LDC Wants Review On Pre-Entry Examination Impact
Officials from the Law Development Center (LDC) want an assessment conducted to ascertain whether its policy on pre-entry examinations into the institution is still relevant.
According to Frank Nigel Othembi, the Director of LDC, the alarming failure rate of the pre-entry examinations has prompted the institution to carry out research on the quality of lawyers produced annually. The institution is the only center in Uganda which offers the Bar course that leads to the award of the post-graduate diploma in Legal Practice.
The Director of Law Development Centre, Frank Nigel Othembi told legislators on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee today that the initial objective of the pre-entry examination was to gauge the students’ capabilities after they graduate from the universities.
“It depends on what we get. The universities are very many. Some of them don’t have good quality so we don’t get lawyers who are not of good quality. We train them as much as we can, though some don’t pass. But there is a quality in terms of ethics which is a much deeper problem, not LDC’s but a problem as a country,” Othembi said.
According to LDC’s budget for the 2017/2018 financial year, Ugx 247 million has been allocated towards carrying out research on quality of lawyers produced.
Another project under the funding will be to finalise a study on the harmonization of the Advocates Act, law council regulations and Universities and Tertiary Institutions Act with regard to legal education in Uganda.
Othembi revealed to the MPs that out of the 401 students who sat for pre-entry exams in the 2016/2017 academic year, 210 passed, representing 53% of the total students.
He said with over 12 universities offering law courses, it is only about five which provide thorough teaching, an indication of the quality of lawyers produced on the market.
The committee is currently scrutinizing the center’s ministerial policy statement for the 2017/2018 financial year, in which LDC has projected an annual budget of 11.9 billion. Out of this, Ugx 6.6 billion will be provided by government while Ugx 5.3 billion will be raised from payment of tuition fees by students.
Othembi however revealed that the center requires an extra Ugx 4 billion to employ senior lecturers, as well as establish regional centers in North, East and Western Uganda.