What's the difference between Refresher Course for AFF and Refresher Course for BFF ??
The MMD seems to be still reeling in confusion about this whole STCW 2010 thing. The frequency of amendment circular by the MMD causing the change of eligibility for various certificates and endorsement is a tell-tale of what brain the MMD is in about the STCW.
Until April 2015, the senior management shipboard officers were not required to have the refresher course in BFF and PST. Since the STCW 2010 has been put into processing by the MMD from January of 2015, the effect of April 2015 circular will raise a natural question about the quantifiability of those applicant who have escaped the burnts of this change. Why should those candidates not be retro-declared as "disqualified" unless they too undergo training (in a true sense, those cost-incurring changes) as stipulated by the circular ?? All candidates who have obtained any certificate or endorsement between Jan and Apr 2015 should be held null and void. Isn't it ??!!!
The April 2015 circular raises another query within us. How on earth should a person be required to do a "Refresher" training for the Advance level as well as the Basic level of the same module (e.g Fire Fighting, Survival Techniques, Medical first aid) ?? What gives more pain to our liberated mind is the reply by the surveyors justifying this distinction in terms of number of hours of the curriculum . The ironical truth is that even those who have undertaken all these so called "refresher course" can not spot the difference between what they previously knew and what new learning they have been made to acquire through the refresher course. Thus, it duly becomes rather more 'undigestable' to understand the distinction of Refresher Course-A Versus Refresher Course-B, the advance and basic level for the same module . It even leaves us with another critical thought query -- What is the essence and legal purpose of a Refresher Course Advance Level when it is always going to leave you asking for complementing it with a Refresher Course of Basic level. Infact the weird effect of MMD's confusion is that it has rendered all the Advance level Refresher courses certificates as HALF BAKED. !! When ALL candidates will necessarily have to complement it, then what is its own value ?? Think.
MMD is surely not being driven by its own conscience in regard to the STCW 2010 amendments. Infact we can hear the surveyors too giving the rationale of distinction with phrases such as "other countries they are doing it like this", "you read the requirements", "the course duration for the refresher of Advance is X hours, where as refresher of basic is Y hours". Critically speaking, can the objectives of changes driven by the STCW 2010 amendments be described as Number of hours of course curriculum ?? Is the 'number of course hours spent' the sole wisdom for changes brought about the 2010 Amendment to the STCW?
Only god can know where the brains of our people are .
And now since the conscience is missing, perhaps not one of the some many million Indian seafarers knows the good rationale from the bottom of his heart. Therefore, the conspiracy theorists have ample space to fill the void of conscience with a word that this entire STCW 2010 thing is nothing but a 'government sponsored money making racket'.