The National Maritime Institute (NMI) of Chattogram is setting up a first-of-its-kind simulator complex in the country for world-class cadet training in ship management. It is being set up by the Ministry of Shipping as part of using state-of-the-art technology in the maritime sector and training manpower to be capable of competing at international standards.
The construction started at a cost of about Tk40 crore. Authorities expect the work to be completed by June 2021, read an NMI press release.
According to the rules of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), simulator-based maritime training is mandatory in cadet training. Other cadet training institutes in Bangladesh, such as the Bangladesh Marine Academy and private academies, have simulators but they are incomplete. If a simulator complex is set up at the government-run National Maritime Institute, Bangladesh will go one step further in creating skilled sailors who can use modern technology.
Captain Faisal Azim, principal of the National Maritime Institute, said, "This is the first such installation for simulator-based integrated training in South Asia. Bridge, engine, GMDSS, tankers, chemical tankers, and gas tanker simulators will be here. Also, there will be a: boy handling tug, crane operation, high voltage, sulfur cap, ballast water management simulator. Inland river ports will be connected to the simulator as well."
Captain KM Jasim Uddin Sarkar, Chief Nautical Surveyor of the Department of Shipping, said, "Earlier the cadets had to be trained on ships but this became difficult. For this reason, the IMO made real-time, real-environment training mandatory, just like onboarding. Simulator-based training started then."
In response to how a cadet can stay ahead if there is simulator-based training, Captain Sabbir Mahmood, head of the Marine Academy's Department of Naval Education said, "A cadet receives training on an open ship, container ship and tanker ship. But with NMI's modern and integrated simulator, some specialised training can be given, which is a first and is absolutely new in Bangladesh. This includes training on remotely-operated vessels, offshore vessels and LPG-LNG based vessels."