Pilot mock digital bar exams for Visayas held at UC Banilad

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THE University of Cebu (UC)-Banilad campus hosted the pilot mock digital and regional bar exams for the Visayas on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021.

Al-Shwaid Ismael, dean of the UC School of Law, said it was a privilege for UC to be selected as one of the venues among hundreds of law schools in the country.

“It’s about time that we transition to digital bar (exams) because in other countries, they have the option to do digital. I believe it will even the playing field. Imagine, you will flunk the bar because of bad handwriting and the examiner cannot read your answer even if they’re substantially correct,” he said.

Justice Marvic Leonen, 2020 and 2021 Bar chairman, had announced the holding of the Pilot Digital Bar in preparation for the digital bar exams in November 2021.

The pilot digital bar exam is a “small-scale simulation of the actual bar exams using computer software and proctored both physically and virtually.”

Aside from the UC School of Law, other testing sites are the Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools in Makati City for law schools in the National Capital Region, the St. Louis University in Baguio City for law schools in Luzon and the Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City for law schools in Mindanao.

Ismael said 20 law students (10 participants per room) in Cebu joined the mock digital bar exams on Sunday.

He said they started preparations for the mock digital bar exams last December.

He said UC shouldered all expenses, including the installation of high-end closed-circuit television cameras for monitoring and hepa air filters. It also provided an uninterrupted power supply, internet subscription, a backup generator and a control room.

He said staff and all participants followed health and safety measures such as wearing face masks and face shields. Examinees also provided negative RT-PCR test results, while the staff provided negative antigen test results.

Meanwhile, Ismael clarified that although UC Banilad was chosen to host the pilot mock bar exams, it does not automatically mean that UC Banilad will host the actual 2021 Bar exams.

The Supreme Court announced the regionalization of the bar exams last year to give law graduates from Visayas and Mindanao the option to take the exams in Cebu City or Davao City. (WBS)