Parliament has directed the Ghana School of Law to admit all 499 students who passed the recent entrance examination but have been denied admission.
The resolution was passed on Friday, October 29, 2021 by Parliament.
The directive was given after Parliament debated and passed a resolution directed at the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the General Legal Council to the effect that the students should be admitted.
The motion was filed by the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin.
The House, which was presided over by the First Deputy Speaker, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, also directed the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice, Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame, to ensure that the resolution passed by the house is implemented.
“The General Legal Council is directed to proceed and admit all the students who passed the entrance examination in accordance with the advertised rules of the examination,” the House directed.
“As for the Attorney-General, we can always call him here to answer; he is actually the minister responsible under the General Legal Council Act for ensuring that the proper thing is done,” Mr Osei-Owusu said.
He stated that whereas the Ghana School of Law advertised the rules for the entrance exam, it was wrong for the school to change the rules after the examination.
The motion was seconded by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak.
Mr Afenyo-Markin told the House that the Ghana School of Law set a pass mark of 50 per cent and advertised same prior to the conduct of the 2021/2022 professional law entrance examination.
He said the candidates for the entrance exams relied on the same advert rules for the purpose of writing the exam, thus the GLC and the GSL could not vary its own previously advertised minimum pass mark at the detriment of the students who met the minimum pass mark.
“Mr Speaker, I therefore move that this House resolves to direct the Ghana School of Law and the General Legal Council to offer admission to all those who obtained the minimum pass mark in this 2021/2022 academic year to enable them to pursue their professional law programme,” he moved.
He further told the House that since lectures have not started for the academic year, it was not too late to direct the school to admit the eligible students.
The Deputy Ranking Member of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Francis-Xavier Sosu earlier this month petitioned the Speaker for a probe into the mass failure that was recorded in the 2021 law school entrance examinations.
The 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance exams saw 28 percent of the LLB candidates gain entrance to Ghana’s only institution for training lawyers.
790 out of 2,824 candidates passed the exam organized earlier this year.
Though the pass rate is in line with previous years, except for 2020, where 1,045 students out of 2,763 passed.
However, the human rights lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu, in his petition to the Speaker of Parliament, said investigations must be instituted into the poor performance
According to him, this will afford the country the opportunity to know if the scores are based actual performance of students during examinations or a lack of infrastructure to accommodate more people.
“Article 37(1) of the 1992 Constitution provides that the State shall endeavor to secure and protect a social order founded on the ideals and principle of freedom, equality, justice, probity, and accountability as enshrined in Chapter 5 of this Constitution; and in particular, the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring every citizen has equality of rights, obligations, and opportunities before the law.”
“As such, there is the need for investigations to ascertain whether or not the pass rates and scores are based on the actual performance of students during examinations, or as a result of lack of available infrastructure to accommodate the excess numbers, hence this petition.”
Meanwhile, an Accra High Court has adjourned the case involving the aggrieved 499 students who unsuccessfully attempted to gain admission into the Ghana School of Law.
A lawyer for the aggrieved students said though they had already suffered irreparable damages and although time is of the essence in the matter, they would not mind the adjournment.