IN a bid to further boost the country’s maritime education, the Department of Education (DepEd) has crafted a new curriculum primarily designed for students who wish to pursue a career in the shipping industry.
The maritime curriculum, which was divided into two specializations, will be taught to incoming senior high school (Grades 11 and 12) students where they will have the options to work after graduation or to pursue further maritime education in college.
“In the senior high school, we actually have two specializations in order to respond to two things: one is what we are known for but also to bring maritime industry to the next level or the technical-vocational-livelihood (TVL) maritime specialization,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro told The Manila Times.
Under the TVL maritime specialization, senior high school students who graduate from the said track will secure certifications allowing them to work as members of a ship’s crew.
They will be qualified for a job in the maritime industry after graduating and acquiring required certifications.
“This is a program that will allow our graduates of senior high school even without going to college to take the certification of ratings and then they are part of deck and engine,” Luistro explained.
“Part of their training is to allow them to go on board after graduating from senior high school. Unlike other senior high school programs, the specialization and immersion in the industry is during the senior high school years because the training hours required in the shipping industry is quite long,” he said.
“They will comply with everything after graduation including their so-called on-deck immersion because they will spend long hours of training and that whole period they can do it after and then hopefully they can qualify [for the job],” the DepEd Secretary added.
In the pre-baccalaureate maritime specialization, which is a modified program of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM strand under the academic track, six specialized subjects of the STEM strand were retained and three were replaced with maritime-related subjects.
This specialization aims to encourage senior high school graduates to pursue maritime studies in college. This, Luistro said, will enable the country to produce more seafarer officers.
At least 54 private schools and six public schools applied for certifications to teach the maritime program. They were given provisional permits to offer senior high school maritime specializations in the next school year.
The DepEd chief said that they will closely monitor schools offering maritime specializations that do not comply with the standards set by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).
“To run a senior high school with a specialization track in maritime, the permit is given by DepEd in collaboration with Marina, but the actual permit is a DepEd permit. They’re allowed to open but during the year, for example, after one-quarter we found out that they are actually making fool of the students, we will revoke the program,” Luistro said.