KAMPALA-Members of Parliament have adopted legal and parliamentary affairs committee report to scrap pre-entry Examination for candidates interested in pursuing bachelors of laws at university.
The MPs decision to scrap the examinations follows arguments by the committee led by chairperson Jacob Oboth Oboth that the removal of the examinations would give chance not only to more people to train in the legal practice profession but also increase access to legal services delivery in the country.
Oboth told parliament while presenting the committee report on the ministerial policy statements submitted by different sectors including Law Development Centre (LDC) that the pre entry examinations do not in any way guarantee quality assurance.
“We debated these issues and found that the policy is neither servicing the purpose nor helping the already graduate lawyers who want to access the bar course and quality of lawyers is not determined at pre-entry but at the center. We discussed with LDC and they have no problem with the scrapping those examinations,” Oboth Oboth said.
Ministers Adolf Mwesigye and Kahinda otafiire among other legislators supported Oboth.
According to defense minister Mwesigye, sufficient checks and balances are within the system to aid the production of good lawyers even without the examinations.
“From A-level- one must first pass very well, and after passing the degree, the curriculum at LDC is structured that you can’t pass by accident,” Mwesige said.
Justice and constitutional affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire said that the introduction of the pre entry examinations was prompted by the huge numbers that were joining law school then and that it is no longer appropriate since more study centers are coming up to decongest LDC.
Otafiire also said that the examinations were unfair to students as many students who were failing those examinations would go to neighboring countries and excel.
“How can you have a class room of 1000 students? How can you train them? We came to a conclusion that a class of 1000 is a rally,” Otafiire said noting that one study centre will start soon in Mbarara.
Following the arguments put forward, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga put a question on whether to scrap or retain the pre entry examinations for law school and majority of the MPs supported the scrapping.