General News of Monday, 7 October 2019
Law students reported to have failed their entrance exams are calling for the resignation of the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo.
According to the demonstrators, the Chief Justice who doubles as the Chairperson for the General Legal Council has been ‘inhumane’ in addressing their grievances.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo on October 4, 2019, during the passing out ceremony of 305 new lawyers in Accra stated that the existing systems and structures for the training of lawyers in the country will not be changed despite public outcry.
She stressed that the current system that many deem as strict and unfair, is meant to ensure that lawyers who are trained in the country are of global standards.
During the ceremony, she said, “the General Legal Council (GLC) continues in its quest to assure the people of this great republic the excellence in professional legal education and production of quality lawyers that they so well and dearly deserve.”
“The position of the General Legal Council (GLC) remains that admission to the Ghana School of Law for professional legal education requires that successful candidates obtain a minimum rank of 50% in an entrance exam administered by the Independent Examination Committee,” the Chief Justice added.
It is for this reason that law students in the various institutions across the country – UCC, KNUST, GIMPA, University of Ghana, among others – have demonstrated against what they labelled as ‘strict and unfair’ system, thereby, calling for a “reform and opening up” of legal education to all.
In an interview with the President of the Students’ Representative Council of the Ghana School of Law, Jonathan Alua, he stated that this demonstration is to correct the ‘weak systems’ so that “in the future, people should be able to come to law school and have quality legal education that does not oppress them, that does not put them in stress, and that is done in the free and fair manner so that all of us can attest to the fact that law and legal education is fair”.
He further said, “what we seek to do is to get wholistic reforms…we have to take a look at the entrance exams. It is problematic, it is unfair, it has become a game of chance and there are no standardize metrics for assessing the quality of that exam”.
The Ghana School of Law recorded a mass examination failure this year. Out of the over 1,800 students who sat for the exam, only 128 passed. This is the third time there’s been a drastic failure in law school.
Meanwhile, the police have used stringent measures to disperse demonstrators. GhanaWeb can confirm that the Ghana Police Service sprayed water and tear gas on them and also fired shots, while over 10 are in police custody.