Education and AcademiaLaw, Crime and Justice

What do the LDC Rules say about their current graduation issues?

In the wake of a post I did on LDC. There have been many replies which charge that students are just complaining because of failure. How about we look at the law.

Academic Year 2019/2021 is governed by the Rules of passing the bar course. These rules regulate the conduct and examination of all bar course students. Our cause is that these rules were not complied with. Let’s give specifics below:

Rules 3(1), 6(3) and 10 create the subjects to be examined. These are:

  • Attendance
  • Exams
  • Individual assessments 
  • Clerkship

A student must pass all these to pass the bar course. This means that where a student fails any one of the above, they fail the course. This also means that these subjects are graded separately.

Rule 11(3) provides that results for all terms shall be released at the conclusion of each term.

The students then went on a marathon of exams from 28th September 2020 to 2nd December 2020. 

Students went on clerkship from 7th December to 9th April 2021.

There was a marking retreat from 9th to 30th January 2021.

Why are these dates important? Because they help to inform us if there was compliance with the rules.

By the 20th of March 2020, term 2 was complete and its results were not released. In fact, they have never been released. From 2nd of December 2020 when assessments ended, there was no release of results for that term till today. The rules require that results are released by term to ensure that students consistently assess themselves and identify how to improve. Was this done to this day, the answer is no.

During this entire period, between 23rd September 2019 to 9th April 2021, there were only four and a half months of total lockdown in a period of 18 months and 18 days. This means that for the rest of the 16months, there was little hindrance to the release of results in compliance with the rule above.

Rule 15 requires that exams are sat using index numbers and not real student names. The list of graduation has the actual names of students. This implies that there was marking, recording of marks and translation of those marks from index numbers to the names of students.

How then can LDC say, as they do below, that they can’t release a detailed breakdown of marks to students?

LDC has also suggested that for confidentiality issues, they can’t share one mass of marks.

What does the law say?

Rule 34(3) provides for the publication of results on LDC notice boards and its website. LDC has in the past pinned results on the notice board. These results are by subject and by the model of assessment. This means that the marks show the grade for orals, IAs and finals. 

If COVID prevented the use of the notice board, clearly LDC could share the results on its website. Why did not do this? I don’t know. 

Did it comply with the rules above? No.

Rule 28 allows a student to verify their results within 14 days from the day of release of results. LDC sent the final list of those who passed on 9th May 2021 and graduated students on 11th May 2021.

Still, Rule 29(1-3) give a student the right to appeal and this appeal is in a 37-day window for lodgment to determination. LDC released a list of students and graduated them 2 days later. What then is the purpose of these remedies? How can a student have a right of appeal, but have it determined only after graduation has been completed? 

Still, the rules insist that a student cannot appeal except if they score 40%. (Rule 29(3)). A lot of students, including me who passed, haven’t got their results. How then can they exercise their right to appeal without knowing their marks?

Under rules 30 and 34, results are considered, verified and by the board of examiners to the management committee which passes them. Yesterday the director admitted that there were errors in the marks. This means the results were not verified and we’re improperly passed. If there were errors in the marks, then what did the management committee pass? Secondly, it would appear that the committee depended on a complete breakdown of results. If this complete breakdown of results was passed, why hasn’t it been shared with students?

Therefore, our cause is not triggered by disgruntlement but by non-compliance with clear legal rules. If LDC had wanted to change the rules, it should have given us notice. All we are asking is that the same students are requested to comply with laws is the same way LDC should.

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Rushongoza N Begumya
I am a lawyer with a good understanding of Ugandan and East African Community Law. My interest areas are litigation, banking, insolvency, Technology Law as well as International and Domestic Trade Law. My other interests are political economy, public policy discourse and public interest litigation.

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