MANILA, PHILIPPINES – To translate the trends in maritime education and training into assets of the Philippine maritime industry, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), in cooperation with the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), hosted the 2019 Maritime Education and Training (MET) Conference and Workshop in Manila on 21-22 February 2019.

The MET Conference started in 2016 through a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) between the MARINA and IAMU to provide an avenue for discussion on how to further advance maritime education and training in the Philippines.

MARINA Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr and IAMU Executive Director Takeshi Nakazawa welcomed more than 200 representatives from the 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 participated in the two-day interactive discussion about the trends in maritime education and training, particularly about specialized maritime knowledge, student engagement, assessment, maritime teaching and crew manning in 2020 and beyond.

Also tackled were the innovations in maritime education and training and how it impacted the society and the development of Filipino seafarers, the maritime education internet of things (IoT), and the fundamentals of running a training ship in 2020 and beyond.

Capt. Pradeep Chawla, Chairman of the Global Maritime Educaation and Training (GlobalMET) – an association of 80 maritime training institutes across the world, was one of the remarkable speakers who shared invaluable insights at the 2019 MET Conference.

Capt. Chawla affirmed that the Philippines will remain as one of the top suppliers of competent seafarers in the next ten years due to their high moral ethics, professionalism, and integrity compared to other nationalities.

With this, the country has to keep up with the latest advancements in maritime education and training by enhancing teaching methods through digitization and gamification, among others, as well as virtual reality and flip classroom to yield higher learning outcomes from maritime students. Through these initiatives, Capt. Chawla said future Filipino seafarers may have greater ability to process larger amount of data at a time, better focus on critical issues, cope with increased stress level, be more assertive, and work efficiently with remote teams.

Above all, he emphasized the importance of continuous learning to active seafarers so they may contribute in the development of maritime education and training by becoming maritime instructors or trainers in the future.

Furthermore, the MARINA presented the 10-year maritime industry development plan (MIDP) with emphasis on the manpower requirement that is needed to be developed to effectively implement the MIDP’s eight priority programs, especially on shipyard, logistics, cruise tourism and the ancillary businesses of the first-ever maritime hub.

Aside from Professor Nakazawa, IAMU brought in Engr. Johan Ljungklint, Dr. Damir Zec, Mr. Vlado Fracic, and Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son to facilitate the open forum which focused on the future of the shipping industry through autonomous and/or smart ships, the developments in maritime education and training through digitization, threats on cyber security, and expectations to maritime instructors in 2020 and beyond.

The two-day event concluded with the commitment from various maritime stakeholders to seek the way forward in the eventual enhancement of the Philippine maritime education and training system.