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/ CHED: More personnel needed to monitor maritime schools’ compliance

CHED: More personnel needed to monitor maritime schools’ compliance


MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education said Tuesday that it needs additional personnel to help monitor the quality of education at the country’s maritime programs following promises to comply with international standards for seafarers.

CHED Chairperson Popoy De Vera said in a press conference that the commission is looking for “additional allies” to help monitor schools’ compliance and cover enough ground as it seeks to course-correct the quality of seafarer training.

“CHED does not have that many personnel, along with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), considering that the (maritime) schools are located all over the country,” De Vera said in Filipino.

CHED previously vowed to work with MARINA to ensure the compliance of its maritime programs with international standards, which would entail improvements in its monitoring and evaluation of seafarers’ training and assessment modules. 

Following this, the European Commission extended its recognition of Filipino seafarers’ certificates, saving the jobs of 50,000 Filipino maritime workers on EU-flag vessels.

De Vera said CHED will also meet with universities and maritime schools to inform them of the monitoring efforts of the agency, so they can “give the correct documents (and) they are open to being evaluated.”

“This has to be the effort of all stakeholders, not just one government agency,” De Vera said.

CHED has shut down at least 15 maritime programs it deemed to be non-compliant with standards, De Vera added. CHED will also stick to its five-year moratorium on new maritime programs amid its ongoing review of all maritime schools to evaluate their compliance with international standards.

Assessment test for seafarers 

De Vera added that CHED has already commissioned the Center for Educational Management (CEM) to create an “assessment test” to screen the students enrolling in maritime programs. 

Once rolled out, De Vera said the test can be used by higher education institutions to “better assess the preparedness of students who will go into maritime programs.” 

CEM also develops and administers the National Medical Admission Test for medical students.

Since 2006, the EU has flagged the Philippines' compliance with international standards for maritime workers, which came to head in 2021 when the European Commission warned that it would withdraw its recognition of Filipino seafarers' certificates unless Philippine authorities took serious measures.

The Philippines sends out the most number of seafarers globally compared to any other country, according to a 2021 report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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