In my childhood days, I have always taught Makola was a place where women go to buy and sell things.
So I was often wondering and a little bit curious that students were going to partake in Makola Examinations. It always occurred to me that they are going to write the exams and be promoted to the Market. Funny right?
However as the days went by, I got to know that the Ghana School of Law situated at Makola here in Accra was popularly called the Makola, we all know today.
The Ghana Law School is responsible for the provision of the professional and post-call law courses to candidates to prepare them for the qualifying certificate of exams. To take the professional Law course one must have the following qualifications:
He or she must have obtained a Bachelor of Law certificate or Final year Bachelor of Law students awaiting their final results from the Faculty of Law of Universities in Ghana accredited by the National Accreditation Board and approved by the General Legal Council.
It is on these grounds that final year students of the various Law faculties sign up for the exams. But due to recent mass failures, most Law students are worried and instilled with fear to sit for the exams.
In the year 2018, the Ghana School of law recorded mass failures. Similarly just last year 2019, out of 1820 who sat for the examinations only 128 passed making it 7% of the pass rate into the Law School. Due to this heartbreaking experience law students have pleaded for reforms in our Legal Education to reduce the number of mass failures recorded when students sit for the professional law exam.
The National Association of Law Students which comprises law students all over Ghana led a protest to the premises to the Ghana School of law on the 7th of October 2019 which was dubbed “#Red Monday and #Open up Legal Education. All this should tell one how frustrated law students are when it comes to the entrance exams into the Law School.
Legal Practitioners such as Professor Kweku Asare have advocated for reforms in Ghana’s legal education. On the 28th of July 2020 in his fight for the legal education filed a writ against the General Legal Council challenging the monopoly of the Ghana Law of School to run the Professional Law course.
He further sought that the public and private universities have the constitutional right to offer the professional course according to Article 25(2) of the 1992 Constitution. Unfortunately, the action was dismissed by the Supreme Court, but the fight for legal education continues.
Another year is here again and the Professional Law course exam was conducted on the 25th of August 2020 at the University of Professional Studies-Accra. My question is will history repeat itself? I certainly hope not. I plead with the Independent Examination Committee to ensure fairness when marking the scripts of students. Credit should be duly given when deserved. Also, there should not be restriction of candidates into the Law School but a reasonable number should be admitted.
It is my fervent prayer that this year will be a year of change whereby mass failures won’t be recorded. A year where Candidates will smile again. I want to use this opportunity to wish all the 2720 candidates who took this year’s exam. All the best of luck in their results. Ad Astra per Aspera!
Written by Rudolph Apeyusi
University for Professional Studies Accra
Faculty of Law