Members of Parliament (MPs) by a unanimous resolution on Friday October 29, directed the General Legal Council (GLC), the body in charge of legal education in Ghana, to admit all 499 LLB students unfairly denied admission to the Ghana School of Law (GSL) in the 2021/2022 academic year.
According to the lawmakers, the 499 students had fifty per cent cumulatively and met the fifty per cent threshold and it is therefore unfair to deny them admission on the grounds that they could not score fifty per cent each in both sections A and B of the examination.
They criticised the GLC for what they termed, shifting the goal post, by applying a rule it set after the 2020/2021 Entrance Examination requiring candidates to pass 50% in each of the two Sections, A and B in the examination, a rule that did not exist prior to the examination.
The MPs in disappointment bemoaned the unfair treatment being meted out to the 499 applicants which contradicts government’s agenda of doubling tertiary enrolment by 2030, and creating equal opportunities for career progression and skills development as a means of curbing graduate unemployment.
They subsequently condemned the deliberate frustrations and impediments imposed by the GLC and the GSL on LLB students in their pursuit of Professional Law Course education forcing some of them to seek solace in other African countries as far as Gambia and Rwanda.
The legislators were unanimous that there is a need for the House to investigate the perception that the examinations are not a reflection of students’ performance but drawbridge to limit access to legal education and was disappointed why the GSL could vary its admission requirements as previously advertised.
The First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu who was then presiding set the tone after the presentation of the Business Statement for the ensuing week saying his attention was drawn to the plight of the students who passed the exams as per the 50% threshold but are now deemed to have failed due to new regulation which required them to get 50% in each of the two sections.
He directed the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice who superintends the General Legal Council and the Ghana School of Law as well to take immediate steps to implement the House’s directives to ensure fairness and transparency in determining the rules of the game.
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.
The 2021 Ghana School of Law Entrance Examinations saw 28% of the LLB candidates gain entrance to Ghana’s only institution for training lawyers, 790 out of 2,824 candidates passed the exam organised earlier this year.