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National Accreditation Board begins assessment of law training institutions

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The National Accreditation Board (NAB) and the General Legal Council (GLA) have commenced an assessment of institutions running Law programmes to ascertain the quality of training and the level at which they are operating within the mandate.

The exercise is to find out what the institutions are doing right, what they are doing wrong and what they have to do differently to improve upon the quality assurance processes to be able to produce the quality human resource.

The two bodies asked questions that bordered on minimum entry requirements into law programmes, staff qualifications and staff strength, as well as physical facilities, financial and other resources needed to run law programmes.

At a meeting held on Monday at the Law Faculty of University of Ghana (UG), Legon, Dr Samuel Obeng Manteaw, a lecturer at the faculty, said the University takes in students with West African Senior School Certificate and postgraduate certificates, who undertake the course for four and three years respectively.

He said the Faculty has stringent admission procedures to ensure that quality students were admitted and trained.

He, however, said that WASSCE graduates were more focused on their lessons than post-degree holders, with the latter usually absenting themselves from lectures but generally, they all perform well in their studies.

Madam Christine Dowuona-Hammond, a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty, said they have a strong lecturing and tutorial sessions all handled by lecturers of faculty where students were made to deliver presentations at certain times.

She said the faculty has a mechanism for constantly assessing the performance of lecturers through the soliciting of feedback from students through questionnaires at the end of every academic year.

She said the faculty also constantly revised its course outline and course materials to ensure that they were up to date and met the industry requirements.

Justice Anin Yeboah, a Justice of the Supreme Court, said there was the need for a mechanism by all institutions with law faculties to deal with the issue of poor attendance to lectures.

He urged the law faculty to ensure that more lecturers were added to the faculty to ensure that they would have time to contribute to journals and write books on relevant topics in the field of law.

On the Law Library, Justice Anin Yeboah urged the head of the library to be proactive and get the requisite and up-to-date books and materials for the library and ensure there was enough for the student population.

During the interaction, the Lecturer to student ratio of the Faculty was assessed at 1:37, by Dr Kingsley Nyarko, the Executive Director of NAB who said standardized Lecturer to student ratio should be 1:27.

He said there was a need for more Lecturers to be added to the faculty to ensure that there was ample time for intensive tutorials.

Dr Nyarko said there was the need to develop a programme to train students in Law Librarianship because during the interaction, it came up that there was only one law librarian across the country located at the Law Faculty of UG, Legon.

He said the two bodies would extend the assessment exercise to 10 other law training institutions.

Source: GNA

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