IMLA26 Addresses Modern Challenges in Maritime Education and Training in Georgia

The global maritime community is changing, and its pace in the 21st century is unprecedented. The 26th IMLA Conference, held on 23-26 September 2019 as an annual effort to gather world-wide maritime lecturers, addressed challenges of maritime education and training resulting from technological innovations, policy adjustments, and social-economical advances. Over 60 participants from 20 countries attended the conference hosted by Batumi State Maritime Academy (BSMA), Batumi, Georgia, with a good percentage of representation from neighboring countries in the black sea region.

In his welcome speech at the opening, Chair of IMLA Prof. Yongxing Jin reiterated the importance of proactive adaptation to an industry of rapid changes and called for all maritime lecturers to take actions to seize best opportunities these challenges present. Prof. Irakli Sharabidze, Rector of BSMA and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee of IMLA 26, expressed appreciations for efforts of IMLA that have brought together maritime academic from over the world to promote education, research and capacity building as a means to enhance the overall standards of the industry. At the opening, members were briefed on progress of IMLA’s work achieved in the past year through a presentation given by IMLA Coordinator Ms Yingming Wang.

The three-day presentations and workshops dealt with the challenges related with development and implementation of distance learning in MET, lifelong learning & continuous education, simulator training based learning in MET, problems of attractiveness of Maritime Education and Profession, collaboration between Academia and Industry for development of relevant skills, curricula internationalization and harmonization, IT technologies in MET, development of technologies in Maritime industry and its implementation in educational process, maritime training and certification challenges and other contemporary MET issues.

As a routine side event of IMLA conference, the Japanese Seafarers Group “Hatokai” and IMLA jointly presented a photo exhibit with the theme of Beyond the Horizon in recognition of the invaluable contribution of seafarers are making to the world maritime industry. Capt. Takashi Shirozu, a senior member of Hatokai and IMLA, gave a presentation on HOLAS (Happiness of Life at Seas) and Value Creation for Safety.

The IMLA Committee members met during the conference for a special discussion to prepare for the next year’s IMLA conference which is to be hosted by the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden. Ms. Anne Pazaver, on behalf of WMU and Local Organizing Committee of IMLA27, provided audience with an informative promotional presentation at the Closing. The dates of IMLA27 was announced to be 2-4 September 2020.

The IMLA26 had the privilege of being presented by high level representatives from Government of Autonomous Republic of Ajara, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia, and Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Autonomous Republic of Ajara. This event was widely covered by national and local media in Georgia.

                                                                          IMLA26 Family Photo 

                                        IMLA Chairman Prof Yongxing Jin Welcomed the particpants 

               Mr Ivane Abashidze, Vice Director of Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia addressed at the opening

                                                                            Plenary Conference Site 

                                                  Presentations at the Sessions 

                                   IMLA Gift Presentation to IMLA26 Host BSMA 

                         IMLA Cooridinator Ms Yingming Wang Gave Updates on IMLA's Work 

                             IMLA-Japanese Seafarers Group "Beyond the Horizon" Photo Exhibit Opening 

                                IMLA Conference Flag Handover from BSMA to the next Host WMU