alexa Big debate as nearly all students fail bar exams - Daily Nation

Big debate as nearly all students fail bar exams

Thursday June 20 2019

The roll of advocate

New advocates take the oath of admission to the roll of advocate at the Supreme Court of Kenya on October 01, 2018. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSIAH ODANGA
By JOSIAH ODANGA
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Eighty per cent of law students who sat their bar exams in November 2018 did not qualify to be admitted into practice.

Only 308 of 1,572 from 38 local and international universities passed the exams, representing only 20 per cent.

Results released by the Council of Legal Education (CLE) on Tuesday show a poor performance from all the universities where candidates registered for the exams, with the best -- Kisii University -- coming top after 20 out of its 60 candidates qualified for admission to the roll of advocates.

The latest performance report put Kisii at the top in terms of qualifying law students, followed closely by Kenyatta University which had 32 out of its 98 registered students passing the exams while Strathmore University came third with 28 of its 86 candidates qualifying.

Although it had the highest number of candidates sitting the bar exams at 498, Kenya’s oldest higher education institution -- the University of Nairobi -- had just 112 of its law students qualifying coming a distant fourth.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology had 57 examined and 11 qualified, while out of the 297 former Moi University law students who registered for the exams, just 54 sailed through.

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The results released through General Notice No. 15 of 2019 show that majority of private universities posted poor results all scoring below 15 per cent.

For instance, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa registered 173 candidates but only 18 qualified while just five out of the 71 law candidates who registered from Kabarak University sailed through the admission exams.

The results were released at the backdrop of an uproar over the mass failure of students undertaking the advocates training program, which prompted probe into the matter.

The Senate and the Law Society of Kenya are investigating the massive failure of law students sitting bar examinations.

The CLE and the Kenya School of Law which administers the exams are on the spot over the failures, with speculation that they could be intentionally using the exams as a cash cow. The CLE administers nine exams and each costs Sh5,000.

The 1,264 students who failed the exams have an option of resitting the failed units or applying for a re-mark, all at cost believed to be exorbitant.

A re-mark costs Sh15,000 per paper whereas a re-sit is Sh10,000. This is after paying an initial total of Sh45,000 for the nine units.

The CLE has, however, dismissed the probes as needless with the chief executive Jacob Gakaria, saying the huge failure has never been deliberate.