Bangladesh Marine Academy

Bangladesh Marine Academy was established in 1962 with the aim to produce skilled mariner for national and international merchant shipping fleet. This academy provide theoretical and practical training to cadet, deck officer and marine engineer for merchant ship. After establishing the academy at Juldia in Chittagong, it has been function well under the initial management by Pakistan Navy. After the independence, Bangladesh government took over the responsibility of the academy. It started the journey with 40 students (20 in Nautical and 20 in Marine Engineering); this number has been increased to 200 every year. There are about 4000 nautical and marine engineer cadet already completed from this academy. They have been working as captain and chief engineer in international merchant shipping fleet and other prestigious job.

Getting admission in marine academy, a candidate needs to passes HSC or A level (in science). Candidate generally has to face a written examination in Physics, Mathematics, English and General Knowledge and then also meets oral and Physical fitness test. Achieving all qualifications, a candidate gets admission either nautical or marine engineering discipline in the academy. Presently, an equal number (i.e. each branch 100) of cadets get admission in nautical and engineering of this academy in every year. A nautical cadet learns theoretical as well as practical professional subject like Seamanship, Navigation, Chart work, Communication, Ship's Stability, Administration, Rules of Road (Sea), Maritime Law, Loading and Unloading and blasting, etc. On the flip side, a marine engineering cadet receives training in different theoretical and practical professional subject like, Marine Engine, Diesel Generator, Auxiliary Machinery, Electrical and Electronics, Various System, Strength of Material, Structure, Ship's Stability, Machine Drawing, Workshop Practice etc. Along with professional trainings, both nautical and marine engineering cadets need to be acuminated with few academic subjects, like Physic, Chemistry, Mathematics and English and finally achieved graduation degree from national university. By completing professional and in academic training couple of years, a marine cadet enters in practical job (i.e. in ship) with a colorful passing out parade. A fresh academy cadet joins onboard either bangladesh shipping corporation or any other merchant ship for on job training. Having one year exhaustive practical training, a deck or engine room cadet gets further training in marine academy or other recognised maritime institute to complete phase three courses and then both deck and engineering cadet seat for examination under Director General Shipping for achieving class three certificate. Besides, they work onboard various merchant ship and side by side seat for examination in recognise maritime organisation or institute for earning class II and class I certificates. A nautical or marine engineering cadet take seven to nine years to become captain or chief engineer of a merchant ship. Then only, captain or chief engineer can serve in any merchant ship as per his specialised category (like Tanker, LNG Container Carrier, BULK Carrier, Passenger Liner, etc). On the flip side, he can serve in any shore job like, port cargo management, shipyard, merchant shipping business, ship survey, marine instruction, marine insurance, marine bank etc.

Tokyo-based Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRE) has claimed that a boom in global seaborne trade in the next 40 years (by 2050) will result in a shortfall of 364000 sea fevers. The Precious Association Limited highlighted in one of their statistical reports that there was need of 533,000 manpower in 2008 in global sea borne trade where as 499,000 manpower were supplied in the same year. There was a shortage of 34,000 officers in this sector. According to that organisation 86,100 deck and marine engineer will be needed with in 2012. This is a golden opportunity for Bangladesh to excel in maritime manpower development.

Bangladesh Marine Academy has been acknowledged as one of the 14 branches of the IMO's world Maritime University (Sewden) in 1990 for it's academic excellence, good training, quality marine manpower production and overall performance. Bangladesh recently has signed UNCLOS (UN convention on the law of the sea) on 27 July 2011 to conserve her due sovereignty in the Bay of Bengal. Now Bangladesh is an IMO white listed country. After recognising the huge international demand of seafarers, the Honorable Prime Minister has declared for establishing more six Marine Academies (in Pabna, Rangpur, Khulna, Barisal, Narayanganj and Dhaka) within 2013. Furthermore, government has declared 'Bangladesh Marine Academy' as 'Bangabandhu Maritime University' on 26 March 2011 and sanctioned handsome financial amount. [Khandakar Akhter Hossain]