Scrap Exams Board – NDC’s Sammy Gyamfi fights for Law Students

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana School of Law, has called for the examination scripts of the Ghana Law School students to be re-marked following the revelation that over 80 percent of persons who wrote the May 2017 exams failed.

The SRC had earlier called for the school’s Independent Examinations Board, which conducted the exams and was responsible for the marking of the scripts, to be scrapped, describing it as a threat to legal education in Ghana, after only 91 of the over 500 students passed the exams.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, the President of the school’s SRC, Sammy Gyamfi, said the results did not accurately reflect the performance of the students who sat for the exams.
He stated that in order to ensure the integrity of the exams and the results which were released, the scripts have to be re-marked by “a credible and independent body.”

“Clearly this is a sad day for professional legal education for Ghana. The published results are very dispiriting and discouraging, very disappointing and clearly unacceptable. The results as we have now don’t reflect the true performance of the students. We can’t vouch for the integrity of these results, the integrity of the results is questionable,” he said.

“We believe that systems must be put in place to ensure that independent, credible and professional examiners re-mark the scripts concerned and subject this whole process to an objective assessment whether or not the right things were done under the circumstances. There were fundamental flaws; the circumstances surrounding the whole examination; the delay in the release of the results, the marking; information available to us all point to the fact that something is fundamentally flawed with the entire process. All we are seeing now is not all there is. If we go deeper into the issues and allow independent, credible and professional examiners to remark the failed scripts, we are very confident that a lot more students will pass.”

‘Illegal and unfit’

Sammy Gyamfi reiterated the SRC’s call for the Independent Examination Body to be scrapped, stating that it does not have the mandate or competence to organize examinations in the country.

He added that the Ghana Legal Council, under which the Body operates, risks ruining the futures of the students at the school if it retains the body.

“We think that it is an amorphous and illegal body which is unfit to conduct examinations for professional legal education or any examination of any form in this country. We think they are inefficient, they are ineffective and are toying with the future of innocent students at the Ghana School of Law. It’s incumbent on the GLC, which created that body in the first place to make sure that the body is totally scrapped and that, appropriate systems are put in place to ensure that sad occurrences like this are averted in the future.”

Lectures must set their own questions

Speaking to Citi News earlier, Mr. Gyamfi had advised the school to revert to the previous system of examining students, where lecturers assessed their own students.

“Now the lecturers who teach students will set questions and mark because we have the best lecturers in Ghana, with regards to the law and the kind of courses they teach. There is no reason why lecturers should not be the once assessing the students they teach.”

“Sometimes if the person marking is the one who taught the students, it becomes really difficult evaluating the answer the student has provided in his answer booklet correctly. So it is important that they are mindful and take into consideration all these things and revert to the old system. All the best lawyers we have in the country today: Martin Amidu, Ace Ankomah, Thaddeus Sory are products of the old system,” he said.

Controversy over LI

The development comes at a time when Parliament is debating an LI brought before it by the General Legal Council (GLC); the body that oversees the legal profession and legal education in Ghana.

The LI, if endorsed by Parliament will see the legalization of entrance examination and interview processes by the GLC for prospective law students.

The GLC insists the measures will ensure only qualified persons are admitted to produce quality lawyers in the country. However, some have suggested that the recent failure makes nonsense of the processes, and emphasizes on the need for focus to be placed on restructuring the school’s curriculum.

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