Tue | Aug 22, 2017

CMI preparing students for tomorrow's world

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2016 | 1:00 AMChristopher Serju
Dr Fritz Pinnock, executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute listens keenly as students from the institution engage him in conversation on January 12.

IT IS not listed anywhere on the timetable and won't be found under extra-curricular activities but there is one subject that not only underpins all areas of the curriculum but is in fact a major pillar of all training programmes at the Caribbean Maritime Institute.

"What we have done further is to introduce discipline as a core part of our programmes because Jamaica's main problem is not the lack of people with certificates but the lack of people with the right attitude," executive director Dr Fritz Pinnock told The Gleaner. "So we have created and I am not ashamed to say it - a paramilitary institution!"

He continued: "You walk around and you notice how the decibel's are low and you have more than one thousand something students here today. You don't hear about fights and all of those things in here because we have a very strict code of conduct. The dress code says that no males inside here wear earrings. Your shirt has to be tucked into your trousers - three strikes of the dress code and you are out of the school.

"This is how far we take it because again when you are employing somebody it's about presentation and it starts there and even your attitude. In the marine and professional school, 30 per cent of your grade comes from your conduct and all of these things. So we teach from the social graces and how you bathe and all of these things. We don't take it for granted (that you know) because it's a challenge for our society," said Pinnock.

When it began operations as the Jamaica Maritime Training Institute at Norman Road, Kingston in 1980 with 30 Jamaicans enrolled in the Merchant Marine Deck and Engineering course its primary purpose was to fill the need for "able-bodied seamen". Now the CMI is in demand and sought after as a training partner in a wide spectrum of courses, with 10 per cent of the 2,800 student population being foreigners.

A big reason for the ongoing demand for CMI graduates across the globe is the comprehensive cutting edge training to which they are continuously exposed and which places them a cut above engineers trained as specialists who operate in silos.

He continued: "Engineering has gone to another level. In a little while we won't be seeing spare parts shifting all over the world. You'll make them on demand because the whole concept of 3-D printing is gonna change engineering and the global chain significantly. It's about having your raw material and converting it into the right product because what we are going to be shifting around is schematic diagrams by Internet and then you gonna create what you want on demand."

That's where the world is going and CMI is leading that charge and riding that tidal wave into the future.