The Solomon Islands School of Marine and Fisheries Studies: training seafarers
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 21 January 2008

Maritime training in the Solomon Islands was previously done at the Marine Department office before the British Government decided to set up a school in 1963. The British government then had a fleet of ships that they used to meet their transportation needs. The bigger ships in the fleet went to Fiji as well as Gilbert & Ellice Islands (which are now two separate independent countries, the Republic of Kiribati and Tuvalu). The New Hebrides (now the Republic of the Vanuatu) was also visited by the ships. When the government recruited people to work on its ships, they looked for healthy seafarers, not their education level. One of the ships used for training was called the “Training Ship Ranadi” (T. S. Ranadi).

School of Marine & Fisheries Studies in the Solomon Islands

The British government realised that there was a need to train seafarers not only from the Solomon Islands but also from other Pacific Island countries. In the early days, students came from as far as Fiji, Cook Islands, Niue and Vanuatu.

The first principal of T.S Ranadi was Captain John Anderson from England. Several expatriate principals followed before the post was localised in 1995.

Since its inception the maritime school was part of the Marine Department. It later affiliated itself to the Honiara Technical Institute (HTI). In 1984, the Solomon Islands Government turned the Honiara Technical Institute into the current Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE). The T.S. Ranadi became one of the Schools under the umbrella of SICHE and its name was changed to the School of Marine & Fisheries Studies. The name changed because fisheries training was included together with the maritime programmes.

The early courses that were run included:
Deck: Pre-sea,  Coxswain 1, 2 and 3, Mates & Master Solomon Islands and Mates & Master Pacific Islands.

Engineers:  First , Second & third Class Mechanic, 300BHP and 500BHP.
The certificates that are offered now include:
Deck:  Basic Maritime & Fisheries, Basic Safety, Advance Safety, Class 6 Master/Engineer, Class 5 Master and Class 4 Master.
Engineers:  Class 5, Class 4 and Class 3 Engineer

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