The training of mariners in Singapore dates back to the British colonial days and by 1952, a part-time maritime school within the Raffles Institution was set up.
Funding came from the Committee of the Singapore Sailors’ Institute and the Committee of the Singapore Mercantile Fund. But after Singapore gained self-government status in 1957, the Singapore Polytechnic took over.
Maritime courses were linked with the Port Authority and were competency-based certificates that enabled one to work onboard home-trade and foreign-going ships.
The training of ratings was conducted by the Seafarers’ Welfare Board, which was later taken over by the National Maritime Academy under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
The Singapore Maritime Academy was formed in the year 2000 as a result of the merger of the Maritime Technology and Transportation Department of the Singapore Polytechnic and the National Maritime Academy (NMA) of MPA. Since then, the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) has been making waves in the three areas of maritime education and training – navigation, marine engineering, and maritime transportation management.
The SMA is now at the forefront of maritime education and training with a focus on the international development of youth. It has about 915 full-time students and over 1100 students in its CoC (Certificate of Competency) and short course programmes.
It has a wide pool of multinational seafaring talent.
The SMA’s faculty of over 60 teaching staff are highly qualified and were ships’ captains or chief engineers, with most holding graduate degrees in specialized fields and engaged in consultancy and joint projects including research.
Courtesy of The Business Times, 22 October 2007 (p. 16)
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