Superintendent’s Year End Message 2019

As the old year retires and a new one is born, we are invigorated with a renewed hope and opportunity to do better and make things right. This past year, our beloved institution has experienced a roller coaster of challenges and successes.

As the country’s premier maritime institution with a mission to develop competent merchant marine, naval and coast guard officers for shipboard and shore-based positions; and to spearhead the improvement in maritime education, training and research, the academy heaves the call of Fourth Industrial Revolution to prepare the seafarers of the future. The Philippines as the largest manning capital of the world must see this, and if we don’t adapt, we will lose our ground, the new maritime industry is defined by Connected Cyber-physical systems, powered by IoT and fueled by data, which create a fully interconnected society. In such a hyper-connected disruptive world, the role of the Academy is to reinvent how education should be delivered, we have no option but to adapt to these changes in Industry which are brought by disruptive technologies.

Technical evolution education, and therefore the rest of the industries also, is taking place at such an accelerated pace that change is now measured in years, sometimes in months and not centuries. We are at a cusp of change where the learner is at the center of a futuristic maritime ecosystem.

What we see in the very near future is that the maritime industry will be Demand-led instead of supply-led education, Competency-based instead of knowledge-based, incorporate disruptive technologies & skill-sets, lifelong learning instead of front-loaded learning.

It is important that the maritime industry has the right people with the right skills to effectively harness new technologies. Heeding this requirement, the competencies of our faculty have been enhanced specifically in the fields of 3D animation and the use of technology in the teaching-learning process through conduct of trainings and provision of post-graduate scholarships abroad. As a result, our instructors’ teaching skills including their methods are enriched to better educate the millennial students that we have at this age and time.

Leading the call for Education 4.0 as aligned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, PMMA has revolutionized its teaching and learning environment thru several innovations as we realize that we need to ensure that our next generation of workforce is equipped with the right skills and knowledge to propel the maritime industry forward in a technological world, the impact of technology on jobs in the maritime industry will truly disrupt the labor market of onboard officer, but will shift its way for a new and redesigned workforce of shore personnel with maritime background. It is more evident that technology is altering traditional maritime jobs and changing the types of skills that are needed in the maritime industry, as opposed to it completely removing jobs for the current workforce. The instinctive knowledge of an experienced industry worker is hard to replace, even with advanced technology. For example, even though we may need a lesser number of crew members working onboard a vessel with smart shipping technologies, a larger group of skilled employees is also needed to work onshore so as to remotely manage what is happening out at sea. Automation and technology is set to play a key role in the maritime industry. As such, the risk of dehumanization and need for future-proofing is truly part of our mission as an institution. We need to have a good understanding of the new skills needed in the industry and more importantly, where talent with these skills can be found so that we can be well-placed to attract them to work for our changing industry. With that in mind, we are looking forward to a robust adaptive methodology for the ‘Future of the Maritime Workforce’.

As the Academy prepares its 200th Year in Existence and being one of the oldest maritime institutions of the Asia and Pacific Region, the old must be the new, we bring birth to new perspective preparations, the academy has now started to invest in these directions, currently, we have shifted our learners from textbook-based to immersive learning and gamified methodologies, the academy owns the first virtual reality laboratory with a 20 station system to virtually transport any cadet to an onboard location giving them full access to what is to be worked upon. We have also started Augmenting realities through our digital libraries. Through these types of exposures of our cadets view the digital twins of ships. In a couple of months, we will pilot digital twin concepts such as remote onboard maintenance for sensors and robotics. Procurement of Information Technology equipment are also on the way to fulfill these modernization plans. We have also partnered with MARINA for the course development of technical subjects which acknowledges our faculty members’ expertise in their respective fields. Accreditation of the PMMA Training Center is also ongoing. These developments in our institution would ensure our compliance with the STCW regulations and requirements on staff qualification and experience, existence of facilities and equipment necessary to meet the objectives, written programs, syllabus, timetable and course material, and quality standards system requirements.

All of these efforts have been made to maintain our status as the state’s leading maritime education and training institution. But, we shall also aim to be one of the best in the world. And to achieve this, continuous efforts must be designed, planned, and executed.

Let us make this end of the year as a time to reflect. Together, let us sail through troubled waters and uncharted seas towards the lighthouse of success and quality standards!