A detailed history of MTC can be downloaded from here, otherwise, refer to below information



The Marine Training Centre (MTC) was originally founded as a colony of the Merchant
Marine Training School (MTS). Training was conducted on MV TERAAKA [an ex Polish
cargo and passenger ferry.]
MV TERAAKA: The 980 gross ton 80 passenger MV TERAAKA was built in 1959 as the
Yugoslavian coastal vessel OPATIJA. She became the NINIKORIA in 1968 and was sold
to her current owner, Edgar Sebastian Roberts, who converted her into the diving
yacht TERAAKA in 1975. Aside from her plat formed stern, her lovely exterior lines are
very liner-like. TERAAKA has completely rebuilt interiors and well-maintained machinery
spaces and has sat out the greater part of the past decade in layup at Ensenada,
The first course of 45 cadets joined MTS on 5 April 1967 with cadets No. 46 to 90 joining
in October 1967.


The shore school base acquired a former USA weather station. Senior trainees were
engaged on board TS TERAAKA for practical training. The first groups of MTC cadets
joined their first ship in October 1968.


Four cohorts of trainees graduated from the programme. The remainder of the trainees
from the 1st Course to the 5th Course passed out in June 1969. The 6th Course trainees
joined the Colonial Mercantile Marine Training School (CMMTS). In October 1969 the 7th
Course trainees joined CMMTS.


The shore school expanded. MV TERAAKA was moored to a buoy, and used as a
floating training bulk due to fracture of her propeller shaft. The 8th Course joined in
February 1970 followed by the 9th, 10th, and 11th Course. (4 courses overlapped,
altogether 9 months in duration). Construction of the first MTC administration doublestorey
building was completed.

1971 – 1972

Another intake of 4 overlapping course trainees (12th, 13th, 14th, 15th), joined in 1971. The
16th, 17th, 18th and 19th course trainees joined in 1972. The first Lifeboat, Fire Fighting and
AB upgrading courses were conducted for Kiribati seafarers in CMMTS in November
1971. These were led by Instructor P. White and Examiners; Capt. Lomi and Capt.
Taylor. The first Qualified Steward upgrading course was conducted in July 1972 by the
Catering Instructor Boitabu Smith.
TS TERAAKA was declared unseaworthy. The GIDA owned vessel “MV NINIKORIA” GRT
100 was renamed “MV TERAAKA” and was used as a training ship for CMMTS cadets.
The training syllabus and teaching methods were revised and updated. A higher
standard of discipline and personal conduct was demanded of trainees and
staff. The 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Course trainees joined in.


The control and operation of MTS was transferred to the Ministry of
Education Training and Culture. Four courses overlapped and further trainees joined;
24th, 25th, 26th and 27th courses.


Recruitment dropped to 2 overlapping courses; the 28th and 29th Courses.

1976 – 1977

Recruitment increased again to 3 overlapping courses.
An officer from SPMS filled the vacant post of Captain Superintendent of MTS.


The course intake increased from 60 to 70 trainees, Upgrading of courses was introduced. In 1978, Tuvalu established its own Marine Training School.


On Kiribati Independence Day, CMMTS was renamed Marine Training School (MTS) and the 39th, 40th, and 41st courses trainees joined the school.


The 42th , 43rd , and 44th courses were conducted. The number of applications from young men increased in but the intake was reduced to 40 trainees.


MV TERAAKA was laid up at the mooring buoy in Tarawa lagoon. The Kiribati Shipping Company cargo vessel MV MOANARAOI was used as a training ship for MTS cadets while the new training ships were almost at a construction completion. MV NEI MOMI was offered by the Government of Kiribati (GoK) as a training ship for MTS and carried 7 trainees +1 MTS Officer. The 47th course trainees first joined MV NEI MOMI.


The pre-scholar cadet scheme for MTS trainees was initiated.


MV NEI MATABURO was offered by GoK as a training ship for MTC and assigned to carry up to 15 trainees + 1 Officer from MTS. This provided invaluable seagoing experience. New Zealand became an important sponsor and donor to major projects at MTS. The Government of KIrbati bought the sailing ship Nitro as a training ship for the cadets.


All courses continued as normal with no significant changes.

1985 -1986

The title ‘Marine Training School’ (MTS) changed to Marine Training Centre (MTC). New additions included Block B, a 56 bed dormitory, a classroom for 36 trainees, a galley, messroom for 140 trainees, and a provision store, all completed and sponsored by NZ aid. Also installed were a Macgregor hatch, Samson Post, derricks, and a steering simulator. (The simulator is available from 16:00 – 07:00, 5 nights each week for 1 hour for trainees to learn about steering.)


MTS was renamed Marine Training Centre [MTC]. All trainees now receive instruction on both Deck and Engine subjects. Block A has a 56 bed dormitory, 2 classrooms, shower and toilet room, and a Leading Hands dormitory for 6 trainees. A general store, emergency store, Macgregor hatch and ships engine room simulator was included.


The engine room & workshop were extended. Three working diesel engines of 220-750 kWmachine shop with lathe machine & grinding machines; a welding bay; a drilling bay; a cutting area; a space for more projects; and a boat harbour was extensively developed, The lifeboat area was strengthened and the harbour enclosed with sheet piling. The slipway was renewed and a channel to boat harbour was dug out.


The Grade 5 Deck Officer course began. Three courses were conducted for fisherman of the Te Mautari company. These included maintenance, fire fighting & general safety on board large modern fishing vessels. The 1st fisheries course was conducted, and a new building was erected for fisheries training. MTC combined with FTC.


The Smoke Chamber for fire fighting training was completed.

1990 – 1992

Grade 5 Engineering courses were offered.


Grade 5 Deck Officer Courses were terminated. A Survival Platform was installed and 17 Deck Officers and 11 Engineer Officers were successful in their examinations.


16 trainees and 1 Officer from MV MATANGARE attended MTC. A Mooring Simulator, several bollards, and a Freefall Lifeboat were introduced. A mock-up of a ships stern was attached to the Macgregor hatch.


A preparation course for nautical schools was established [Deck Officer Cadet training course]


Five Deck Officers Cadet training courses were held at the MTC under the guidance of an expatriate Master Foreign-going Seaman. 60 students were trained under this scheme and 49 of them could be recommended for Nautical Schools in NZ and UK.


FTC was transferred to the old Tungaru Central Hospital site in Bikenibeu. The intake increased from 72 to 90 per course. A ventilation system was Installed, and additional alarms and flooring was completed. The intake age and requirements for entry to the course became a directive from the Government: age – 18 to 30 years. No minimum school level was required.


Funding from SPMS provided a 20 ft galley container [used for steward training] Block B was extended [funded by NZ].


Block C was finished [funded by EU]. A solar water heater was installed for the galley. Workshop equipment and upgrading projects were funded by NZ (Audio/ video room, seating for 50, charts and an instrument room.) At the 58th course, seven deck officer trainees studied in co operation with the Fiji Institute of Technology which finally led to the Second Mate Foreign Going Certificates of Competency for those who are successful. A donation of safety equipment, fire equipment, lifeboat diesel engine, and the fire pump was funded by New Zealand aid.


A stand-by generator as a back up was donated by the EU. The model of a ship from the 1700s was donated to the building by Reederei Nord. The MTC trainees soccer team won the Tarawa Mens’ 2nd Division Championship. MTC conducts its final preparation for compliance with the STCW ’95 Convention.


MTC received one new rescue boat (donated by New Zealand). Also received were five expired life rafts and survival suits (donated by CSG Auckland and SPMS). MTC has a total of 5 serviceable lifeboats and 4 different types of Davits. MTC’s organizational and academic structure was reviewed in order to comply with new regulations of the STCW 95 Convention. All documents produced by MTC with the support of the SPC were sent to the IMO. This resulted in ensuring that MTC remains an the internationally-recognized training centre White List. MTC – Kiribati –was the first in the region to Pass the IMO Audit for STCW ’95.


MTC Staff in 1999 comprised Captain Superintendent, three officers, one officer from NZ, and 34 local staff. It was a busy year for school development and led to the formation of an Academic Board and a Board of Studies. The steering simulator (funded by Canada) was installed and used for training.


A Syllabus Committee was established and Intake procedures were re-organized for the first time. The first ToT training for MTC instructors was conducted by TTI. MTC won the Lloyds Training Prize as a Maritime Institute.


The Maritime Reader was introduced. The MTC Intake Reader forms a backbone of the intake procedure. I-Kiribati Overseas Seamen’s Unions new Wage and Working Conditions contract negotiation was held at the MTC campus. Those attending included SPMS delegation, ITF representatives from London, Australia, Japan and the KIOSU delegation. MTC held its first Open Day in December.


A SPECIAL COURSE programme for former trainees was Introduced for those trainees who were dismissed from MTC but who were given a second chance. The first Special Steward’s course was introduced to meet the high demands from SPMS ships.


MTC conducted the first IDF course trainees [79th course] – a twelve- month training at MTC plus a two-month sea going training on SPMS owned ships overseas.


The 2nd ToT training for MTC instructors was conducted by TTI. The 2nd Special Steward course was run to meet the high demands of stewards from SPMS owned ships. The first NCL-SAOK female trainees were trained as stewards.


Construction of a new Duty Office was funded by the German Ambassador. Basic Safety Training Courses (BSTC) started for the Norwegian Cruise Line(NCL) employees, including over forty men and women. Twelve young girls were admitted to MTC by the SPMS authority for the first time to train as stewardesses.


The Second Stewardess Course was started to relieve Stewardess onboard SPMS ships. A New Steering simulator was installed [New Zealand funded]. MTC Institutional Strengthening and Capital Project (Phase I) commenced after the Feasibility Study (completed in 2003).


In April there was a major event in the history of MTC commemorating the 40th Anniversary. President HE Tong attended and Mr. Bolten represented the South Pacific Marine Service (SPMS). A new Welding Course was established.


The CBT Seagull Course was approved and conducted. The Multipurpose Sport court has been constrcucted. New fence nad gates are constructed as well. Donated by AUSAID. MTC Clinic approved by SBG – German Medical Authorities has been set-up in our premises under control of SPSM with help of AUSAID.


The new classrooms, dormitories, trainee’s toilets and ablutions and the renovation of the galley funded by the NZAid to an amount of more than $4.1m completed. The construction of cafeteria, mini-conference room and the hospitality training section was completed. New lifeboat and the Bridge and Engine Simulators funded by AUSAid, together with Crane are installed.


A new English Curriculum was introduced to ensure that all trainees received the most effective and relevant communication skills to carry out their roles as professional seafarers. The Curriculum includes interactive activities and encourages studies to develop confidence and competence in their use of English, and to maintain their language development after the programme of instruction. Roz Savage depart Kiribati through MTC harbour and MTC channel to continue her journey on crossing Pacific Ocean padlling in her 7-m boat. SPMS 40th Anniversary held at MTC. MTC audited by Germanischer Lloyd for GL Quality and Training System in November.


Thanks to AUSAID donation and SPMS support for on-going costs, satellite internet have been installed in MTC. New English Lab with 25 computers are installed. Benefits to Kiribati become apparent with income from overseas allotments to the Bank of Kiribati showing approximately AUS$.8 million per annum. The school administrators regularly review and upgrade the Centre’s capability with the support of the Kiribati government and several other foreign governments and agencies. SPMS currently provides employment for more than 1500 seamen. Under STCW 95 requirements, safety courses are to be renewed every five years. Finally the CMMTS / MTS / MTC have among them, produced a total successful output of more than 3500 trainees since 1967. This number includes those who are not going to sea any more for one reason or the other, but there are still more than 1000 MTC graduates who are on board ships at this very moment.