NMP Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Mayla N. Macadawan (1st row – 3rd from the right) during the 2019 MET Con on 21-22 February 2019

           The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) attends the 2019 Maritime Education and Training (MET) Conference conducted in Manila last February 21-22, 2019 with the theme     “Seafarers of the Future: Trends in Maritime Education  and Training”.  The activity was hosted by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in partnership with the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), aimed to encourage an interactive discussion among stakeholders that will result to conclusions and preferable actions gearing towards further improvement of the Philippine MET System.

During the conference, NMP Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Mayla N. Macadawan presented and discussed the topic “Innovating MET: Responding to Societal Change”.

NMP DED Mayla N. Macadawan delivering NMP’s paper during the MET Congress

The NMP paper highlighted the current and emerging trends in shipping involving global connectivity, rapid technological advancements, autonomous shipping and digitalization.  These advancements will eventually result to: (a) Need for seafarers who are capable to effectively perform present and future roles, with new sets of skills for hybrid, upskilled responsibilities; (b) Decision-making in some elements of the voyage to shift from on board to onshore with the advent of autonomous shipping; and (c) Dramatic change in the roles and functions of the seafarers in the future, may require a new training regime.

Moreover, aforementioned developments will correspondingly require new skills requirements for seafarers and will also demand innovating MET, which may include:

  • Use of simulators in high intensity training and assessment, with a syllabus that builds situational awareness by exposing students and trainees to repeated critical situations onboard (e.g. crisis-response scenarios) of progressively increasing levels of risk and complexity.  Within a period of time individuals will attain satisfactory level of competence thru this high intensity training and assessment.  The use of simulators, which are designed to replicate actual equipment onboard, thru the high intensity training concept may even be considered as effective replacement to reduce sea service.
  • Integration of knowledge, skills and understanding (KSU) of automation in basic maritime education and development of short training course for existing seafarers.
  • Significant training in information technology (IT), with emphasis on cyber technology.
  • Use of e-learning and e-assessment platforms
  • Development, production and dissemination of Open Educational Resources (OER) for maritime instructors and assessors
  • Synergy among local and international stakeholders
  • Research-based development of MET programs
  • Evaluation and verification of MET programs by stakeholders and certifying bodies; and
  • Harmonization & standardization of MET programs

Further, MARINA STCWO DED Atty. Joy Vera Ban-eg presented the developments since the last MET Conference held in 2018 that included NMP’s role as Center for Faculty Development as reflected in the Manifesto of Commitment signed by the stakeholder participants.

These circumstances signal employment opportunities to Filipino seafarers and at the same time pose challenge in sustaining the development of globally competitive seafarers.  This brings the attention of all maritime institutions, such as NMP, on their readiness of addressing the significant new training requirements of the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments and the development of value-added programs to respond to the demand trends.

NMP, as a maritime training and research agency, remains on guard for new developments in MET as these are crucial considerations in the accreditation, validation and improvement processes of its training programs.  It continuously endeavors to precipitate and capitalize in program offerings and ensures that measures are undertaken to keep abreast with evolving standards and other industry requirements.

On the pipeline and in line with the NMP’s vision of being the  Philippines’ leader in maritime training, including e-learning and research, NMP is embarking on the conversion of its Gender Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS) to an e-Learning Platform/Format and is scheduled to be completed in the first semester of CY 2019.

The conference was attended by more than 200 representatives from IAMU member institutions in the Asia Pacific Region,   Commission on Higher Education (CHED), maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs), maritime training centers (MTCs), seafarer associations, research groups and course developers, maritime instructors, as well as manning agencies.

Meanwhile, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the STCW Convention as amended in 2010 including value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced competitiveness.  It also regularly conducts maritime studies to come up with policies for the improvement of the manpower sector of the industry.

Those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website (www.nm.gov.ph) and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to gather inputs for NMP’s research, dissemination of NMP completed researches and other articles pertaining to maritime research.

For more information about NMP training viewers may visit the agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where all related information on NMP trainings are available.

Further, NMP encourages seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.