Have we ever wondered why is it pain to approved Shipboard Training Program in Maritime Education and Training (MET)? It keeps haunting every stakeholder in the MET industry!
Barking at the wrong tree – that is what we do! STCW inaccurately referred to as Bible. As such, bright minds, ordinary minds, criminal minds, business minds, among others are making different interpretations!
Now, having said that – are we NOT barking at a million different trees at a time? Then what have we, organized confusion!
I suggest we go back to the basics! The basics of knowing and understanding the letter and spirit of the STCW.
How about starting with the basic STCW definitions?
PARTY – means the State to which the STCW Convention entered into force (Article II; Definitions; STCW 2010 Manila Amendments).
ADMINISTRATION – means the Government of the Party whose flag the ship is entitled to fly (Article II; Definitions; STCW 2010 Manila Amendments).
COMPANY – means the owner of the ship or any other organization or person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the shipowner and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibilities imposed on the company by these regulations (Annex; Reg I/1.25; Definitions and Clarifications; STCW 2010 Manila Amendments).
APPROVED – means approved by the Party in accordance with these regulations (Annex; Reg I/1.2; Definitions and Clarifications; STCW 2010 Manila Amendments).
The Administration is the government of the Party whose flag the ship is entitled to fly! Very clear! The Administration of a ship carrying the flag of Panama must be Panama. The Administration of ships flying the Philippine flag is therefore MARINA! MARINA therefore by simple logic, by the letter and spirit of the STCW, is the Administration representing the government of the Philippines. It is of paramount importance to be clarified and understood that MARINA is the Administration of the government of the Philippines as a Party whose flag the vessel is entitled to fly.
About 116 seagoing ships are flying the Philippine Flag! Is it therefore accurate to say that considering the letter and spirit of the STCW, MARINA is the administration for 116 ships? Sadly YES! MARINA is the Administration of ships flying the Philippine flag. MARINA is NOT the Administration of ships NOT flying the Philippine flag!
Let us go back now to another basic STCW definition of the word APPROVED which means approved by the Party. The Administration is the government of the Party whose flag the ship is entitled to fly! This brings us to the question – is MARINA empowered or mandated to approve. Shipboard Training Programs on board a ship flying the flag of Panama or Liberia or Bahamas? That is if there is indeed a Structured Shipboard Training program on a particular ship in question!
To my mind and understanding, a structured Shipboard Training Program must be documented in the first place with qualified Instructors and Assessors as per Reg I/6 of the STCW Code. Further questions will be raised: How are the shipboard training objectives achieved? What are the objective evidences? Who are the Shipboard Instructors? Who are the Shipboard Assessors?
If these are NOT yet clear to us today, we have indeed problems. Big problems with our basic understanding of the letters and spirit of the STCW! These are just the academic discussions, NOT yet the practices! You will be surprised to realize the real life challenges about shipboard training! On how and why approved Shipboard Training Experiences are used, overused and abused!
“The illiterate of the 21st century will NOT be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
— Alvin Toffler, futurist.
And those who CANNOT e-learn!
– BURT Sabay, unlearner and e-learner.