Par­lia­ment last evening adopted the re­port of the com­mit­tee on Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs, which com­prised the rec­om­men­da­tion for the halt­ing of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pre-en­try ex­am­i­na­tions by Uganda Law Coun­cil for lawyers in­tend­ing to en­roll for the Bar course at Law De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre (LDC).

Hon Adolf Mwe­sige, Min­is­ter of De­fense was of the view that there were suf­fi­cient checks and bal­ances in the sys­tem even be­fore the pre-en­try ex­am­i­na­tion. “The law school it­self has a struc­tured cur­ric­ula that you can­not pass by ac­ci­dent.” he added. There are weekly ex­am­i­na­tions that are con­ducted by the in­sti­tu­tion and con­tin­u­ous as­sess­ments that are con­ducted to en­sure that the stu­dents are well trained.

Mem­bers who were against the scrap­ing of the pre-en­try ex­ams such as Hon Khainza, sug­gested that in­stead of scrap­ping off the pre-en­try ex­ams to LDC con­ducted by Law Coun­cil, the pass marks should be re­duced to 50, since it is meant to check the qual­ity of lawyers be­ing ad­mit­ted to the bar.

LDC is also re­ported to have opted to open other re­gional train­ing cen­tres in the dif­fer­ent re­gions through­out the coun­try in a bid to de­con­ges­tant the cen­tre in Kam­pala as it is. The first re­gion out of Kam­pala will be the west­ern re­gion, in Mbarara Dis­trict since it was the most pre­pared dis­trict in­terns of fa­cil­i­ties and hos­tels for at least 300 stu­dents.

Hon Otafire, the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice wel­comed the sug­ges­tion to scrap the pre-en­try ex­am­i­na­tion cit­ing that there are in­ter­nal mech­a­nisms within LDC to weed out the stu­dents who are not fit to prac­tice, and that the re­gional cen­tres will pro­vide more room for the stu­dents, other than hav­ing over 1000 stu­dents in a class, which he equated to a po­lit­i­cal rally. He fur­ther noted that the pre-en­try was a means to reg­u­late the num­ber of stu­dents, which he thought was a wrong way, but had to be done. He was thus ec­sta­tic that the dif­fer­ent re­gions were go­ing to be opened up to de­con­gest the cur­rent cen­tre.

Hon Oboth Oboth, the Chair­per­son of the Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs noted that the LDC had its mech­a­nisms to se­lect the stu­dents for ad­mis­sion, and that the pre-en­try ex­am­i­na­tions were sim­ply a dis­ser­vice to Ugan­dans who had al­ready passed their four year train­ing at Uni­ver­sity. He also noted that Law Coun­cil car­ries out mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion on the cur­ricu­lum and ap­proves them to be ad­min­is­tered by the uni­ver­si­ties. It can­not there­fore turn around and say the uni­ver­si­ties did not train the stu­dents well, and the stu­dents are pun­ished by the pre-en­try ex­ams.