SHIPPING

PNG Students Set Benchmark At Maritime Academy

International accredited train­ing and education at the Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) has prompted two Papua New Guinea (PNG) shipping companies to send their cadets over to complete their respective courses in Suva.
19 Mar 2020 11:58
PNG Students Set Benchmark At Maritime Academy
From Left: Engine Cadet Peceli Sovaki Togoloa, Chief Executive Officer Fiji Maritime Academy Mahesa Abeynayake and Engine Cadet Patteresio Yaya.

International accredited train­ing and education at the Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) has prompted two Papua New Guinea (PNG) shipping companies to send their cadets over to complete their respective courses in Suva.

Sponsored by Consort Shipping and Pacific Towing Limited the 21 students will complete their final stage and appear for Certificate of Competency (COC) in Fiji.

FMA chief executive officer (CEO) Mahesa Abeynayake said there are 10 Marine engineering students and 11 for nautical science study­ing in the Watchkeeper stage of the Diploma programmes.

“Next year there will be another batch and if this becomes suc­cessful then we will have batches from other Pacific countries,” Mr. Abeynayake said.

“FMA will be the learning hub for seafarers for the Pacific islands; with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) will play a vital role in certification and approval,” Mr Abeynayake said.

“This is just the beginning. The numbers will increase each year,” he said.

“The companies are sending their cadets here because they feel their maritime school is not catering for their training needs.

“They chose FMA because of its state of art facilities is offering quality maritime training and ed­ucation according to international standard.”

Head of nautical science, Vilivo Bolaciri Valenitabua said the stu­dents have settled in.

“At the moment we have done one short test and assessment after the first six weeks and they are pro­gressing well,” Mr. Valenitabua said.

“We had two PNG students last year and we believe the feedback encouraged their employers to send more students to FMA this year,” he said.

“We are fortunate to have these PNG students here with us. They are setting benchmarks on locals on how to perform in the classroom.

“This takes FMA to another level, especially in the Pacific region.

“Last couple of years we had stu­dents from Tonga, Tuvalu, and Solomon Islands and we seldom have students from PNG; the two that came last year performed well.”

Mr Valenitabua said having a large number of students from PNG was a good sign for FMA.

“The facilities that provide an excellent learning atmosphere is what brings them here. According to the students, training equipment at their maritime training institu­tion is not properly maintained and often not functioning,” he said.

“The number of students region­ally has been increasing. This fact is encouraging not just to FMA but accolade to Fiji as well proving we can provide quality training throughout the system.

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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