Following a heavy failure rate in 2009, the Law Development Centre (LDC) started implementing pre-entry exams for its subsequent entrants.
Five years later, the pre-entry exams appear to have achieved the desired results. The latest second term results have shown the highest pass rate since 2009 at 87 per cent.
According to the results released last week by the head of the bar course, Stephen Mubiru, the pre-entry exam is a key influence on the change.
“The current students were admitted for their undergraduate studies, a year after introduction of the LDC pre-entry exam. They probably were better prepared for that exam and subsequent training at LDC,” Mubiru said, in a statement.
He explained that the 2013 LDC pre-entry exam they sat, “was specifically designed more appropriately to test the competencies of Bar Course students, in comparison with the ones before it, particularly the ability to think critically, analytically and to apply the law. Its design more or less guaranteed that whoever passed it would quickly adjust to the unique training environment of LDC.”
However, Mubiru added that the LDC had implemented a number of changes to the course, following complaints raised over the years, since 2009. The interventions included splitting the current intake of 301 students into two streams of 150 students each.
Each group was further split into six smaller groups (firms), ensuring that the number of students in each firm (class) is reduced from the former average of 45 to the current one of 25.
“Smaller classes facilitate better training and learning … [we also adopted] student-centred, workshop methods of teaching as opposed to the teacher-centred lecture methods applied in the past. As a result the students’ skills are horned more effectively,” Mubiru added.
There was also strict monitoring of class attendance and participation, and regular feed-back to each student on their class attendance, participation and performance in the weekly exercises. In addition, the LDC also assigned each student a member of the teaching staff to act as a professional mentor and ‘academic parent’ for personal guidance.
“Most importantly, a positive attitude and response by the students towards the above interventions … has helped.”
The results released last week constitute the combined performance for the first and second terms, with those passing eligible to go on to the next term and get set for the final exams. Those who failed two subjects or less are eligible to do supplementary exams next year, while those failing three or more were discontinued.
Two were discontinued, the lowest number since 2009, as indicated in our table above.
LDC PERFORMANCE FROM 2009 – 2014
20092010 20102011 20112012
Students passed 350
338 239 262
Percentage that passed 58.2 66.1
Require supplementary exams 128
Students discontinued 50 16
Total in Class
420 398 301
PERFORMANCE BY UNIVERSITY – 20142015
University Passed Total
Dar es Salaam 1 1
Makerere University 131 149
Kampala Int University 14
Islamic University in Uganda
Uganda Christian University 53
Busitema University 4 4
Nkumba University 8 8
Uganda Pentecostal University 2 2
Source : The Observer