NL 43 Editorial

NL 43

Capt Teo


By Capt. Richard Teo

The Harvard Business Review recently reported on where
in the world, the digital economy is moving the fastest
(HBR .org/2015/02). These movements in digital economy
propelled some innovations into the maritime industry like ECDIS, for
aiding navigational competence and various simulation models and
applications for command – bridge operations, stevedoring and cargo handling techniques. Although these digital innovations provided training in advanced shipboard management and navigation, our multinational and multi lingual industry did not achieve any notable benchmark to minimise or eliminate mistakes in the digital applications within the multi-lingual literacies of the complex maritime industry.
One wonders then whether reliance on new digital equipment,
without being fully digitally literate may have led to the several
reported incidents at sea. These incidents are serious growing concerns.
Cultural globalisation in the market place has made English as the
dominant language of knowledge production as expressed by Y L Koo (2013) in “Language and Culture in Multilingual Contexts”. The English Language is the lingua franca in the maritime industry. However, to cope with the swiftly evolving technology of the 21st century, language and literacy skills per se are no longer sufficient. Koo (2013) expressed that workers situated in multiple, intersecting and culturally diverse contexts are increasingly required to have aggregate of literacies such as linguistic, intercultural, multimodal, critical-creative, subject content, technological, civic and inter personal literacies to negotiate the complexity of local-global institutions, organisations and communities.  
How true for seafarers and personnel in our maritime industry indeed!
We have taken for granted for so long that the maritime applications of the English language we use as Lingua Franca (ELF) is sufficient for our complex industry. Not any more, as has been experienced by the many near-misses and incidents between pilots, tug masters and ship’s bridge team management.
Some highlights in this issue are:
 Aline de Bievre from the IMO writes about her experience at a
meeting in Denmark, with e-navigation and communications. Her
comments have a direct impact on the nature of digital literacy and
the multi-modal literacies that must be addressed as complexity
of operations expand its boundaries in a new work order that
is evolving. Harmonisation of English as lingua franca (ELF) and
the way we all communicate in ship operations and associated
activities must realise the critical and mindful pluriliteracies. English
as social capital in our industry has not been adequately explored,
despite those who might think otherwise. In our industry, within
the multi-layered, intercultural and multi-cultural encounters, it can
be seen that English is not just a whole entity or unit and the weight
of meaning is not singly borne by linguistic grammatical features
(least of all) alone. Gunther Kress expresses this notion clearly in
“Writing the future: English and the Production of a Culture of
Innovation (1995, 1996)” and his “Review of Literacy in the New
Media Age, (2003)”
 Professor Noriyuki on the fine work by women in maritime at
the National Institute for Sea Training NIST in Japan. Three of
his teaching staff have contributed to his communique. Indeed
we hope that there will be more women joining the seafaring
communities in Japan and other seafaring nations.
 Iman Fiqrie at ALAM, explores the career pathways of MET
practitioners where Master Trainer’s accreditation may become a
necessity to provide and sustain the quality standards of maritime
education and training. When each expert maritime professional
takes on the task of facilitating the transfer of their experience,
knowledge and skills to the learner, each must himself/herself
be formally educated and trained in educational science and

Editor’s note: Readers may wish to write about their professional development for teaching and administration staff at their various institutions.
GlobalMET will in 2015-2016 provide continuous professional
development (CPD) for maritime teaching staff in Competency Based
Learning and Competency Based Education, Training & Assessment.

This CPD will provide the impetus for change that will ensure that institutions move from traditional knowledge based delivery to facilitation of competency based training, certification and licensing.

Editor’s note: Read Richard Teo’s article on “A journey of hope and aspiration”, a three – part narrative of the GlobalMET – TKF project, an initiative recommended by the ADBFisher Report
As GlobalMET pursues its objective to establish a Centre of Excellence (COE) in the community of shipping, it is worthwhile to note comments
by Dr Annie Koh (Vice President for Business, Singapore Management University (SMU) on “culture of sharing” between universities. She expressed that through a culture of sharing, universities build excellence through academic entrepreneurship and the need to encourage competition plus cooperation, particularly with industry partners (source: Company Directors 2/2015). This model of culture of sharing would surely empower maritime institutions and industry partners to create and foster excellence for maritime education, human capital and the industry.

NL 43 Editorial 2
Figure 1 – Human Capital progression in Maritime through CPD
From these platforms, a COE as the pivotal point of contact for maritime industry practitioners, policy makers, economists, professionals and researchers could provide for relevant knowledge, promote quality competences, best practice, support capacity building and encourage peer to peer interchanges and discourse.
Discussions and views on the development, structure and services to be offered by the COE are encouraged via this Newsletter, or write directly to the Executive Secretary for the Editorial Committee.

For the Executive Secretary,

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