KELVIN CHONGO and CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Justice Given Lubinda is upset with the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) council for its alleged failure to
adhere to his directives regarding the continued poor student pass rate at the institution.
Mr Lubinda has since summoned the ZIALE council to meet him today and explain the problems it has because he suspects there is something “terribly wrong” at the law school.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Zambia cannot afford to see such poor performance by students at ZIALE.
“This low pass rate does not only reflect the poor performance of the students but also the lecturers and the institution at large,” he said.
The minister said in October last year, he directed the ZIALE council to give him strategies on how it hoped to improve the student pass rate but that nothing has been done to date.
“I don’t think there is any lecturer at ZIALE who should be feeling proud today that their mid-year examination student pass rate is only two percent,” he said.
This is in view of the results in which out of over 300 students who sat for the 2017 mid-year examinations, only seven cleared the 10 courses, representing a two percent pass rate.
Mr Lubinda said this is unacceptable because this poor pass rate does not impress him in any way.
The minister said he is upset and feels let down by the fact that despite his directive in October to give strategies to improve the pass rate, the council has allegedly not done so.
“The two percent pass rate is unacceptable because even if they are mid-year exam results, the exam is meant to assess the performance of students, lecturers and the institution itself,” he said.
Among the issues Mr Lubinda will discuss with the council are reports that some students are allegedly favoured.
The low pass rate in the mid-year examination comes barely a few months after Government expressed concern about a situation where only 16 out of 238 students qualified in 2016.
A check at ZIALE yesterday found the results and names of students who had sat for the legal practitioners’ mid-year examinations stuck on the notice board.
The list showed that out of 332 students who wrote the 10 courses, majority failed to clear all.
Recently, Mr Lubinda said Government would take measures to improve the pass rate at ZIALE to ensure that the country has sufficient lawyers to meet the growing litigation demand.
But when contacted for a comment, ZIALE director Ann Malata-Ononuju said the mid-year examination results do not necessarily reflect the outcome of those who sat for the final examinations.
Ms Malata-Ononuju said she is confident that the students will work harder and do better in the final examinations.
“Our analysis of the results shows that most students only failed in one course, meaning they can catch up and do better in the final examinations,” she said.
Ms Malata-Ononuju said the students who failed to pass all the 10 courses will be motivated to study harder.
“I already saw some studying in groups and they need to be encouraged to do better,” she said.