The Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Joshua Okpo, has disclosed the academy’s readiness to migrate from the 1995 Standard of Training, Certificate and Watch-keeping(STCW) to the 2010 convention.
Okpo recently said the migration is expedient if the school curriculum was to conform to international standard.
“Our major concern now is to ensure we have the IMO Convention on Standards of Training, Certificate and Watch-keeping, (STCW), 2010 to be domesticated in the academy, in other words, we want to migrate from the 1995 STCW to the 2010 convention so that our curriculum will conform to international standards.
“We are also integrating the Diploma Programmes in our quest to migrate to degree- awarding status so that we do not violate the STCW 2010 as amended.
“We have made some structural changes in the area of Nautical Sciences and Marine Engineering. We have also made some structural changes in the area of Maritime Consultancy among others,” he said.
The Rector also disclosed that as part of measures to improve the quality of education in the academy, the management secured the services of more professionals.
His words, “We have hired competent teachers, some of them Master Mariners. We have also upgraded our payment system to the Integrated Personnel Paid System IPPS. The current management has also expanded the scope of teaching by reviewing the curriculum; all this is to increase the quality of education.”
He also stated that the academy was doing everything possible to ensure that the school becomes a degree-awarding institution, and thanked the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for their support and encouragement to upgrade the academy to a degree awarding institution.
“We are doing everything possible to restructure the academy, to make it a true citadel of learning for our children’s children and generations yet unborn. Symbolically, it is like saying the chicken has come to roost. The journey so far like I told you before now has changed the academy and we are now settled for business.
“We have been able to create an atmosphere that is conducive for teaching and learning. We have also gone further to clean up the 39 hectres of land acquired for the phase three of the academy and have made some structural changes, we have also put in place some physical infrastructure.
” In this third phase part of the N1billion intervention fund from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been committed. We intended to accommodate staff quarters and hostel accommodation for both male and female cadets, a mini market, and other facilities in this phase.”
He however added that the management reviewed the admission status of the academy downward in order to maintain standards.
“We decided to review the admission in order to maintain global standards. For instance, out of a total of 7,000 applicants into various departments of the academy for this academic session, only 950 were admitted. This downward review was necessitated by the need not to over-stretch the facilities of the academy while trying to maintain international standards.
“Similarly, we do not need to graduate half-baked cadets who will drive Okada at the end of the day. We don’t want what happened in South Korea to happen in Nigeria. We want to graduate the best that can compete anywhere in the world,” he added.