Commodore Emma Effedua, Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom, stated this in an interview in Lagos, weekend,on the side-lines of the inauguration ceremony for the new executive council members of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN).
Effedua spoke to clarify issues relating to reasons some of the students recorded poor performances in the examination.
He said: “Our primary responsibility as the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) is pre-sea training. But, we have also dovetailed into retraining those who are already in the industry.
“Now, this CoC exams that you are talking about, we cannot take responsibility 100 per cent.
“I discovered that most of them don’t even come for lectures, because they work for some companies already and they are engaged on-board ships, and some of these ships are operational.
“I can bet you that from the register you can never find 25 per cent of them right there in the class for the duration of six months. So, these are some issues we are looking into.”
Effedua said that since the ships where some of these seafarers work must go to sea for their businesses, therefore, catching up with studies becomes difficult for the seafarers as the classes would not be stopped until they arrive.
He also noted that shipowners would not be blamed for having issues in releasing their seafarers to come for full-time six months studies. He said: “But, when the seafarers go to sea, what happens in their absence? Lectures won’t stop. For those who are available for those lectures, they would take the lectures.
“We found that some of them were not academically well prepared for the kind of courses they were coming for. Some lack the basic education. But those who are qualified, who have the ability to do those courses, have been passing.”
According to the rector: “Those failing are not even cadets of the academy. Because the exam is for everybody, once you get your eligibility as a seafarer from NIMASA you are qualified to come to the academy for the exams.”
He argued that against allegations that some cadets weren’t performing well in the exams, the academy’s cadets were doing well. And he added that: “NIMASA will not tell you areas you should read in preparation for the exams, because you should have prepared well.”
On the academy’s relationship with the Master Mariner’s association, Effedua said he had kept in contact with the association just as with other professional associations in the maritime industry, whose advice would be beneficial to the academy.
“We have written them letters and met with them twice. But for some operational reasons, they have not come. Just last week, I got a letter from them saying that they would come, and we are expecting to see them,” Effedua said.