Government makes U-turn on LDC pre-entry exams

Three months after government moved Parliament to pass a resolution scrapping pre-entry exams at Law Development Centre (LDC), it now wants Parliament to revisit the decision.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire on Thursday morning appeared before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee with a new proposal to re-introduce the pre-entry exams.

“I know we took a position on the removal of pre-entry exams and you know I strongly defended that position in Parliament, however, I had an interface with members of the Law Council and teachers of LDC and there were very serious issues put across,” Otafiire said.

The resolution to scrap pre-entry exams was taken in May during Parliament’s consideration of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs’ budget proposals for the current financial year.

The argument then was that pre-entry exams were discriminatory, and Parliament approved the proposal to increase funding for LDC so as to enable it open more campuses in order to decongest its campus at Makerere as opposed to using the exams to lock out students due to inadequate facilities.

Otafiire now says that his meeting with members of the Law Council and LDC lecturers has given him a change of heart.

“I was convinced to change my mind and we agreed to do further research, more consultation and then come back to Parliament to present our findings now and see whether our position is tenable, sustainably or we should rethink,” Otafiire continued.

His explanation seemed not convincing to the committee members with some MPs insisting that there is no need for pre-entry exams since the program has already been approved by National Council for Higher Education.

The MPs said, instead of compelling students to sit for pre-entry exams, the Ministry should sort out its issues with the Law Council.