Brunei to get fully certified IMO trainers

National 2 minutes, 24 seconds


SEVENTEEN instructors from Brunei will be fully certified to teach the majority of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) courses to local seafarers once they complete the final leg of specialised courses later this week.

Senior Lecturer at Singapore’s Maritime Academy Captain Osman Sam, who is in the Sultanate to deliver IMO’s second fundamental training course for instructors, told The Brunei Times yesterday that the combination of the two courses would equip instructors will the ability to teach and assess IMO courses.

The first course, labelled 6.09 and delivered last September equips trainers with instructional techniques necessary to teach IMO courses to students, while the second 3.12 course gives instructors the tools necessary to assess these students.

Both are being taught at the Institute of Brunei Technical Education's Maktab Kejuruteraan Jefri Bolkiah Campus in Kuala Belait, which houses the Brunei Maritime Academy (IBTE BMA).

“Both courses for trainers are made necessary by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), which is adopted by IMO and is the global benchmark for seafaring,” said Captain Osman.

Due to shipping’s international, cross-boundary nature, certification based on STCW, which prescribes basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping, is crucial for the marketability and employability of trained seafarers.

Captain Osman added that for SWTC standards to be met, seafarer training must be heavily derived from “competency-based” education.

“From cargo handling to navigation, being a seafarer whether working on engine or deck is all about competency and practical application. Students need to be able to demonstrate that they can put the knowledge and skills gained to test,” he said.

As a result, the IMO standard is to have the instructors – who have spent a minimum amount of time at sea – deliver modules tied directly to seafaring.

“Those teaching language, or subjects like mathematics to seafarers need not (have time at sea), as these subjects can be taught by graduates. But if we are talking about navigation, safety at sea for example, the instructors themselves must have experienced that kind of scenario if they are to teach it,” said Captain Osman.

His accompanying colleague David Tay, who has served as Chief Engineer aboard ships, said that the Institute of Brunei Technical Education has expressed their intention to Singapore’s Maritime Academy to run a second round of both trainer courses in the near future.

“Taking into account that these instructors are well-qualified professionals, each of the two trainer courses takes 32 hours – spread across four days – to deliver,” said Tay, who explained that most courses generally require 56 hours.

“Having the trainer courses taught in Brunei for the first time is a very positive step for maritime education in the country,” he added.

IBTE BMA was set up in 2014 with the assistance of Singapore’s Maritime Academy under Singapore Polytechnic with the goal of producing job-ready graduates for the thriving maritime industry.

The Brunei Times