Improving education quality

Improving education quality

Strategic priorities of competence approach in organization of educational process in Kherson State Maritime Academy

Khodakovskyi Volodymyr Fedorovych, Ph.D. in History, Professor, Rector of KSMA

In Ukraine there has recently formed an urgent necessity of transition to new educational standards. Strategy of educational development was determined by Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

Kherson State Maritime Academy integrates actively into this process, therefore it is necessary that attention should be intensified namely on the competent approach in educational sphere and this will provide a high competitive level of the academy graduates. In this connection there in the academy was established a working group that has elaborated theoretical material and developed the main approaches in teaching special subjects and all these approaches will be a basis for their implementing into the educational process of the academy.

The conceptual basis of competence approach implementation in organization of educational process in Kherson State Maritime Academy and its structural departments was approved by the corporate meeting of professorial, teaching staff and supporting personnel of the academy.

Academic year 2013-2014 should become an adapting one in Kherson State Maritime Academy. It will give an opportunity to improve the educational process providing a high qualification level of the academy graduates. The latter is considered as significant requirement of the present-day labour market.


E.V. Belousov , A.I. Lyashkevich

Today we have a paradoxical situation: Ukraine, losing the bulk of its merchant fleet continues to be one of the leading players in the shipping market. Now, about 40% of all crews on ships manned by sailors of European shipowners , originally from Ukraine. Of course, it is quite encouraging fact, firstly, because it is - the real way of Ukraine on international labor markets , and second, it provides income in the country up to one billion dollars per year.

The maritime industry, being international, dictates the rules of training of seafarers worldwide. Today there is no notion or Filipino or Ukrainian sailor but there is a notion of a sailor - a native of the Philippines or Ukraine. No matter where they are trained, they must meet the requirements of one - the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These requirements are set out in the International Code Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW ), which is based on multilevel training maritime professionals competency-based approach [1].

For example, in the preparation of marine engineers has five levels, ranging from the ordinary and ending with the chief engineer (Fig. 1). In preparing the ship electricians - two levels: Electrician and electrician mechanic. For each level, highlighted the major features that this or that person must carry on board, and under each function written competence, which should seize bidder to occupy the post. The higher level of training, the large number of competencies bidder must possess , including the competence of the previous levels.

This training system adopted in most countries, Ukraine is a new trend in the educational process. Hence the relevance of implementing competence-based approach in training in Ukraine will increase based on the output of our country on the global labor markets and for the maritime industry , which is an international, such a task is a priority.

In Soviet literature there are so many definitions of competence-based approach, but according to maritime education we offer to stay on this interpretation: the competence approach - a set of general principles of the goals of education, curriculum selection, organization of educational process and assessment of learning outcomes. [2]

Figure 1Themultilevel scheme of marine engineers trainingunder the STCW Code competency-based approach.

This definition is completely agreed with the basic principles of the STCW Code. It can be demonstrated with the example of marine engineers training,examiningthe basic aspects of their training based on the above definition and the requirements of the Code:

1 . The objective of education is to developstudents' ability to solving problems they will meet in their professional activity, as well as in other areas, rely on their own professional and social experience. The renewed STCW Coderepresents these abilities as a set of competencies that the each applicant should perform.

Figure 2 displays the chart A-III/ 2 from theSTCW Code, where the basic requirements for the preparation of the Second and the Chief Engineersare set out. These competencies are listed in the first column of the table.

2. The content of education includes adapted experience of solving professional, social, cognitive, moral, political and other problems on the knowledge and skills. The professional knowledge and skills are listed in the second column of the chart A-III/ 2 in the renewedSTCW (figure 2);

3. The educational processis organized to create the conditions for developing students’ self-help experience in solving professional, educational, moral, and other problems that make up the content of education.During the educational process, students must demonstrate mastery of the relevant competencies; the ways todemonstrate are given in the third column of the chart A-III/ 2 (fig.2)

4. The assessment of the educational outcomes is based on the analysis of the level of education that the students achieved at a certain stage of learning. The example criteria for assessing the degree of mastery of these competencies are shown in the fourth column of the chart A-III/ 2 (fig.2) STCW Code.

Being a legal base for the competencies determination in accordance with the specified functions, STCW code doesn’t regulate methods of marine specialists training, though makes it possible to determine the level of their competence.

To organize an educational process in all maritime educational establishments, IMO developed Model Courses that stipulated minimum requirements to the knowledge and skills that an applicant for the position aboard shall possess. Model Courses determine the intersubject communications for each level of training, present a plan according to the topics of lessons and recommendations on the organization of training process. IMO Model Course 7.04 regulates training of the Officer In-charge of Engineering watch and IMO Model Course 7.02 – for the second level and Chief engineer [ 3 ].

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Sphere of competencies.

Knowledge, professional skills and habits.

Methods for demonstrating competence.

Criteria for evaluating competence.

Propulsion machinery operating

Design characteristics of the working devices of the following mechanisms and associated auxiliary equipment:
1 main diesel;
2 ship steam turbine;
3 ship gas turbine;
4 ship steam boiler.

Examination and evaluation of trainingin one or more of the following forms:
1 approved work experience;
2 approved training experience on the training ship;
3 approved simulator training;
4 approved training using laboratory equipment.

Design characteristics and operating unit are explained and understood properly.

Picture 2. Section of the table А-III / 2 of STCW code, that contains main requirements for the Second and Chief engineers training.

Every point of the Model course is aimed at the acquirement of one or several competencies under the STCW code by the cadets. Thus, integration of Model Courses into the process of training at the level of Maritime Lyceum, College of the Academy enables to reach the minimal standard of competence while marine specialists training for every educational level (pic. 1).

Integration of Model courses into the national standards of training can be accomplished, to our opinion, reconsidering the applicable programs of subjects for professional training by following a thematic plan of program with the corresponding thematic parts of Model courses.

Preliminary analysis of STCW code and Model courses makes it possible to assume, that a lot of courses of specialty disciplines can be significantly expanded within a national standard of training. It may be achieved by adding an amount of hours for studying separate topics and adding topics into a thematic plan, not stipulated by courses. Such approach shall improve the quality of training according to the main competencies as well as broaden the horizons of the cadets on this or another subject, enchasing basic training.

There is no doubt that expansion and intensification of vocational training courses will require revision of intersubject communications with general engineering and scientific training courses, which are also expected to exceed the bounds defined by module courses. Taking into consideration the above mentioned, we suggest the following scheme of competency building approach implementation into educational process of ship engineering department:

- adjusting curricula of subjects that constitute vocational training course in accordance with IMO module courses;

- extending curricula by introducing topics that exceed the bounds of competences, which are given consideration in module courses, and give a possibility to advance learners in knowledge in particular subject;

- adjusting intersubject communications in accordance with available course books, educational and laboratory facilities, taking into consideration methodological recommendations given in chapters D of module courses;

- implementation of intersubject communications exceeding the bounds of basic module course that embraces subjects within general scientific and engineering training courses;

- development of curricula for subjects of general engineering training course with due regard for module courses recommendations and intersubject communications with vocational training courses, adjustment of intersubject communications;

- implementation of intersubject communications among subjects of general engineering and general scientific training courses;

- development of integrated curricula that will include subjects of general scientific training course and general engineering training course taking into consideration requirements of module courses and intersubject communications.

As can be seen from the above, the scheme described here will enable implementation of competency building approach, starting with vocational training based on strict correspondence with IMO and national standards requirements. Thus the whole training process will be structured in order to form cadets’ competencies in the sphere of their future professional activity.

Competence Approach: Actual Interview

Leonid Abramovich Pivovarov

Urgency of Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is specified in the Regulation V/19.2.10 of the International SOLAS Convention, «About compulsory installation of ECDIS on ships», which was introduced since 01.01.2012 as well as by STCW Convention Regulations А -II / 1 and А -II / 2.

We have talked to the teacher of the Ship Navigation and Safety Chair, the Sea Captain, Leonid Abramovich Pivovarov about the necessity to gain competences while studying the subject “Navigational Information Systems”.

– Leonid Abramovich, please, tell, what certificates must the Captains, Chief Mates and Navigational Officers have according to Manila amendments?

– In accordance with Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, all captains, chief mates and navigational officers, who work on the equipped with ECDIS ships, must have certificates about the operational use of ECDIS based on the IMO Model 1.27 (2012).

– Which criteria must be used to assess competence while studying the subject “Navigational information systems”?

– Supervision of ECDIS information is carried out in the way, facilitating safe navigation. The information, got from ECDIS (including the overlap of ECDIS and the function of radar tracking, if stipulated), properly arranged radar tracking, plugged in sensors and also prevailing conditions at time of the voyage.

- What knowledge and professional skills of future marine specialists are mastered by ECDIS?

- Exploring ECDIS in navigation will provide awareness of the possibilities and limitations of ECDIS. This is a deep understanding of data and electronic navigational chart, the accuracy of the data, the correct presentation of different chart formats; the danger of excessive confidence and knowledge of the ECDIS functionsthat are necessary according to the current operational requirements.

-How does the programof subject include?

-The program is designed in strict accordance with the requirements and recommendations of SOLASConvention, part V, Regulation 19; STCW Convention (STCW) with Manila amendments; IMO Model courses: 7.01, 7.03, 1.27, 1.28, 1.07, 1.08 and National education standards.


Sphere of competencies.


Knowledge, professional skills and habits.


Methods for demonstrating competence.


Criteria for evaluating competence.


Academic discipline under which the mastering of competence is ensured.


A list of topics which corresponds to the academic discipline, the number of hours and the form of carrying it out.


A list of educational material on mathematics and natural sciences to be mastered.


A list of educational material for professional and practical training.

- And, finally, what are your expectations as for the program to be implemented?

- After the theoretical course, practical and laboratory works on the new TRANSAS cadets must fully master the following knowledge, abilities and skills: capabilities and limitations of ECDIS, interpretations and analysis of the information received from ECDIS, the operating procedures, data and system files, use of ECDIS for route planning, reproducing the circumstances which happened and controlling the system functions.

-Long-term experience on vessels with ECDIS in the integrated navigation system that meets all the latest requirements of IMOfavours the successful implementation of the programme in the educational process.