Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed marine engineers of the country to be more efficient and work with patriotism to sustain in the present competitive world.
"You will have to uphold tradition and culture and the national flag of the country wherever you go as representatives of Bangladesh not only as voyagers," she said.
The prime minister gave the directives while addressing the graduation parade of the 51st Batch of Chittagong Marine Academy through video conference from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.
Sheikh Hasina said it is the responsibility of all including the marine engineers of the country to build Bangladesh as Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Terming Bangladesh Marine Academy as an internationally-reputed institute for creating efficient marine cadets and officers to run international maritime ships, the prime minister said the academy played a very important role in creating merchant marine officers and marine engineers after the independence of the country.
She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman developed the academy as a full-fledged and modern institute through undertaking a project titled "Development of Marine Academy" in 1973.
Considering the potentials of the academy, Sheikh Hasina said she laid the foundation stone of a university named "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Maritime University" in 2011 and the university began its academic activities in 2013.
She said the permanent campus of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Maritime University would soon be established at Bakolia of Chittagong while four more academies in Pabna, Rangpur, Sylhet and Barisal are also being set up with cooperation of the Chittagong Marine Academy.
Besides, she said, the government would also establish such Marine Academies in other divisional headquarters of the country in phases.
Referring to its academic courses, the prime minister said the three-year term degree pass course has been upgraded to four- year honours course from 2016 and as a result, it would be more easy to attain higher knowledge and training on marine subjects.
She said Bangladesh Marine Academy is an affiliated institute of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Maritime University and at the same time, it is one of the 14 branches of the World Maritime University. Besides, it also achieved recognition of the Training Standard from the European Union and Singapore Port Authority Training Department in 2011 and 2015 respectively, she said.
About Bangladesh's winning of Maritime boundary cases against India and Myanmar at the international court, Sheikh Hasina said her government during its 1996-2001 tenure ratified the UN law of the Sea Convention and began legal battle from the year 2009.
As a result, Bangladesh won the battle in 2014 establishing sovereign rights over huge sea areas at the Bay of Bengal, she said.
Pointing out Bangladesh's merchant marine captain Moin Ahmed, who was elected as the Director General of the International Maritime Organization in 2015, Sheikh Hasina said the achievement would be helpful in installation of the Bangabandhu Satellite.
A total of 132 Nautical Cadets and 128 Marine Engineering Cadets graduated in the course.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and Commandant of the Marine Academy Sadiq Hossain spoke at the function.
Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu, Prime Minister's Advisors HT Imam and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury were present at Ganabhaban.
Earlier, the graduated marine cadets gave a guard of honour to the prime minister while she took salute at the parade through video conference.