OccupyGhana has said the lack of additional facilities for professional legal education institutions is the main cause of the yearly mass failure of law students in the country, and that government ought to take up the responsibility of providing these facilities.
For years, law students have raised issues with the number of failure recorded in the yearly Law School Entrance Examination taken by law students seeking professional legal education at the Ghana School of Law.
The mass failure, many think, is a deliberate attempt by the General Legal Council to reduce the number of in-take yearly since there is not enough space to accommodate the number of people seeking professional legal education.
Addressing the issue days after some law students embarked on a demonstration against the mass failure, pressure group OccupyGhana said in a statement that it is about time government picked lessons from other countries and intervened to establish more institutions to make access to legal education easier.
“We must also emphatically state that the time is ripe to address the root cause of this matter: the inability of the state to provide sufficient facilities to enable law students from the various law faculties and law schools gain access to professional legal education.
“We cannot, as a people, grant accreditation for several law faculties and law schools to be opened and run, and then maintain the current size of the School of Law for the professional law course, a completely unjustified bottleneck and another evidence of our lack of planning.
“Ghana is not an island. Several other countries have resolved this problem in a manner that allows prospective lawyers to be trained and given the opportunity to write the final bar exam, however often they may write it. There is nothing wrong with learning from others and adapting what we learn to suit our purposes,” OccupyGhana stated.
The pressure group further said government cannot absolve itself of blame when it comes to the challenges plaguing legal education in the country, and that a legislative process can be used to fix the problem once and for all, hence, government should be looking towards that direction.
“A country of almost 30 million people cannot be proud that its official roll of lawyers has just about 3,000 lawyers.
“A ratio of one lawyer to 10,000 citizens is highly anaemic, and any existing or new policy that unduly restricts access to any form of education, especially in a developing economy, is not forward-looking and should be jettisoned. The time for action on this matter is now, and this buck stops at the desk of the Government.”