflection of students performance but a drawbridge to limit access to legal education. We are aware that the General Legal Council has directed the 790 students who have been accepted to complete the submission of relevant documents by 14th of October, 2021, leaving the fates of the other 499 as a mystery.
Mr. Speaker, if urgent steps are not taken to bring clarity to the issues concerning allocation of scores and pass marks, these students may be unable to join their colleagues in time should investigations of the committee affirm our belief that they actually passed the exams. We therefore hope that the attention of your high office would be drawn to these concerns as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker, beyond this year’s concerns, we believe there are several other complications in relation to legal education in Ghana which need reform; several of those reforms would nip occurrences such as this year’s in the bud. In line with that, we have attached a memo detailing those concerns to this petition.
We appreciate this opportunity to reaffirm to you, Right Honorable Speaker, the assurances of our highest esteem.
NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS