Samoa Shipping Maritime Academy merges with the NUS School of Maritime
The Samoa Shipping Maritime Academy was officially merged with the School of Maritime yesterday. This merger came about as a result of a Cabinet directive in September 2019.
According to the keynote speaker, Papalii Niko Lee Hang, the merger is a momentum occasion in the history of the maritime training in Samoa.
“The rationale behind this merger is to utilise this maritime campus built by China Aid in 2015,” he said
“And to put our maritime sources together to consolidate and strengthen our national maritime training program that are combined with the international maritime organisation.”
This merger ceremony included the handover of four staff from Samoa Shipping Maritime Academy to the NUS School of Maritime Training plus computers and other teaching equipments for training purposes.
“I am very confident that this merger which is the government of Samoa’s investment into our maritime training sector will see many sons and daughter of Samoa being trained in one place using the same maritime curriculum that is IMO compliant and SQA accredited so that we end up with quality seafarers,” Papalii added
Papalii hopes that when the world economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic that the merger will produce more Samoan seafarers, who will be well trained, honest, brave and above all self-disciplined and well-mannered on board at all times on duty.
Minister of M.E.SC, Loau Keneti Sio was also present at the merger ceremony and had unveiled the merger plaque and signed the hangover agreement with Papalii.
Vaelua Sonny Brown who is the SOMT head of school shared that he is delighted with the merger. He highlighted that the SOMT struggled with resources being limited and said that the merger will ensure that they have a wider access to resources.
“The problem that we had was the limited of resources, but with this merge we’ve established a good connection with the Samoa Shipping Corporation because at first our students here at the S.O.M.T weren’t eligible to carry out a work attachment on our domestic vessels, but through this merge, they will be able to,” he added
With four staff members included in the merger, Vaelua says that this will greatly benefit the school as they will share their years of experience and knowledge in helping them complete the established curriculum.
He also said that S.O.M.T (School of Maritime Training) had advantage by which they were included under the IMO whitelist which enable their students to work on overseas vessels and cruise ship, by which the Samoa Shipping of Maritime academy were unfortunate of.
What they are now looking at is building up more opportunities for their students to work overseas because there are limited local opportunities.
Vaelua Sonny Brown will now be the head of school of this merger.