Culture Gap & Knowledge Tree
Education in the underdeveloped countries is about how the Western economy works and about how the Western social model works. When this learning does not connect with the language capacity of the individual, a culture gap exists.
This gap ensures that the facts, procedures, technical knowledge and other elements acquired in higher education remain separate from the human quality that it needs for full expression. These elements remain separate from the language capacity of the individual. They are just words on a list, not part of a vocabulary. This gap is the Culture Gap, the Knowledge Gap. This gap is the meaning of “cultural difference” which matters the most for economic development. This gap is what prevents university graduates from doing what expatriates do in the persistently underdeveloped countries (PUCs). This is also the true meaning of colonialism, which destroyed much of the branches in PUC cultures and superimposed Western culture and technology (branches) on the culture and language capacity of PUC peoples. (Some of the details of the Knowledge Tree are explained in this video.) (But full details can be found in the book).
The culture gap is the knowledge gap, the managerial gap, the administrative gap, the entrepreneurial gap, the technology gap, the inventive gap, etc. It is what separates the underdeveloped countries from the developed. When university education fails to close the culture gap and the ideas and concepts of the Western economic model that are learned by the student do not connect with the language capacity or central organizing concept, the graduate remains an outsider to the Western economic model, even in their own country. They cannot autonomously put to work the spontaneous creativity of language that they possess. The graduate is, therefore, shut out from the versatile and creativite opportunities in business, science, technology, and art, which are used in the developed countries to sustain and advance development. The PUCs cannot make the various creative innovation, invention, and improvement to science, technology, and institutional and social development that fuel continuous productivity and economic growth in the developed countries, and which expatriates go to the PUCs to do at will, regardless of the obstacles in these countries. Nevertheless, graduates are thrust, by virtue of academic qualification, into leadership positions in an economic system that requires resonance to properly operate.
Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr.