Pre-Entry Exam Affecting Law Development Centre-Director

10449 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Busiro East MP Medard Seggona said that the country could be missing out on brilliant lawyers because of this exam. He said that he went through the same institution without pre-entry but now there are pre-entries at different levels which have left out many students.

The Law Development centre- LDC is equally affected by the outcome of the Pre-entry exam since it recruits fewer students than it can accommodate, LDC director Frank Nigel Othembi says.  

Othembi was responding to members of the Legal committee of parliament whose concern centered on the public outcry on failure rates of the pre-entry exam. The issue was raised by committee chairperson Stephen Tashobya, his deputy Stephen Baka Mugabi and Jinja Municipality MP Paul Mwiru.

Busiro East MP Medard Seggona said that the country could be missing out on brilliant lawyers because of this exam. He said that he went through the same institution without pre-entry but now there are pre-entries at different levels which have left out many students.

He said that most of these students who go elsewhere to do the certificate do not come back to practice law in Uganda. He advises the center to find a solution because it has become a great challenge.

In response, Othembi observes that while the institution planned for 500 students, only 300 were able to pass the exam and obtain admission at the centre this year, leading to a budget shortfall of Ugx 600 Million.  He dismisses the argument that fewer students translate into less costs, arguing that the fixed costs remain the same as the institution still pays the lecturers regardless of the number of students.The exams are set and marked by the Law council.


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Othembi however said that he is happy with the exam saying that it brings in better quality but added that the concerns that most students are left out need to be addressed.

Othembi said that LDC is having discussions with the law council to review the pre-entry exam since students who have failed the exam and gone to other countries are performing excellently. This implies that there could be a problem with the exam and that it could not be achieving what it aimed to achieve.
 
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Committee chairman Stephen Tashobya said that the committee will invite the law council to discuss the way forward. He wondered why the institutions equivalents of LDC in other countries admit the students that fail the pre-entry exam here if they fail because they are not bright.
Of the 110 students that sat for the exam last intake, only 300 students passed