The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has signed a cooperation agreement with Belgium's Antwerp Maritime Academy (AMA) to develop a curriculum covering several key areas of study. Transport and Mining Minister, Mike Henry, has lauded this collaboration which he said will facilitate capacity building and student and teacher exchanges between the institutions.
Speaking at the recent signing ceremony at the CMI's main campus in Kingston, Henry said the collaboration's forging was timely in light of ongoing developments in the dynamic global shipping industry.
“The friendship between Jamaica and Belgium will be strengthened even more, as a result of this new bold innovative step. AMA is the leading maritime educational institution in Europe and CMI is the Caribbean's leading maritime school. In this context, I am of the firm belief that these two institutions are marrying into a union that (abounds) with possibilities” he added.
For her part, Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr Grace McLean, who represented portfolio minister, Senator Ruel Reid, also welcomed the collaboration noting that it presents an excellent opportunity to expand educational and training cooperation between Belgium and Jamaica.
“The CMI's growth and expansion of programme offerings over the past decade is a reflection of the increasing demand within the region for well-trained students for the maritime sector” she said.
McLean added that as Jamaica moves to develop a logistics hub and more Caribbean territories build-out their maritime sectors, “we expect that there will be an even greater demand for well trained personnel to serve the region.”
In this regard, she said the CMI would be called upon to make a greater contribution to facilitate this. “This agreement with the AMA with its well established training programmes for students from across Europe and outside the continent, augurs well for the exposure of regional students to the best and most current training techniques that are available” she contended.