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CHED, MARINA to release new maritime education curriculum

CHED, MARINA to release new maritime education curriculum
Tristan Nodalo, May 21, 2023

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 21) — Following the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will be rolling out a new maritime education curriculum soon.

The revision of the curriculum comes after issues on improving the maritime curriculum were discussed by authorities last month, in a bid to "to narrow the gaps and issues" seen by the European Maritime Safety Agency relating to Philippine compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

The European Union has previously announced that it would continue to recognize the certificates of Filipino seafarers issued by the Philippine government, citing its efforts to comply with international standards.

But the challenges facing Filipino seafarers do not end with the EU accreditation.

"Because of changing times, employers are now concerned with the continuing supply of seafarers we have to upskill or upgrade our seafarers," said Noli Partido, head of the legal department of Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) on Saturday.

"Among future challenges facing the maritime industry will be digitalization and decarbonization of ships to address climate change," added Marion Bernales, a seafarer and a representative of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific.

He added that seafarers will have to be retrained to understand these changes.

According to the EU, lack of ship training was among deficiencies the Philippines needed to address.

The AMOSUP and maritime schools can only hope that the new curriculum being formulated by CHED and MARINA will be responsive to international standards so that time, effort and resources of both schools and seafarers will not be wasted.

What’s important for now is for government to not be complacent and continue holding dialogues with different stakeholders so that the education and training of Filipino seafarers won’t be compromised, and to maintain global standards that would keep Filipino crew members in demand.