Thirty-one students of the Ghana School of Law have been allegedly withdrawn from the professional law school for failing to submit their Bachelor of Law (LLB) certificates.
The school had given the students, who were admitted in October 2020, up to Tuesday, 19 January 2021 to submit the required credentials.
According to some of the affected students, the GSL did not notify them of the deadline for the submission of their outstanding credentials.
They were rather given letters of withdrawal by the school, notifying them of their decision due to their failure to submit the required credentials.
The affected students were from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Mountcrest University College, University of Ghana, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and Zenith University College affiliated to the University of London.
Some of the affected students who spoke to the media but declined to disclose their names noted that the action by the GSL has affected them psychologically.
One of the affected students said: “I met all the conditions of admission as contained in the Law School Entrance Examination advert, successfully passed the entrance exams, received a provisional admission letter, paid a tuition fee of GHS 9,600.00 and resigned from my job to concentrate on the professional law programme and since the academic year began late October 2020 has been attending lectures until I was called to pick up a letter at the School’s Registry. The saddest aspect of it is that the School regularly sends information and notices to our class’ official WhatsApp platform but remained reticent on deadline for receiving outstanding documentations.
“Even when the entrance exams results came, the School issued an information bulletin which clarified who an awaiting student was and asked all students with awaiting certificate to mandate their Schools to write to the Law School directly. I responded and my school wrote to confirm my degree and Ghana Law School never reached out to me [to find out] whether the communication between my LLB institution and the Makola was sufficient. Suddenly, I received a call to come for a letter and when I opened the letter, it was my withdrawal from the School without any warning. My heart skipped a beat and nearly collapsed. I had to see a clinical psychiatrist because the matter was taking a toll on my mental health.”
Another affected student said: “I did my undergraduate LLB Law with the University of London through their local affiliate institution, Zenith University College. However, the University of London has been impacted by the global pandemic and as a result of the logistical challenges, the University sent a letter of attestation to the Ghana Law School confirming that I have successfully completed the programme and the delay in the Certificate has arisen as a result of the lockdown in the United Kingdom which has affected the printing and mailing of certificates and the University assured the Ghana School of Law that the certificate would arrive before the end of January 2021.
“In spite of this assurance and attestation from my LLB awarding institution, the Law School revoked my admission and offered no refund of my fees except to ask me to re-apply when this year when admissions open as if reapplying and writing the entrance examination would automatically get me to re-admitted. I know someone who has attempted the entrance examination more than five times and has never made it. I was lucky to have made it on my first attempt and not sure I can make it on a second attempt.”
A third student also disclosed that her single mother had to sell off her plot of land at Amasaman to enable her to pay the initial school fee deposit of GHS 9,600 required by the school, only to be withdrawn.
Reacting to the decision by the GSL to withdraw the students, the Students Representative Council (SRC) noted that deadlines are set by human beings and so the school should have waited for the students to submit the required credentials as they had no control over when certificates are issued by institutions.
“When you allow final year students awaiting their results or yet to write to the final exams to apply, then you must have the patience to wait for their certificates to be issued as students do not have any control as to when certificates are issued and even in the midst of a pandemic, deadlines need to be relaxed. What is required of a student is to write the exams and ensure that he has passed. The certificate can be expected later once the student has reasonably proved that he has completed his studies and, in this case, final academic transcripts and attestation letters are reasonably sufficient to prove this.
“When students relied on admission letter to organise their life, resign from their work, take a bank loan and in some cases relocate to enable them to be closer to the School, it is grave abuse of discretion and callous to withdraw them simply because their LLB certificates has delayed on legitimate grounds. As a student body, we are very much concerned about this and it is high time the Management of the School become reasonable. Deadlines are set by human beings and so long as students are already enrolled, the School was supposed to have relaxed their deadline. Like when a customer gets into a banking premise a minute before closure, that customer should reasonably be entitled to full services as he demands. We do not shut the door to those who are already in.”
Meanwhile, the affected students have petitioned Chief Justice (CJ) Kwasi Anin-Yeboah over their withdrawal.