Recorded maritime history says that during 50,000 BC people of South Asian region went down to the pacific islands with wooden sailing ships. And the human civilization spread over the other parts of the world through such sea-expeditions.
With one of the largest river networks, one of the largest bays, largest delta, longest unbroken sea-beach, one of the oldest sea-ports, over 60,000 seafarers during the first half of 20th century, ancient wooden shipbuilding heritage and recent modern ocean-going shipbuilding impulse – Bangladesh is truly a maritime country. Besides, we are keeping world shipping green through the process of safe recycling of scrapped ships! ‘Made in Bangladesh’ wooden ships had been used in Turkey, China, Portugal and Germany during 13th-18th centuries. Therefore, Bangladesh possesses rich maritime heritage and current professional feat as well.
World scenario was changing fast after the WWII (1939-46). Pakistan along with East Bengal (Bangladesh) became independent in 1947 from British rule. Thereafter, the then Pakistan Government looked into developing various industrial training facilities. As such a scheme for establishing a marine academy beside Bay of Bengal had been sanctioned in 1952. Juldia Point (valleys of Juldia-Rangadia) at the Karnaphuly river-mouth at Bay of Bengal was chosen for the planned academy. Interesting to note that the reason was to create a ‘ship-like environment’ due to geographical location the Juldia Point was considered as it was almost like a ship but not floating! Such suitable facility/location was unique in the country and was not available from Suez to South-East Asian countries except India. (Project Plan – Development of Marine Academy, Phase – II [1973-1980])
Building basic infrastructure commenced. The establishment budget was Taka 31.19 lakhs in 1952, then increased to Taka 53 lakhs in 1959 and finally to Taka 58.3 lakhs in 1961. The initial project was completed with the aim of training 22 Nautical Cadet Officers and 22 Marine Engineering Cadet Officers. The new-built ‘Mercantile Marine Academy’ went into functioning from 3rd September 1962.
Afterwards, during our Great Liberation War 1971 the then Pakistan Government shifted the Academy’s function to Karachi leaving this Academy abandoned. Immediately after liberation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman resumed it as Marine Academy with appointing Capt. (Merchant Marine) M L Rahman as the Commandant (first Bangalee Commandant). Bangabandhu also took a project titled “Development of Marine Academy (1973-1980)” and could raise the Academy at the forefront of maritime professional excellence in South Asia.
TIME LINE: 1952 – 2009
1952 Government took the decision of establishment of a Marine Academy at Chittagong.
1962 Mercantile Marine Academy was established under Colombo Plan; commenced
functioning from 3 September 1962.
1971 Pakistan Government shifted the Academy at Karachi leaving MMA abandoned.
1972 Bangabandhu started it as “Marine Academy” and appointed Capt. M L Rahman as the
first Bangalee Commandant.
1973 A Project titled “Development of Marine Academy” was launched by Bangabandhu.
1975 Prime Minister Capt. M Mansur Ali visited the Academy and attended the 10th batch
Cadets’ Graduation Parade as the Chief Guest.
1976 Chief Engineer of Marine Academy Mr. Ken R G Rotter introduced 4 years’ Engineer
Cadet Training Scheme at the Academy in accordance with the UK Merchant Navy
1977 British Prime Minister Mr. James Callaghan visited the Academy.
1080 Mr. Chandrika Prashad Srivastava, Secretary General of IMO, visited the Academy.
1987 Ship simulator (Navsim-4) was collected for training.
1989 The project titled “Development of Marine Academy” has been completed successfully.
1990 Marine Academy achieved the coveted recognition as one of the 14 branches of World
Maritime University (established by IMO in 1983).
1992 Under the certification of University of Chittagong, 2 years’ Bachelor of Science degree
course has been introduced.
1996 Under the certification of National University, 2 years’ Bachelor of Science degree course
has been introduced.
1996 The new Governing Body (current) of the Academy has been formed.
2000 The names of the 2 disciplines of the Cadet Training – Nautical and Engineering have been formally & officially renamed as the Pre-sea Nautical Science and Pre-sea Marine Engineering respectively.
2000 Ensuring complete compliance to the requirements of the STCW ’95 Convention,
Bangladesh has been duly included in the IMO’s White.
2003 Under the certification of National University, the 3 years’ Bachelor of Maritime Science degree course started.
2004 Plan taken in hand to enhance Bangladesh Marine Academy into a Maritime University.
2007 The Academy has been awarded with the “World Maritime Day Award” as a recognition for providing maritime training at international standard.
2008 European Commission (EMSA) audited the Academy (recognised in 2011).
2009 A project titled “Enhancing Capacity of Marine Academy” has been commenced.
2009 A programme titled “Modernization of Training Facility” has been commenced.
2010 Academic link (for STCW 2010) with AMC Australia.
2011 European Commission (EMSA) recognized the Academy.
2011 Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Academy on 26 Feb 2011 & unveiled Inaugural Plaque for Sheikh Mujib Maritime University.
2011 IMO SecGen Efthimios E. Mitropoulos visited on 13 Jan 2011 and inaugurated the Seafarers Memorial.
2011 IMO Mission on 28-29 March 2011 (STCW 2010).
2011 All courses revised according to STCW 2010 requirements.
2012 Female Cadets training introduced.
2012 E-Learning & CBT introduced.
2012 Employment Drive in cooperation with IMEC & SSA (Singapore).
2013 New approved Projects: Training Ship & Nav/Engine Simulators.
2013 IMO SecGen Mr. Koji Sekimizu has visited Academy on 25 June.
2014 Singed MOU with WMU for joint Academic Program
2014 Membership with GOBTC.