Makerere University authorities are assessing the impact of pre-entry law examinations. Makerere University introduced the pre-entry law examinations in 2012 to check the quality of students admitted to the Laws programme.
Only those who pass by 50 per cent or better are considered for admission. The introduction of the pre-entry law examinations was prompted by complaints of high failure rates at Law Development Centre (LDC).
Prof. Christopher Mbazira, the Principal Makerere University Law School, says the school is conducting a scientific assessment to establish the impact of the pre-entry exams. Prof. Mbazira says at the time of introducing the exams, the school felt it was not getting the right students for the law course.
He however, says the pre-entry exams have not been without challenges.
While these pre-entry exams were introduced and are administered by the senate sub-committee of pre-entry and mature age exams, the school of law supports the process.
This year, 1,916 students sat Makerere University Bachelor of Laws Pre-entry example. Of these 1,633 were A ‘Level leavers, 141 diploma holders, 120 degree holders and 22 mature age entrants. Out of these, 1,059 obtained the 50 percent pass mark.
Recently, parliament passed a resolution to adopt the recommendation the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to scrap pre-entry exams as a prerequisite for admission to the Law Development Centre (LDC).
While some argue that pre-entry exams are affecting the availability of legal services to about 40million Ugandans hence escalating the cost of legal services, experts say they are essential to ensure admitted students are well founded in principles of Law since LDC is intended for practical legal training.
The argument is advanced with a view that the country has many Universities offering Law course where some have inadequate tools (such as law books, teachers), thus necessitating only those qualified to be admitted especially through pre-entry exams.
Prof. Mbazira notes that under the Advocates Act, the law clearly mandates the Law Council to regulate legal education, saying parliament can only effect its recommendation by amending the act.