Maritime students undergo hi-tech simulator training
With the aim to prepare the maritime students in becoming proficient in real navigational scenarios, Northwestern University invited professional trainers from the SeaTech Maritime Institute, Manila to train all 2nd year students in either deck-watch or engine-watch keeping last August 26-28, 2010 at the Marcelo Tajon Hall and New Media Center of the University.

The training program is a requirement in apprenticeship by any Philippine shipping agency that are hiring maritime graduates. "This training program is a door to our graduates to get hired," Vincent Racuya, COME Disciplinary Officer, said. "With this experience and exposure, I am confident in saying that our students will be more competitive in real navigational scenarios."

The deck-watch and engine-watch keeping training program was conducted through a series of lectures and with the use of a proficiency skill simulator. The training program aids the students in exercising their critical thinking and discretion during emergency and crisis situations. Moreover, the lecture introduced the students to the operation auxiliary engine, handling fuel oils and lubrication, and taught them the accountabilities and responsibilities of both the officers-in-charge
and the officer of the bridge. "A trainee is like a captain that sees all the different angles of a ship because he is facing a visual scene while steering, this will help him in exercising discretion while in high seas," Capt. Jesus Cabrera, Chief trainer and Course Director Commander of the training program, said.Cabrera was amazed at the eagerness and the active participation of the students." The students are disciplined and they don't waist the knowledge and provisions given to them. They really enjoyed the experience. The first class simulator and the behavioral realism of ship handling together with the guidance of the instructors was first rate.

COME trainees expressed that the training program helped them understand the importance of diligence and discipline. "It was educational and we really learned a lot especially in the simulator exercise," Mark Renz Bigsot, BS-MT II, said. "This training program prepares us to be effective when we will be in a real environment." Ogie Tamayo, BS-ME II added. The trainers were Captains Bienvenido Cabacungan, Winnie Bandong and Billy Boregas.