Thursday, November 15, 2012
FACING THE IA ‘MADNESS’
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; Cert. Oil & Gas–Mak; LLB (Hons)–Mak; Dip. LP Candidate–LDC]
Ever since I joined Law Development Centre (LDC) for my Bar Course studies in October this year, I have generally kept a low profile; living and taking life as and how it comes, like the rest of my colleagues. My fans and well-wishers have however, criticised me for this undue reserved attitude bordering on indolence. They have asked me to rejuvenate the so called Bakampa Services. Their pleas remind me of the great scripture in 2 Chronicles 7:14 where the Lord God says that if only His people would humble themselves and pray, then he would hear them in heaven and make them prosperous. Equally so, I have heard the concerns of my friends and due to public demand, I hereby succumb to the temptation to speak out on important matters of interest to the student community here. Let’s set it off with the hullaballoo about the Individual Assessment (IA) test results of Commercial Transactions. There are several unanswered queries on many people’s lips. One lady characterized the whole scheme as “madness” which informs the title of this piece today.
It is generally alleged that the marking was highly irregular and apparently uncoordinated so much so that one is left wondering whether our Professional Advisors (PAs) have a common marking guide and if at all they do, whether it is proper (you may also add “and logical” if you wish). That for instance, there are many cases where you find that student X drafted the same documents as student Y but the documents of one are entirely marked wrong while those of another are marked right! In other words, more or less the same documents are assessed totally differently under ambiguous and unknown criteria. Perhaps the most interesting comment I have heard is that one student drafted completely wrong and irrelevant documents (or even drafted none) but has 93% and the question is: where is the justice here especially, considering that there are those who endeavoured to present good work but nevertheless, performed dismally?! Many are concerned that at the end of the day this begs the question whether our PAs are actually reading from the same problem question in the course of marking. The worry is that this unnecessary confusion may spill over to the final examinations to our detriment and embarrassment. Well, all these and more are questions whose answers I do not have. My dear friends, your guess is as good as mine and all I have done is to combine and express some of your grievances on paper –talk of shifting from oral to written submissions. The answers lie with our PAs and LDC Administration.
Before I take leave of this matter, I would like to comment on the really perturbing widespread phobia of the PAs and other administrators at the Centre. As I listened to my colleagues pour out their disappointment and/or venomous anger, I regularly chipped in to remind them that they should follow up the matter with the concerned officials. My argument was (and still is) that they owe such a duty to them in fact. I was however, astonished to be told boldly and straight in the face, that this is impossible and that such a duty does not exist, anyway. According to them, doing such a thing is tantamount to digging one’s own grave. That this is because once detected by the PAs and administration in general, chances are that they would be victimized through under-marking with a view to detaining them at the Centre “for some time” and that even in practise, one risks being sidelined by the concerned people. In my considered opinion and with the greatest respect, this view is certainly baseless, highly misconceived and definitely untenable. Our Professional Advisors and LDC management in general, cannot be expected to stoop so low like that, indeed in flagrant breach of their professionalism. I am confident that they are neither mean nor vindictive. I know for a fact that LDC teaching and non-teaching staff members are highly respectful and considerate of their students and I am sure that I shall be vindicated on this as time and events unfold further. So, there is no need to worry at all. In any case, keeping quiet is no solution, anyway. Always remember this, my dear friends– IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET. This is the surest and safest way to facing the IA madness and other matters as and when they arise. May God bless you always.