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Improving Maritime Education and Training: The Need for Reform

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-25, 00:29 authored by Gholam Reza EmadGholam Reza Emad
STCW convention has changed maritime education and training (MET) system from an apprenciceship dominated practice to a formal conventional schooling education. Apprenticeship training fosters learning skills and knowledge in its social and functional context. It engages beginners to work under the supervision of an expert and gradually develop various elements of competencies. Under the aegis of STCW convention, the maritime domain abandoned most of the opportunities of learning in practice onboard ships, in favor of school-based education. STCW asks for the student seafarers to spend a period of time onboard ships, as on-the-job training, to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. However the minimum requirement for the time to be spent for practical training at sea is relatively short and training onboard ships is not typically supervised. As the result students receive limited opportunities to engage and learn by participating in professional activities. The combination of school-based instruction and unstructured and unsupervised limited on-the-job training produces unsatisfactory results. Hence, many mariners never get the chance or the proper learning environment to become authentically competent. The reduction in the number of crew, fast turnaround of ships in ports, complying with tasks associated with an ever increasing number of relevant conventions and codes, and a resultant increase in workload of crewmembers leaves very little room for seafarers to engage in and supervise the training of apprentices onboard ships. Furthermore, today’s shipboard navigation with the extensive use of automated and computerized systems may not provide visible cues for the trainee seafarers to learn the job by pure observation. As a result of today’s conditions, even conventional apprenticeship alone cannot fully provide mariners with their needed competencies. This presentation provides an overview of the current status of maritime education and training and discusses its possible flaws and shortcomings, which results in an inadequate educational system. Based on this, I confer the need for reform, improvement, and a new approach to education and training of seafarers. I then introduce Quasi-community as a novel framework for competency development of seafaers in MET system.


Publication title

Proceedings of SEAS 2017 Korea Maritime Week


Australian Maritime College


Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries

Place of publication


Event title

SEAS 2017 Korea Maritime Week

Event Venue

Bousan. Korea

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


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  • Restricted

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Schools and learning environments not elsewhere classified

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