CINEC marks 30 years, rebrands educational programs | Sunday Observer

CINEC marks 30 years, rebrands educational programs

The CINEC campus
The CINEC campus

Celebrating its 30th anniversary on January 31, CINEC has decided to rebrand its educational service with the vision of expanding as an educational and training institute solely for the purpose of providing employable youth to the international market.

“CINEC was launched in 1990 as a Maritime Academy aimed at helping young school leavers to enter the seafaring sector from the basic level and rise all the way to Ship’s Captain and Chief Engineer ranks,” Master Mariner and the President of CINEC Captain Ajith Peiris outlines in his message in the prospectus published to mark its 30th year celebrations (1990-2020).

Sunday Observer Business spoke to former Navy Commander Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe to obtain an in-depth account of the activities of the institution.

He holds the post of Senior Consultant to CINEC and looks into all general aspects guidance, specifically handling, branding, discipline, security and the Officer Cadet Placements (Maritime Segments) in the CINEC chain.

“In 1990, Captain Ajith Peiris started CINEC only for navigation with 24 students being housed in two floors of the Ceyline Group’s Head Office building in Colombo,” recalls Admiral Samarasinghe.

After that humble beginning, CINEC was expanded by shifting it to the Fisheris Training Institute (FTI) in Mattkkuliya in 1992, and then to the present complex in Malabe in 2002. For the purpose of launching a marine related practical training, CINEC established a fully-fledged safety and survival centre in Kalutara adjacent to the river.

In 2009, CINEC set up their first branch in the East coast in Trincomalee, and in 2020 in the North, in Jaffna. The third local branch, the Metro Campus at Nugegoda commenced operations in 2012.

The maritime program at CINEC consists of: Officer Cadet (Marine Navigation) – Maritime Sciences; Officer Cadet (Engineering), Marine Engineering and Marine Electro Technical Officer - Diploma in Marine Electrical Engineering.

“We are the only authorised body in Sri Lanka which can award the highest qualification in the Maritime field,” stressed Admiral Samarasinghe.

Expanding its activities outside Sri Lanka, CINEC undertook the management of two State owned Maritime Academies in Seychelles in 2013, and in Fiji in 2014.

With the vision of providing more opportunities for prospective job seeking youth in the country. CINEC expanded its academic spectrum by diversifying its degree awarding programs in 2014.

This diversity consists of 16 courses under Engineering and Technology, 19 courses under Management and Social Science; Humanities and Education and three courses under Aviation (Aircraft Maintenance Engineering – AME).

These courses are at degree level, diplomas or at foundation level. All the courses have Government approval and recognition (Ministry of Higher Education and University Grant Commission), or are linked and affiliated to the world recognised foreign universities or institutions.

“We edify our students and simultaneously get them a six-month internship in business institutions or companies through which they can develop on-the-job-training.

This help them to market themselves and even join the permanent staff in them,” he says.

“As another aspect, we have allowed leading and giant industries such as MAS Holdings and Orange Electronic to establish their research centres inside our campus.

That’s a big flip to our students as it provides them the third and fourth year research within the campus. This also provides them a good market along with a job training,” says Admiral Samarasinghe.

He further says that though CINEC increases the annual intake of students according to the demand, the number of delivery (or passing out) could be less as the final product should be at hundred percent satisfactory level’

“We don’t give only the academic training to our students, but also strengthen them with soft-skill training through extra curricular programs such as personality development, leadership guidance, stress management, general knowledge and current affairs, character building, how to face and interview, etiquette and self-grooming, which make them someone ‘beyond a graduate’ he says.

The secret of the main success of CINEC is in their incomparable, exceptional, experienced, highly qualified and dedicated academic staff comprising a 160 permanent lecturer panel and 200 visiting lecturers.

Their supporting staff is about 100, who also fulfill their duties to make the students do their studies comfortably and feel homely. “The fees for courses are very competitive and affordable, and students are allowed to pay under many instalment schemes. Our other mission is to reduce our children going abroad for higher studies which incur heavy remittances.

Also when children are here with their parents, they get a better guidance which prevents them from going astray,” stresses the Admiral. CINEC provides scholarship schemes for those who excel in A/Ls up to 75 per cent of the first year course fee.

Then every year, based on their annual results he/she can get a scholarship up to 50 per cent of the following year’s course fee.

This is for any number of students who get marks up to the required level. CINEC is also a pioneer and leading institution for providing Higher Diplomas for Vocational Training such as welding, plumbing, electrical, machinery, automobile and other relevant courses.

Apart from that they do special projects to train people in villages, at the request of local and foreign agencies. For these CINEC conducts short term courses (a few-months in duration) in English, IT, fishing, boat driving, fishing boat mechanism and similar subjects. CINEC has many other training programs for industrial staff such as health and safety, and fire fighting.

Special career guidance programs are introduced by CINEC for school children on specifically identified subjects relevant to the future job market. ‘Supplying and International Transport Management’ which comes under Logistics in higher studies, is now included as a section of the National A/L commerce curriculum at the request of CINEC.

Admiral Samarasinghe said that CINEC has been silently contributing to the National Sustainable Development program by providing quality education for the youth in Sri Lanka and making them ready for the working environment for the local and global job market.