Skip to main content
Frank Othembi, LDC director appearing before PAC

LDC Boss Reveals why Students Fail Bar Course

"We have a library that can accommodate 100 people, and at first, we thought it is small, but when you go there it is always empty, students are not using it, and they are not sitting in discussion groups, but when you go to Mbarara or Lira, even at 6 pm students are discussing,” Othiembi said
by KP
posted onNovember 29, 2022
nocomment

The Director, Law Development Centre (LDC), Frank Nigel Othembi, has explained why there is a high rate of student failures at the Bar Course.

Othembi and other LDC staff on Tuesday were appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (Central) over the Auditor General’s report for 2020/2021 Financial Year.

According to Othembi, In the academic year 2019/2020, only 20 percent of the students passed the Bar Course, while the figure increased to about 42 percent in the academic year 2020/2021. He attributed the poor pass rate to many underlying factors including budgetary shortcomings, shortage of facilities, and individual concentration levels.

“Much as we have only 42 percent passing, it was not the case in other campuses; Mbarara campus passed well with more than 50 percent, and Lira campus which is still new, had 45 percent. So it is only the Kampala campus with 38 percent that performed badly,” Othiembi said. He attributed the high failure levels at the Kampala campus to inadequate concentration from the students.

“There are so many disruptions at Kampala campus; students enter class at 10 am, attend for 4 hours, get into their cars and drive out. We have a library that can accommodate 100 people, and at first, we thought it is small, but when you go there it is always empty, students are not using it, and they are not sitting in discussion groups, but when you go to Mbarara or Lira, even at 6 pm students are discussing,” Othiembi said, adding that there are also other social factors that hinder the performance of students in Kampala.

“There are also lots of disruptions here [in Kampala] like weddings and kwangulas (marriage introductions), I think if they focused they would pass. But also, it’s the quality of students that we have; if randomly we brought some of the students to interact with you, you will realize there is a problem, some of them can’t even write a legal opinion, but we are trying our best,” he said. Othiembi added that such disruptions equally affect even the lecturers at LDC.

“We have 80 lectures in Kampala and these distractions affect both students and lectures. If someone is about to go and teach and a client walks in with Shs20 million for an urgent matter in court, that person is likely to first go to court, which is different from Lira or Mbarara campus…Bar course is a very demanding program,” he said.

MPs called for a value-for-money audit to ascertain why students are failing the Shs6 million tuition bar course. “My major concern is the high levels of students who are failing your exams; it was a big concern in the 10th Parliament and even today, I wonder how a brilliant mind can lecture students who are all dull and they all fail. So where is the value for the money?” Rakai Woman MP Hon Suubi Kinyamatama said.

Hon Kinyamatama said that one of the factors contributing to failure at the law school is the shrinking facilities that are failing to absorb the rising number of students following the abolition of the mandatory pre-entry exams to qualify to join LDC. Currently, there are 2,000 students enrolled at LDC for the 2022/2023 academic year.

“The Auditor General’s office should bring us a value-for-money audit because that would be a basis for our argument in increasing the funding for LDC’s expansion. This would also help us to know why our students fail in this economy,” she said.

About Author

Kp Reporter - Chief editor

Join the conversation

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.