July 24, 2024

Seafarers’ Training and Education in Kenya’s History

Andrew Mwangura Maritime Consultant (Photo/ Courtesy)

By Andrew Mwangura

Maritime Consultant

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Historically, the Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education (MIOME) now Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), is an ultimate development of the age-old maritime trade of Zanzibar dating to 17th century and beyond.

This was long time before the centre of trade shifted to Mombasa and Dar es Salaam in the late 19th century during the period of scramble for Africa.

Thus, seafarers’ education and training in Kenya has its history as early as 1948 when MIOME was inaugurated. The training, then, included seamanship and navigation.

The institution was also recognized by the UK department of transport – a predecessor to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which issued seafarers’ certification – in training of marine engineers, where the 2nd Engineer Certification Part A was trained at MIOME.

During the said period, there was also East African Harbours and Railways Training College in Kisumu offering course for marine engineers.

Later the training of seafarers was abandoned when MIOME was turned into Mombasa Technical Institute (MTI) in 1966, then Mombasa Polytechnic and Mombasa Polytechnic University College (MPUC) in 1976 and 2007 respectively.

As MPUC, it was later awarded a Charter in 2013 when it was renamed as Technical University of Mombasa (TUM). Since then, it has invested in the provision of Maritime Education and Training (MET) to different cadres of interested students.

Bandari College (predecessor to Bandari Maritime Academy) was established by the  Kenya  Ports Authority (KPA) to offer marine training  leading to qualifications as harbour and small coastal vessel operators.

In the advent of Kenya being whitelisted, the college was transformed into Bandari Maritime Academy under the State Department of Shipping and Maritime to offer STCW Convention compliant courses leading to qualification as seafarers at various levels of the industry.

On the other hand, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is also providing maritime courses leading to Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering qualification.

The Kenya Coast National Polytechnic (KCNP), previously Mombasa Technical Training Institute (MTTI), is presently offering a certificate course leading to junior technician (non-officer) qualification (craft certificate), while Kisumu Maritime Centre (Kimarce) offers STCW compliant rating (non-officer) and safety courses.

The Indian Ocean Maritime Training Centre (IOMTC) offers STCW basic safety courses, but it has been struggling with challenges of trainees’ enrolment.

Currently, the MET  institutions offering relevant training courses to the working and would-be seafarers, include Bandari Maritime Academy, Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), Kenya Coast National Polytechnic (KCNP), and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

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