The National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Mr Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has described as “bizarre and discriminatory” the failure of the Ghana School of Law to admit 499 more students who obtained the 50 per cent or better pass mark in the 2021 entrance examination of the institution.
He said although the students passed with the minimum of the pre-determined criteria of 50 per cent, they were not part of the 790 students who gained admission to the GSL.
He has, therefore, demanded that all the 499 students be immediately admitted without further delay.
“I will also call for public enquiry to be conducted into this year’s Law school entrance exam to ascertain the level of arbitrariness and lack of transparency,” he said.
Avoid tools of prejudice
Mr Dafeamekpor, who is a lawyer, said to avoid such arbitrariness, the future of professional Law training ought to be pragmatic in allowing pre-qualified Law faculties to run the professional Law programme whose students would be admitted to the Ghana Bar upon sitting and passing a one-off Ghana National Bar examination.
“Some of the students who attained as high as 61 marks are denied admission while some other students had 50 per cent and are given admission.
“The future of the Ghanaian youth and, in particular, those desiring to enrol as lawyers ought not to be jeopardised by relying on the tools of prejudice, capriciousness and discrimination,” he stated.
Mr Dafeamekpor, who is a member of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and also the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said the recent release of results of the 2021 School of Law entrance exams by the General Legal Council (GLC) and its affiliate, the Independent Examination Council (IEC), had generated controversy that deserved national attention.
According to him, the initial results released by the GLC on September 28, 2021 suggested that 790 out of the total examinees of 2,824 met the entry requirements.
However, he said, a further release by the GLC of all examination results after public pressure would suggest that 1,289 examinees met the minimum pass requirement of 50 per cent in keeping with the known pass standard for all previous entrance examinations conducted by the GLC.
“It is most bizarre, therefore, that 499 of the 1,289 have not been considered eligible for admission to the GSL when indeed they scored a minimum of 50 per cent or better.
“In an attempt to explain this inconsistency of not admitting the 499 students, the GLC, through its director, further released a notice on its noticeboard, setting out what clearly is an afterthought, and setting out an est post facto rationalisation of the inconsistency,” he said.
Be open, accountable
He pointed out that in the said notice, the director purported to set a previously unknown new standard of a pass of 50 per cent in each of the two sections A and B in the exam.
He described the move as strange, given that all examination rules and pass criteria ought to be made known to examinees prior to but not after the exam had been written.
“It is so strange to observe, for instance, that the afterthought notice allows a student with 50 per cent of total exam score to be admitted while her colleague with 69 or better is rejected.
“The GLC has not explained the propriety of the new criteria, the subsequent released results contain errors, missing index numbers and some students who indeed have passed in accordance with the new criteria and yet have not received admissions,” he said.
“The conduct of the GLC offends the spirit of openness, accountability and transparency accustomed to such institutions. Further, it is discriminatory and leaves no space for procedural fairness,” he added.