Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ZIALE's behaviour is unscrupulous - Kaingu

ZIALE's behaviour is unscrupulous - Kaingu
By Ernest Chanda
Wed 23 Jan. 2013, 14:00 CAT

MMD Mwandi member of parliament Michael Kaingu says the behaviour of the Zambia Institute for Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) is unscrupulous.

Making a contribution when Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) appeared before the parliamentary committee on legal affairs yesterday, Kaingu said the low pass rate that ZIALE continued to record defied all logic.

"But what is also clear is that the way your college behaves is unscrupulous. If a person passes eight subjects but he fails two; he attempts those two and he passes one, then you ask that person to choose from what he has passed and re-sit that also; and he must pay K500,000 (KR500), that is unscrupulous," he said.

"LAZ president, if we were to take you to ZIALE today it is very clear that if you sit for that examination you will fail. So, you can't ask somebody to sit for what he has already passed; it's unscrupulous. It's unscrupulous in the sense that you are cheating that person out of money, and you are cheating that person also out of time."

Kaingu said the low pass rate and the way examinations were being conducted at ZIALE was causing wide public concern.

"And even the style of marking, it's not explicit; it's what we call phenomenology. You just look at the faces and say this one can pass, this one can fail. And you don't even indicate how that person has failed or has passed, you just give a pass. If your pass mark is 50 per cent, your student must know that," said Kaingu.

And Kabwe Central PF member of parliament James Kapyanga told LAZ president James Banda, who appeared with other council members, George Chisanga and Bubile Mupeso, that some witnesses who had appeared before the committee suspected a cartel by some ZIALE lecturers with vested interests.

But when Banda asked Kapyanga to clarify on vested interests, committee acting chairperson Chinga Miyutu chipped in and reminded him that they were there to find a cure to the problems at the institution.

Asked by Kaingu if LAZ had any control over ZIALE, Banda said the legal body had a representative on the board.

And LAZ submitted that ZIALE expands offices to all provincial centres where course work can be offered.

The Association also submitted that an accreditation committee be operationalised at ZIALE so that it could be issuing guidelines.

The Zambian Open University (ZAOU) last week also called on the government to institute an inquiry into the high number of law students failing at ZIALE.

ZAOU made the request through its submissions to the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, governance, human rights, gender matters and child affairs.
ZAOU vice chancellor Dickson Mwansa said it was unacceptable and shocking that only eight out of 143 students passed the 2010/2011 examinations.

Of the 164 students who sat for the 2011/2012 examinations, only six passed.
Professor Mwansa told the committee that it is a waste of resources that such a high number of students fail at ZIALE.

And UNZA School of Law acting dean, a Mr Mudenda last Wednesday said there was no basis for ZIALE to continue imposing a five-year ban on students that fail to pass examinations on third attempt.

Appearing before the parliamentary committee on legal affairs chaired by Monze member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu, Mudenda said students should be allowed to repeat after failing so long they paid required fees.

"We don't see the rational basis for the five-year ban and we also don't see any rational basis of subjecting students to re-write two courses after passing nine courses..." Mudenda said.

Another lecturer Chipo Nkhata said there was need to have a more transparent system of assessment at ZIALE.

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