COVID-19: Maritime Education & Training for Indian Seafarers presently under Disarray

2020-05-09 10:58:39 Marine News

DGS approved Maritime Education and training is presently under a disarray.   None of the DGS approved courses, are allowed to be conducted and a Risk management has not been put in place. The DGS approved courses designed as per IMO STCW, Conducted, assessed and being certified can be classed under

a)     Pre Sea Classroom or Practical’s or Modular,

b)    Post Sea competency or Modular 

Whilst DGS approval stops the progress of these courses, what’s surprising is that except for a few companies, all value added courses had also come to a stop. This will further complicate the sign off of seafarers as their relieving seafarers may not have the adequate certification valid in able to relieve them. 

The only programs which seem to be running effectively and efficiently are the value added programs which are not in the mandated domain, especially the programs in the knowledge and behavioural domains. One Such Program is the Extra Masters Program conducted by Synergistic Solutions which has been conducted since March 2019 and running seamlessly even during COVID lockdown. The syllabus is designed by the NT Circular 1 of 2019 and finally examined by DGS.

This comparison itself should send a strong message to authorities. 

We have hence tried to identify a process by which academies can run the DGS approved courses seamlessly and define a way as to how the balance activities required by the STCW/ DGS requirements may be met by examining the COVID effect under following: 

1.     Identifying factors that classify this as a Black swan event.

2.     Why is Resilience Missing in out MET?

3.     It’s a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and ambiguous (VUCA)  world. Are we prepared?

4.     Carrying out a Risk Management for DGS approved courses

We can represent the way ahead with role and responsibilities of Stake holders from  Approvers of MET, Seafarers, MTIs,  On Board Master/ Chief Engineers CTOs of Ship Managers- DGS/MMD Assessing Authorities. A table for same has been created and is available with Synergistic Solutions on request

At Synergistic solutions we look at COVID as an Opportunity rather than discomfort or Survival. This is done proactively by carrying out effective Risk Management. We only conduct value added programs as shown in our website . These are either self-designed or designed specifically for a company. 

What is critical here is that the only course which has run continuously and seamlessly during the lockdown period is the Extra Masters course and some free courses and counselling offered on video conferencing and webinars. Records of conduct, attendance of Faculty and Participants, learning of students in class and through assignments, and our internal assessment in each subject area are available. The most important data is the co-relationship between our final assessment of student’s performance and the MMD results. There is a near perfect match 

(The author wishes to acknowledge Professor of Strategy  Hiten Muchhala at SP Jain School of Global Management from whose presentation the Author draws inspiration to this article. Any queries may be directed to


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