For the past couple of weeks, there has been a campaign which has almost gone unnoticed but thanks to a text I received via whatsapp that caught my attention.
A section of the Kenya law students have started a campaign to get rid of the Pre bar exams that were introduced recently calling them irrelevant and only a way to reduce the number of students pursuing law. According to a blog post by Benedict Wachira, the pre bar exams and a few other restrictions introduced lately are only there to reduce the number of lawyers in the country.
Benedict who calls himself a A Socialist and a Pan-Africanist on his twitter account argues that the big fish in the law society of Kenya which includes PLO Lumumba who serves as the director of the Kenya School of Law have come up with the regulations to make the "law an exclusive class for only those who can pay up"
According to information he received from a current student in the institution, almost 70% of the students there are deliberately failed in one or more units every year despite the fact that everything taught there is not new. All of the students joining the Kenya School of Law must have graduated from one of the local universities, having studied all the units and passed, only to go to KSL and get Failed.
A chat with several KSL students further exposes the legalised theft in the institution. One students told me that “…more than 70% of students are failed in one or more units every year. This is despite the fact that most of the things that we are taught here are not new, since we had studied them at the university..”
Most of the units taught at KSL are the same units that the students were taught at the universities, meaning that most of what is taught there is mere repetition. To solve this, the Council for Legal Education has begun to completely remove some of these units from the universities, so that they can be exclusively offered at KSL. One of the units that has already been moved is Civil Procedure. Following this trend, it would not be surprising if they removed Evidence Law, Criminal Law and all other practical units from the university programme. The only reason for doing this is no other than trying to find some relevance for KSL; otherwise why should CLE deny students particular knowledge? It seems that those running legal education in Kenya are conscious of the uselessness of KSL to graduates, and they are now trying to resolve this by sabotaging the quality of undergraduate law studies. He explains in his blog
Apart from just the pre bar exams and the repetitions, Wachira claims that the institution charges people ridiculous and unnecessary amounts of money just to be successful in their studies.
An unsatisfied student has to pay ksh15, 000 for a re-mark, while a re-sit goes for ksh10, 000.
This means that if each of the failed students pays for at least one re-mark, then the institution will have raked in at least ksh17, 000, 000! (No teaching involved, no printing involved, no invigilation involved…just re-marking!)
If your paper is re-marked, and you score above the pass mark, the institution does not refund your ksh15, 000. This is in spite of the fact that it was not you, but the lecturer who failed to do his/her work diligently. I am told that a majority of those who pay for the re-marking actually pass after their papers are re-marked, meaning that there most likely is a deliberate and institutionalised scheme by the administration to rob the students by intentionally failing them.
This legalised thievery doesn’t end there. Any student having ‘missing marks’ once the exam results are released is required to pay ksh2, 000 as searching & entering fees, for each missing unit, yet the blame lies squarely on the lecturer/administration (I wonder what justification any sane person can give for this toll!) Benedict Wachira
Wachira says that the advocates are fearing competition from new blood coming into the system and are forming some kind of 'kingdom' to lock out other upcoming lawyers from joining the fold.
The students have vowed to take legal action against the institution if they fail to change things in the next couple of weeks.
To read the full post, head over to Wachira's Blog
Here is the campaign running on social medi >>> LINK