The General Legal Council (GLC) has indicated that only eight out of 15 teaching staff of the University of Cape Coast Law Faculty were qualified to teach according to the standards of the National Accreditation Board (NAB).
In a report published by the GLC on tertiary institutions that are accredited to offer legal education in Ghana, the GLC together with the NAB stated that “Some lecturers had been assigned courses which per their background and qualifications should not teach those courses.”
“About half of the current teaching staff were on the Assistant Lecturer rank. The teaching load for some of the lecturers was high (15 credit hours per week) as compared to NAB/NCTE norm of 9-12 credit hours per week,” the findings stated.
According to the GLC, in “its bid to ensure that legal education at the Ghana School of Law meets international and professional standards, it was resolved many years ago, to monitor and evaluate academic facilities of teaching and learning in all tertiary institutions accredited by the National Accreditation Board.”
The GLC continued: “In a spirit of ensuring that these standards are maintained, [we] decided to undertake yearly monitoring and evaluation of all Law Courses in both public and private universities, so that minimum standards of proficiency shall be met by all such accredited Law Faculties, pending the entry of their graduates into the Ghana School of Law to pursue Professional Law Courses.”
The GLC has therefore warned that UCC should “desist from entering into any affiliation agreement with any tertiary education institution to mentor any law programme since UCC Faculty of Law itself did not have the requisite qualified staff to handle its law programme.
Also, the University is to “Submit the list of all private universities currently being mentored by the Faculty and indicate those responsible for various activities.”
Legal education has been in crisis in Ghana for several years now because the GLC insists the numbers of students are too high and there is very little quality out of the lot.
In the case of the NAB, they have insisted on having PhDs only to teach at Universities and Polytechnics, most of which are now Technical Universities. Also NAB insists that lecturers with training in different academic disciplines should not teach in the Universities.
For example, a person who studied Chemistry for their Bachelor’s degree and now have a Masters in Journalism should not teach journalism to undergrads.
This is a contentious matter since journalism needs science correspondents.
Last week, the Minister for Education announced that professors will now keep their faculty positions till age 70, which could bring legal issues a la Martin Amidu.
This announcement could be a sign of the Ministry of Education’s resolve to sack those without PhD and or are wearing a “skirt and blouse”, a term that is used to identify those with training in a different bachelor’s programme which is different from their masters/PhD.
In the particular case of the UCC Law faculty, those with the grade Assistant Lecturer in all likelihood do not have PhDs.
Find below the detailed report of the GLC.
GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL
OUTCOME OF THE JOINT NATIONAL ACCREDITATION BOARD (NAB) – GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL (GLC) MONITORING VISITS TO LAW FACULTIES
WHEREAS THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL (HEREAFTER GLC) IS THE STATUTORY BODY MANDATED by the Legal Profession Act, 1960, Act 32 to be responsible for the organisation of Legal Education and upholding standards of professional legal conduct in Ghana, and IN EXERCISE of its mandate, in its bid to ensure that legal education at the Ghana School of Law meets international and professional standards, resolved many years ago, to monitor and evaluate academic facilities of teaching and learning in all tertiary institutions accredited by the National Accreditation Board (hereafter referred to as NAB) to study Law.
In a spirit of ensuring that these standards are maintained decided to undertake yearly monitoring and evaluation of all Law Courses in both public and private universities, so that minimum standards of proficiency shall be met by all such accredited Law Faculties, pending the entry of their graduates into the Ghana School of Law to pursue Professional Law Courses.
NOW THEREFORE, in pursuance of the said mandate, the NAB/GLC having organised one such joint monitoring and evaluation exercise in the Law Faculties of tertiary institutions offering law in 2019, the GLC at a meeting on Friday, 29th of May 2020 resolved and decided on its own mandate to publish the report of the 2019 Monitoring Teams that visited the Law Faculties of the Public and Private Universities listed below as follows:-
1. UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST:
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on University of Cape Coast’s Faculty of Law:
i. The pyramidal structure of the Faculty was not in conformity with the approved NCTE/NAB norm.
ii. About half of the current teaching staff were on the Assistant Lecturer rank.
iii. The Faculty lacks the capacity to mentor other institutions due to its weak staff strength.
iv. Only eight (8) out of the fifteen (15) teaching staff were qualified to teach per NAB standards.
v. Some lecturers had been assigned courses which per their background and qualifications should not teach those courses.
vi. The teaching load for some of the lecturers was high (15 credit hours per week) as compared to NAB/NCTE norm of 9-12 credit hours per week.
vii. The Faculty had no tutorial system in place.
viii. The SSR stood at 1:29 which was slightly above the approved norm, though within the operational norm of 1:30.
Arising out of the above findings, the Board directs University of Cape Coast to:
i. Desist from entering into any affiliation agreement with any tertiary education institution to mentor any law programme since UCC Faculty of Law itself did not have the requisite qualified staff to handle its law programme.
ii. Submit the list of all private universities currently being mentored by the Faculty and indicate those responsible for various activities. This must be done within a month from 31st March, 2020.
iii. Work towards improving its pyramidal structure within five years from 31st March, 2020.
iv. Put in place a tutorial system for students to be handled by lecturers. This must be done within a month from 31st March, 2020.
v. Address all the inconsistencies identified in the teaching staff course allocations and submit a report to the Board by the end of June, 2020.
vi. Work towards reducing the teaching loads of lecturers to a maximum of three or four courses per week. Evidence should be submitted before 2020/2021 academic year begins.
vii. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
2. UNIVERSITY OF GHANA
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on University of Ghana’s School of Law:
i. The faculty strength of the School in terms of numbers had dwindled over the years. In five (5) years’ time, majority of the current teaching staff would be retiring.
ii. Some of the teaching staff due for promotion had not been promoted even though they had applied.
iii. Lack of promotion was a University-wide issue and there was a lot of dissatisfaction among lecturers of the School due to this.
iv. Although the law programme needed a blend of professional and academic expertise, from all indications, some of the lecturers used working hours to do private practice.
v. Staff did not feel properly remunerated for the work they were doing and as such there were dissatisfaction among lecturers.
vi. The teaching load of some of the lecturers was rather high.
vii. The SSR for the School was 1:39.
viii. The University’s requirement of a terminal degree for teaching appointment was adversely affecting the School. Although the staff informed the team that it had presented papers on this matter to the School and the University, the matter was yet to be taken into consideration for concrete resolution.;
ix. Some of the books in the School’s library were worn out.
x. The School had a qualified law librarian.
xi. The School’s library was opened to the general public.
The Board commended University of Ghana School of Law for being the only Faculty of Law in Ghana with a qualified Law Librarian and for making its Library accessible to the general public. It however, directs University of Ghana to:
i. Put measures in place to ensure that adequate and more qualified law lecturers are recruited as soon as possible. If possible, reconsider its position that only persons with terminal degrees should be recruited to teach the law programme.
ii. Ensure that because of its high SSR, its student intake into the law programmes is reduced by half of its current admissions from 31st March, 2020.
iii. Provide a roadmap within one month from 31st March, 2020 on how it intends to address the high SSR of the School.
iv. Liaise or collaborate with the Information Studies Department to develop a programme to train law librarians for the law faculties in Ghana since there was a deficit of qualified law librarians in the Country.
v. Re-examine its promotion system so it does not overly disadvantage persons who are due for promotion.
vi. Develop a mentoring policy to ensure that faculty, especially new faculty are trained by the old ones. This should be done within 6 months from 31st March, 2020 and copy submitted to the Board.
vii. Conduct tracer studies to know whether it was achieving its aims in relation to its students who had graduated from the institution.
viii. Put in place a system to ensure the identity of all users of the library are known and any security measures necessary to ensure effective and safe use of the library.
ix. Come up with a succession plan for the School looking at the issues pertaining to headship and so forth in the Faculty.
x. Put measures in place to ensure that lecturers who are practicing lawyers do not spend majority of their time at the court at the expense of teaching.
xi. Submit an updated staff list for the School using the attached NAB approved template.
3. CENTRAL UNIVERSITY
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on Central University’s Faculty of Law:
i. The Faculty was running the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programme on its Kumasi campus without accreditation from NAB.
ii. The Staff-Student Ratio (SSR) – 1:60 – of the institution was too high and above the approved norm of 1:27.
iii. The institution did not have adequate volumes of the relevant textbooks and law reports.
iv. The list of books provided showed a heavy reliance on foreign publications rather than local authors in the core courses.
v. The space available at the library was inadequate for the number of students enrolled on the programme.
vi. The teaching staff had not been publishing as required.
vii. The minimum entry requirements of the Faculty made it possible for persons with other professional certificates such as ICAG (Institute of Chartered Accountant, Ghana) certificate to enroll onto the law programme.
viii. Majority of the teaching staff were on the rank of Lecturer.
In the light of the above findings, the Board directs Central University to:
i. Cease fresh admissions forthwith since its SSR of 1:60 was higher than the approved norm of 1:27
ii. Stop running the law programme on its Kumasi campus since the institution does not have accreditation to run the programme in Kumasi.
iii. Present a road map on how it intends to deal with the high SSR within one month from 31st March, 2020.
iv. Adhere strictly to the NAB/NCTE minimum entry requirements and not admit persons with only professional qualifications since professional qualifications are outside the approved norms for entry into first degree programmes.
v. Procure Ghanaian authored text books in instances where they are available rather than foreign ones.
vi. Increase volumes of text books and law reports to an appreciable level in line with the number of students enrolled on the programmes. The university should have at least five sets of relevant Ghanaian law reports.
vii. Expand the library space or additional space should be provided since the place is not big enough for the number of students admitted into the institution.
viii. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
4. KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (KNUST)
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on KNUST’s Faculty of Law:
i. The Student- Staff Ratio had increased to 1:36 from a 1:28 recorded at the previous monitoring exercise in 2016.
ii. Three (3) faculty members were currently pursuing PhD studies in response to recommendations from the 2016 monitoring exercise.
iii. The LLM programme which was accredited in 2016, had not commenced at that time due to human resource constraints was currently running.
iv. Faculty strength had improved but majority of the staff were still holders of Master of Laws (LLM) degree as against terminal degree holders and senior lecturers as should be the case in a public chartered institution.
v. An internal arrangement to secure a law librarian has been made.
vi. Library Committee has been set up.
vii. The institution has a mentoring policy that the Faculty was implementing.
The Board commended the staff development efforts made by the Faculty and for having a mentoring policy. It however, directs KNUST to:
i. Reduce student intake into the law programme since its SSR is higher that the approved nor of 1:27.
ii. Recruit more LLM holders who are qualified lawyers to teach at the undergraduate level to solidify the foundation of legal education for students.
iii. Produce an actionable orientation plan for users of the Resource Centre/Library.
iv. As much as possible, minimize co-teaching or at best stop it in response to the concerns of students.
v. Keep the class size at the minimum manageable level for effective teaching and learning
vi. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template
5. MOUNTCREST UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
The Board took note of the significant improvements achieved by Mountcrest University College since the previous monitoring exercise in 2016, and commended it for the Faculty’s staff-student ratio of 1:12, increased staff strength, adoption of strategies to upgrade its staff to attain terminal degrees and a well-stocked library with relevant law text books and law reports.
The Board was however not satisfied with the level of staff research output and the absence of a mentoring policy for its young faculty members. It therefore directs as follows:
i. The faculty should ensure that its staff improve on their research output within two years from 31st March, 2020
ii. Furnish the Board with the list of all students enrolled on the law programmes (LLB and LLM) according to levels within one month from 31st March, 2020.
iii. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
6. KINGS UNVERSITY COLLEGE
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on Kings University College’s Faculty of Law:
i. The institution operates a city campus and runs its evening law classes on that campus.
ii. The Dean of the Faculty did not have any law qualification(s) and as such was not qualified to be an Acting Dean for the Faculty of Law.
iii. The staff strength of the Faculty was inadequate as its current SSR (1:32) was above the approved norm of 1:27.
iv. The law library had poor lighting system, inadequate numbers of printers, photocopiers and computers for students to use.
v. Inadequate volumes of books available at the library.
vi. The e-library phase of the library was virtually non-existent.
vii. Some students complained of inadequate books for their use and the fact that there was not e-library to supplement the books in hard print that they could access for their studies.
viii. Non-existence of properly structured tutorial system for students.
ix. There was no alternative power source in case the power supply from ECG or the national grid goes off.
x. Low research output by lecturers.
The Board directs Kings University College to:
i. Recruit a qualified person in the area of law to provide academic leadership for the running of the Faculty of Law and in effect the law programme.
ii. Ensure that all staff on its list who do not have a research Masters in Law do not teach on the programme.
iii. Ensure that it expedites action on plans for its set up an e-library.
iv. Improve lighting system in the library.
v. Note that if the CV’s of the two identified teaching staff of the institution proved that they were not qualified to teach on the law programme, the computation of the SSR will be based on 191 students to 4 teaching staff, which will give us an SSR of 1:48, Since this figure would be higher than the approved nor, Kings University College would be required to cease fresh admissions. On the other hand, if the two staff are adjudged to be qualified, then the Faculty would be required to reduce its student intake into the law programme by half of its current intake.
vi. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
7. UNIVERSITY OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on University of Professional Studies’ Faculty of Law:
i. The Faculty had drastically improved on its facilities and staff strength since the last monitoring exercise in 2016.
ii. The current SSR (1:23) of the Faculty was commendable.
iii. Staff of the Faculty of Law were not publishing as required.
iv. One (1) teaching staff had been sponsored to pursue a PhD and may join the Faculty in the year 2020 after completion of the programme.
v. Out of eighteen (18) teaching staff, (10) were on the rank of Assistant Lecturer. Meanwhile, the NCTE pyramidal structure does not make provision for an Assistant Lecturer rank.
vi. There were certain discrepancies in the placement of staff. For instance, some staff who had almost the same qualifications were placed on the rank of Lecturer while others were on Assistant Lecturer rank.
The Board commended University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) for having implemented majority of the key recommendations made by the Joint Monitoring Team in 2016. It also commended UPSA for the improvement in its library in terms of stock, relevance, adequacy of books and space allocated to the law programme.
The Board however, directs UPSA to;
i. Take steps to upgrade the qualifications of its existing teaching staff within five years from 31st March, 2020.
ii. Develop a policy on mentoring of lecturers, especially new lecturers and submit a copy NAB within six months from 31st March, 2020.
iii. Reconsider the Assistant Lecturer nomenclature and come out with a road map on how it would ensue persons in this category upgrade their qualifications to attain terminal degrees in their area of teaching.
iv. Encourage its staff to publish and submit evidence on same within 2years from 31st March, 2020.
8. WISCONSIN INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on Wisconsin International University College’s Faculty of Law:
i. The institution had improved significantly on its staff strength and their qualifications since the last monitoring exercise was conducted in 2016.
ii. The team however noted that the SSR (1:35) was high and above the approved SSR.
iii. The library space was adequate and it had adequate stock of relevant text books on the law programme.
iv. The institution did not have a documented mentorship policy although it had an internal arrangement to mentor young faculty.
v. The Faculty was running three streams of students: Evening, Weekend and Day.
vi. The library was stocked with the relevant textbooks but it was not up to date with its law reports on decisions given by the Courts of Ghana.
vii. There was a dearth of publication by the staff of the faculty.
In light of the above findings, the Board directs, Wisconsin International University College, Ghana (WIUCG) to:
i. Reduce student intake onto the law programme to half of its current intake from the 2020/2021 academic year.
ii. Provide a roadmap to address the high SSR at the Faculty within one month from 31st March, 2020.
iii. Encourages its staff to increase research output. Evidence of this must be submitted to NAB within two years from 31st March, 2020.
iv. Procure current editions of the Ghana Law Reports and Supreme Court of Ghana Law Reports and add more volumes to the existing stock of books. The Faculty should have at least five sets of relevant Ghanaian Law reports with six (6) months from 31st March 2020.
v. The Faculty should upgrade the qualifications of its existing teaching staff within five years from 31st March 2020.
vi. Develop a mentoring policy within six (6) months from 31st March, 2020 and submit a copy for the attention to the Board.
vii. Conduct tracer studies to determine how students who had passed out of the Faculty were performing at least within 2 years from 31st March, 2020.
viii. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
9. ZENITH UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on Zenith University College’s Faculty of Law:
i. The institution’s Faculty did not operate as the other faculties of law because it run a University of London law program; students could stay at home and just register to take their examinations.
ii. The examinations were flexible in that students registered to take particular courses as and when they were ready to write them.
iii. The Academic Board of the University College did not have any academic control over the running of the law programme.
iv. Failure to adhere strictly to the approved NAB/NCTE norms on the minimum entry requirements.
v. Lecturers only facilitated students to write examinations as such there was no strong academic presence of the lecturers on the campus. Additionally, the teaching staff were not publishing as much as they should.
vi. The examinations and related processes had been outsourced to WAEC.
vii. The institution was running a Diploma in Law which had not been accredited by the Board.
Arising out of the above findings, the Board directs Zenith University College, La to:
i. Ensure that the Academic Board of the institution get more involved with the running of the law programme although the programme is owned by the University of London, UK.
ii. Stop running the Diploma in Law programme since it is not accredited.
iii. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
10 GHANA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (GIMPA)
The Board took note of the underlisted findings on GIMPA’s Faculty of Law.
i. The staff-student ratio (1:33) had not improved since 2016, when the first monitoring exercise was conducted.
ii. The perception that the Faculty of Law was a cash cow of the Institute was real but the Institute was not averting its mind to that.
iii. Some lecturers who were due for promotion had still not been promoted despite submitting the necessary documents.
iv. The library did not have adequate and relevant textbooks as required.
v. The library was not manned by a qualified law librarian.
vi. Some students were denied access to write the end of semester examinations for non-payment of school fees.
vii. The Faculty of Law had instituted a monthly faculty series which encouraged presentation of papers. The institute also has a journal and was encouraging staff to publish in the journal.
viii. The team took note of the fact that the immediate past Rector and the former Dean of the Faculty of Law entered into an agreement to run two unaccredited programmes and students enrolled onto the programmes were yet to be awarded certificates.
The Board commended GIMPA for instituting a monthly faculty series which encouraged faculty to present papers; it also has its own journal where faculty could publish. It however, directs GIMPA to;
i. Reduce its student intake onto the law programme by half of its current intake at any subsequent admissions from 31st March, 2020.
ii. Provide a road map within one month from 31st March, 2020 on how it intends to address the high SSR for the programme
iii. Encourage its teaching staff to increase research output and submit evidence on same to NAB two years from 31st March 2020.
iv. Upgrade the qualifications of its staff to terminal degrees within five years.
v. Put in place strategies for improving the quality of teaching and learning at the Faculty given the high staff-student ratio.
vi. Recruit a qualified librarian with appropriate training in Law within a year starting from 31st March 2020.
vii. The Faculty should develop a mentoring policy for faculty, especially new lecturers within six (6) months from 31st March 2020.
viii. Procure relevant books and volumes of necessary law reports. The Faculty should have at least five sets of relevant Ghanaian law reports within six (6) months from 31st March, 2020.
ix. Find alternative ways of getting school fees paid instead of denying students the opportunity of writing examinations if they owe fees.
x. Extend the library working hours to make it accessible to evening students.
xi. Properly evaluate lecturers so that the Faculty could identify the inadequacies in the teaching and learning of the subjects and adequate action taken to remedy the identified deficiencies.
xii. Take steps to address the unaccredited programmes that were run by the Faculty in the past.
xiii. Ensure that there is reliable internet connectivity in the library. This should be done within one month from 31st March 2020 and evidence submitted to the Board.
xiv. Work towards reducing the teaching loads of lecturers to a maximum of three or four courses per week. Evidence should be submitted before the 2020/2021 academic year begins.
xv. Submit its examination policy to the Board within a month.
xvi. Submit an updated staff list for the Faculty using the attached NAB approved template.
The Board further approved the following general recommendations made by the Joint Monitoring Team and directed all Law Faculties to comply accordingly:
The Faculties of Law:
• Should upgrade the qualification of its current teaching staff to at least terminal degrees within three to five years from 31st March, 2020.
• Recruit or train qualified librarians to man law faculty libraries within three to five years from 31st March 2020.
• Should ensure that lecturers publish in their subject areas within two years from 31st March, 2020.
• Should conduct at least one tracer studies within two years from 31st March, 2020.
• Those that did not have a mentoring policy in place should do so and present evidence within 6 months form 31st March 2020.
• Those that needed to procure computers and stationery for their law library should do so and present evidence with 6 months from 31st March 2020.
• Should procure at least five sets of relevant Ghanaian law reports within six months from 31st March 2020.
• That each institution should ensure that its full-time staff as compared to part time lecturers should be in accordance with the NAB approved policy of 55% Full time and 45% Part time of its teaching staff. Evidence of compliance must be submitted to the Board before the next academic year.
• Should ensure that its SSR higher than 1:27 such as 1:60 such as was in the case of Central University, should reduce admission numbers by half of what was admitted at the last admissions.
• Should submit an updated staff list using NAB approved template within one month from 31st March, 2020.
• Road Map in addressing the issues raised should be provided within a month from 31st March, 2020.
The Board requested all Law Faculties to submit detailed responses outlining measures it intends to take, with clear timelines, to address the identified deficiencies by 31st March 2020.
Also, the team agreed that the instrument or questionnaire that was used for the joint Monitoring Assessment should be reviewed to include assessment of the number of students admitted or enrolled into the Law faculties and the number that graduate from the stated faculties for each academic year.
JUSTICE ANIN YEBOAH
CHAIRPERSON OF THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL