Recently I had the opportunity to impart some basic navigation knowledge to a group of seafarers on Mahsuri's island of legends. A diverse muddling of men with the need to acquire a piece of paper officiating them as legal seafarers. Ironic when you realise that they spent most of their breathing moments with the sea yet somehow all those experiences does not count - a piece of paper does.
45 men registered with 43 turning up. From late teens up to those reaching their 6th decade. Some can't read, some can't see (but refused to wear glasses), some can't speak proper English or Malay and one who came in an "S 320". It was challenging, yet their enthusiasm carried the class on till past midnight. Imagine two days to teach buoyage systems, rules of the road, basic chartwork, first aid, safety, seamanship, stability with a touch of Malaysian law.
6 of them failed the mandatory oral exam. I am sure, not for lack of knowledge but either the inability to express themselves or becoming overly nervous when facing the examiner. They should be able to re-sit the oral exam with a nominal fee. Good luck guys.