‘Real Reasons Students Fail CoC Examination’ – Effedua
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Last week the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) during a press conference reported an embarrassing mass failure of its students in the Certificate of Competency (CoC) examination.
According to the DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, out of a total of eight hundred and twenty-nine (829) officers cadre that sat for the examination, only two hundred and sixty-four (264) officers passed; representing 32 percent.
Conversely, a total of five hundred and sixty-five (565) candidates, which is 68 percent failed 2020/2021 examination.
But reacting to the development, management of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron in a statement attributed the mass failures to lack of adequate classroom attendance and preparations.
According to the Rector of MAN, Commodore Duja Effedua, despite suggestion by MAN in 2018 and 2019 to retool classes attendance to improve on candidates performance, nothing was done, noting that only about 30percent of the candidates meet up the required class attendance.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Management has been drawn to some recent comments on the mass failure in the Certificate of Competency (COC) Examinations conducted by NIMASA at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria in 2021.
“A few days ago, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) complained about mass failure of some candidates who participated in the 2021 Examination. ”
“The DG NIMASA was correct with his assertions but it goes beyond that.
It would be recalled that in 2018 and 2019, I warned that the trend would continue unless certain issues were addressed.
“My personal observation is that these candidates hardly attend classes. Candidates register for the examination but only about 30% of the registered candidates end up attending all the classes.”
The Rector explained that the classes are purely revision tailored and should not be misconstrued as training classes nor as bonafide students of MAN in the real sense.
“It is pertinent to note that these classes are Revision Classes and not training as misconstrued in many quarters. There is nothing new that these candidates need to be taught as they have already been trained at various institutions including the Academy before coming to the Academy to write the Examinations.
“For example, over 70 per cent of the candidates who wrote the 2021 COC Examination attended classes sparingly and some others attended classes less than 20 times and many others did not attend classes at all after registration.
“The Academy maintains an attendance register which is usually forwarded to NIMASA to keep the Organisation
updated. It is important to note that a good number of these COC candidates have never been to any formal school or had any formal education in Navigation/Seamanship or Engineering except that they qualified to sit for
the examination by time, having served onboard vessels for at least 36
months as prescribed by the Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) which automatically makes them eligible to write the Examination.
“Having mentioned some of these observations, it will be miraculous for such candidates and those who make scanty appearances at lectures to pass examinations.
“It should also be noted that the Academy’s role is simply to conduct Revision Classes for the candidates to rekindle their knowledge of what they already know before becoming eligible to sit for the COC examinations.
“The truth is that the mass failure has nothing to do with the quality of instructions but can be attributed to poor attitude and poor classroom attendance by several candidates.”
Effedua also identified other factors responsible for mass failures in the CoC Examination, which includes the challenge of candidates working to keep their jobs and at the same time working to secure the CoC.
“The candidates can also not be blamed 100% for poor classroom attendance because, there is no way candidates can leave their employers to spend 6 months at the Academy in the name of Revision Classes as they will definitely lose their jobs. In the same vein, one cannot also blame the ship owners who have invested billions of Naira to buy vessels and also spend millions to maintain these vessels, only to leave these vessels lying idle at jetties because their crew are not available.
“The end state for buying these vessels is to make money by moving goods and providing services from one
point to the other using these crew, and if the crew are not available because they have gone for revision classes for 6 months, how do you expect the ship owners to reap the dividends of their investments?”, he asked.
To solve the problem, the maritime administration and stakekholders must close rank and find a common ground.
“lt is therefore necessary for NIMASA and Stakeholders to come together in order to resolve this impasse, otherwise the challenge will persist and only exceptional candidates will continue to pass the examinations.”
It will be recalled that the DG NIMASA while grieving over the sad development hinted that steps are being taken to change the narrative.
Despite also hinting at identified factors, he did not say what the factors were.
Jamoh said, “Gentlemen of the press, you can see a very serious and negative figures in terms of our students sitting for professional examination of different certificates that we are recording of which amounts to up to 68 percent failure.”
“The agency is studying and liaising with various institutions to see how we can address this gap. There are so many factors attributed to this and we hope that before the middle of 2022, we will overcome those challenges”, he said.