Stephen Kwaku Asare | Law Professor Says Law School Admission Is Flawed

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Legal Still Life, Law Books, Document and Wig...BDJG98 Legal Still Life, Law Books, Document and Wig

Lawyers are a ‘hot cake’ today in Ghana and admission into Law School is understandably competitive.

However, over the years there have been cases when some prospective law students have questioned the way selection into the Law School is done.

A few years ago, law graduates of the KNUST waiting to enter the Ghana School of Law agitated against authorities raising questions and arguing that the admission process was flawed.

I have met lot of people who have also expressed reservations about this law school admission issue but are afraid to talk about it — and that’s why I think Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare is speaking for many people.

The US-based law professor has questioned the admissions process into the Professional Law Course and has called for a total overhaul.

According to him the process isn’t transparent, fair and rational.

His opinions are captured in the following report by The Finder Newspaper:

“Professor Asare said only 298 out of the 875 students, rep­resenting 34% of candidates who took the 2015 Law School Entrance Exam, know their score.

According to him, the other 577 students do not, and would never, know their actual score from the exam.

He explained that the 577 students were left to assume that their score is lower than 66%, but they have no way of knowing what the actual score is.

Professor Asare explained that this is because the General Legal Council (GLC), through the Ghana School of Law (GSL), has posted scores of students who obtained 66% or higher from the examination.

According to him, the other scores are shrouded in mystery.

“It is important to understand that the 577 students have not failed the entrance examination.

“The GLC, through the GSL, do not define what a passing score is. Rather, they post scores of only students who are admitted to pursue the Qualifying Certificate in Law (QLC) at the three GSL campuses,” he stated.

Professor Asare argued that get­ting the score is not just a matter of right, but also it has feedback value.

In his view, a student who gets 65% would have to adopt completely different strategies from a student who got 28%.

“The scores will also shed light on how close the excluded students are to the cut-off.

“A cursory look at the scores reveals shortcomings in using it as a tool for admitting students to the QCL. Only 27 (3.4%) of the 875 students get a score of 80% or better.

“That suggests that it is highly un­reasonable to use a score of 66% as a cut-off. While one needs all the scores to understand the distribution, it is not unreasonable to guess that anyone scoring 40% on the exam has probably passed. “There are several procedurally flaws in this process,” he said.

Professor Asare explained that this may be the only competitive law en­trance exam where students do not know in advance what they need to score to pass.

Also, he said this may be the only qualifying exam where 66% of the students are not told their score.

According to him, all these-prob­lems could be solved immediately by giving the students who are not ad­mitted the option to take a self-study course and the opportunity to write the QCL with their fortunate col­leagues (i.e. those who scored 66% or higher).

“Alternatively, why can’t the GSL record the lectures and sell it to the 577 students? The GSL will make extra income,” he asked.

He stated that students would get the opportunity to fulfil their career dreams, adding that the students do not have to travel from all over the country to take the course in Accra or Kumasi.”

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I am the online editor @ banewsgh.com, wordpress designer, sports and entertainment enthusiast. I started my working life as a broadcaster but took a break after almost a decade in radio to focus on other things including banking and project management. I am a 'REST NOT' alumni, fighting two addictions-- radio and the internet.