‘You can’t blame law students after failing 93% of them?’ – Rawlings blasts GLC
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has joined the many voices criticising the General Legal Council (GLC), following the mass failure in the 2019 Ghana Law School entrance examination.
This year, only 128 students out of the 1,820 candidates who sat for entrance exams passed to be admitted. The GLC, the administrators of legal education in Ghana, has said students performed poorly, although calls for them to release students’ scripts have been ignored.
Speaking to executives of the Ghana Journalist Association on Thursday during an interaction, the former president revealed that one of his daughters fell victim to what many describe as a crude pruning of law students wishing to enter the law school due to a lack of space.
“Ninety-three per cent failure and you [GLC[ think you can get away with blaming the students? You don’t blame the establishment, the institution? The former President also lashed out at the security agencies for applying brute force during a demonstration by the National Association of Law Students.
Police used water cannons to disperse the demonstrating students, a move that many, including former President John Rawlings, has said was inappropriate. The former President joins the likes of Professor Kwaku Asare who have fiercely
criticised the GLC for deliberately failing students in a bid to limit the number of students admitted into the Ghana Law School. A successful two-year course at the school at Makola in Accra enables students to be called to the bar.
Professor Kwaku Asare recently lashed out at the Chief Justice’s comments against calls to open up legal education. The Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, said at the 2019 University of Ghana Alumni Lectures that Ghana needed quality lawyers, not lots of lawyers.
The Chief Justice has always argued that allowing more people to train as lawyers will negatively affect the quality lawyers, a view Prof Asare has described as a “false dilemma.”
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme Thursday, Rector of Mountcrest University College, Mr Kwaku Ansa Asare, said former President Rawlings’ comments could not have come at a better time.
Mountcrest University College is one of the private law institutions that prepares law students for the Ghana Law School entrance exams. Although the GLC has said poor quality of teaching at these institutions is to blame for the poor performance, Mr Asare disagrees.
“It is flawed in the sense that it is they who are saying that the students deviated...it is the students’ word against the examiners’ word...do we have any neutral persons who are going to vet [the claims],” he asked on Newsnite.
Meanwhile, the GLC met the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament on Thursday, over a petition by the law students. A Ranking Member on the Committee, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, told JoyNews that the GLC has admitted that the failures could be a systematic problem and was working to increase the intake of law students.