This term’s inauguration of the Classroom of the Stars (Aula dels Estels) as a physical educational corner of the Escola gives me the opportunity to evaluate all of the hard work that the organisation carried out in 2017.
- 36 courses with 1,300 participants; an increase of 50% in courses and 47% in participants from 2016
- 38 technical workshops of the port terminals with 1,430 participants, resulting in an increase of 25% from last year.
In total 74 training actions with 2,730 attendees from 46 countries and with the participation of 35 training centres were carried out by the Escola’s team. 75% of the students came from Europe, 20% from America and 5% from Africa.
56% of the activities were carried out in languages other than Spanish, and for the first time ever a course took place outside of European borders – specifically in Morocco.
54% of the participants were professionals or graduate and post-graduate students active in or linked to companies in the transport sector.
The quality of the courses has been very highly assessed. An average of 4.39 out of 5 is an excellent result, proving that the professors, the organization and the means made available to students were very fitting to the tasks entrusted.
The activities of the Escola are growing, and to accommodate that we at the Port of Barcelona have to increase the means that we make available to it as well. In 2018 we will launch the new Aula dels Estels: a space integrated in the Drassanes passenger terminal, without taking away from the every-day operations of the maritime station. This makes various new working arrangements possible.
This new space can allow for up to 70 attendees. Moreover, the benches of the terminal have been placed in such a way to give potentially 80 additional seats, giving the classroom a total capacity of 150 participants.
In order to delimit the zone of the classroom, 21 mobile panels have been manufactured, which help structure the area according to the didactic requirements. The panels have been covered with photographs related to port operations, so they serve as teaching elements.
All of this represents a quantitative and qualitative leap. From the small classroom of 25 seats located inside the Escola to this new facility that, more than just a classroom, is a space for teaching and education. It also comes with a privileged location and a view over the unique old port.
The port, through the Escola and the Logistics Community, becomes a laboratory of practices that make getting to know port operations first-hand easy and practical. In this project we also bet on education as a driving force for change and progress.
The work that is being done with the training centres, in the hands of teachers who want to improve the quality of the teaching and who have opted to innovate with new non-traditional formats, is very important: teachers who have risked taking a different approach to enrich the teaching elements and improve the preparation of students for the real world.
The contribution of the Academic Partners is fundamental. This includes the many operators, all of them involved with courses such as Forma’t al Port, MOST, SURCO, or the technical courses such as Groupage. They comprise many people actively and consistently involved with the project of the Escola. Operators committed to the training of young individuals who want to work in the sector; who make their training facilities available, donate equipment and time with the added value of having someone innately familiar with the day-to-day operations explain and share their expertise as part of the training experience.
And this has not been the only novelty this quarter. During the month of January, the Areté Excellence certificate was awarded to the Tanit(*) ship of the Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation (COTUNAV) as a classroom of the Escola at an event in the Port de la Goulette. The ship Tanit joined the ranks of Cruise Barcelona, Cruise Roma, Fantastic, El Expreso de la Robla and an already large number of transport means that share the magic of becoming the Escola’s training locales.
Classes were also given in the classrooms of the Port of Tangier MED in Morocco, within the framework of the TransLogMED project that takes place between Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt.
I have no doubt that we have entered a new stage, with a more consolidated project that currently has the complicity and support of port communities and training centres in numerous countries. The Port Authority of Barcelona and its partners believe in the project and want this momentum to continue. And in this we have the help of everyone, and of the alumni who by now hold positions of great responsibility in many countries and with whom we hope to be able to work again in the near future.
President of the Escola Europea and
President of the Port of Barcelona
(*)Tanit was a Phoenician goddess, the chief deity of Carthage alongside her consort Ba`al Hammon. She was also adopted by the Berber people.