Education

GLC members must be named, shamed, and chased out of town – Prof. Stephen Asare on GSL entrance exams undertaking.

The commitment that prospective students of the Ghana School of Law must sign before taking their entrance exam has been criticized as offensive by private legal practitioner Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare.

According to the aforementioned promise, which has drawn attention on social media, students who sign the agreement agree to accept the GLC’s decision without contest or debate.

“Thus, the decision of the General Legal Council in respect of the published results of the Entrance Examination shall be final. No request for re-marking of scripts, re-tallying of scores or review or marks shall be accepted. Candidates cannot also request to see their marked answer scripts or the marking schemes used for marking the questions,” the undertaking reads.

Following the agreement, Professor Kwaku Asare urged prospective law students to boycott the entrance exams in a series of Facebook posts.

He also demanded that the board of the Ghana Legal Council be dismissed.

“The GLC members must be named, shamed, and chased out of town for their pre-colonial views on legal education,” he stated.

Other detractors of the GLC’s decision criticized it as oppressive and harmful to the advancement of legal education in the nation.

Kofi Bentil, vice president of IMANI Africa, stated: “This is patently illegal immoral and unconscionable. This will age badly and be a byword and reference point for bad oppressive leadership. Posterity will judge all who presided over this terrible opaque and insensitive system badly.”

IMANI Africa employee Selorm Branttie regarded the project as indiscriminate:

“This is what the study of law has been reduced to. And you expect the law profession to blossom and grow when we cannot even check the arbitrariness of those who say they are marking exams?

“Where in this world are students not allowed to have lecturers justify the reason why they are given certain marks especially when the questions aren’t multiple choice?” he wrote.

He also questioned the Ghana Bar Association’s silence on the issue and lamented the presence of elite capture in the nation.

“And the Ghana Bar Association (which is only active when non-NPP govts are in power) sits down for this travesty of justice to take place? You spend 1000s of cedis and countless hours on your tuition only to be told that the process of grading you is completely opaque, and not only that, you cannot seek redress if you feel cheated.

“It’s like depositing money for a car to be delivered to you, they tell you they are billing you for a new Mercedes S Class, and yet, if they deliver a 10-year-old Toyota Vitz, you have no right to complain because they choose what car to give you. Such nonsense. This country naa it’s not worth fighting for. “We deny constitutional rights to push elitism and a senior boys club and nobody lifts a damn finger!” he said.

Not everybody, though, has criticized the GLC’s choice.

Kofi Opare Hagan, a Ghanaian lawyer working in the UK, claims that the GLC decision is grounded in realism and that those who disagree with it are only motivated by emotional populism.

“Anyone with a shred of sense working knows why the GLS is doing what they are now doing. It has to do with space. It is a consequence of what happened last year when they announced a cutoff point. They ended up with a situation where more people had made the cutoff than they expected. They were compelled by politics to accept them.

“Truth is, those 499 and others now at the GLS studying, appreciate the difficulty it has thrown everyone into. So what has the GLS decided? We have a certain number we can take. Well, let them all write the exams and then post exams we determine the cutoff based on the general performance. This isn’t rocket science. It is easy to figure it out. And that is the only way they can work around the problem,” he said.

On the basis of the idea that an academic judgment is final, a principle of academic freedom, he continued by saying that the agreement is solid and defendable.

“They would confirm the principle is premised on the fact that an academic judgment once made is considered final. It is considered final because the academic who made the judgment is deemed as being the expert in the field. They would further confirm in UK marks are normally moderated by three individuals. Two from the school itself and one from an external examiner.

“So when these three people award you a mark; that is it. And those who are interested in learning more about this principle can research on “academic judgments”. And oh, academic judgment forms part of academic freedom guaranteed under the Constitution of Ghana and made more complicated by the exclusive jurisdiction of the GLS to make arrangements for Legal Education under the relevant statute,” he added.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana

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