31 Dec 2012

The effects of the Nigerian Culture on Education, Intelligence & Creativity (part 4)

Another element of the Nigerian culture that affects the education of her people is the disposition of the majority towards sharing of knowledge.

Nigeria happens to be an environment where unhealthy competition has been allowed to inhibit what ideally ought to be a free flow of knowledge and information between people, with many such occurrences observed between students in higher institutions, lecturers and students, colleagues at work, and so on, all of which are areas of concern.

This arises from a certain degree of insecurity and a misguided reasoning that withholding what one knows might give some competitive edge or leverage somewhere down the road. Although this may be necessary, probably even justifiable in a few situations but it is absolutely uncalled for in many cases where Nigerians exhibit this culture. Such cases include situations in which students withhold important information from one another, or those in which lecturers withhold knowledge from students and other lectures in order to remain comfortably superior. Other such cases include those in which leaders and managers deliberately expose their subordinates to less training in order to keep themselves in a position where they are always needed and 'indispensable'.

This is very different from what is modelled in the western culture where information & knowledge sharing is highly embraced and even encouraged across all facets. For instance, a former Goldman Sachs employee once told me that a manager only becomes truly ready for promotion in the firm when it is established that his team can do well enough and produce necessary results without him. That way, talent building is encouraged and more opportunities can be created to the benefit of everybody unlike the approach popularly embraced amongst Nigerians in which growth opportunities are wittingly or unwillingly stifled.

Another element of the Nigerian culture that should be discussed is a gender-discrimination based ideology that women should never as capable or equipped as men. Although unspoken sometimes, many Nigerians are of the opinion that a woman needs not be as educated as a man, if educated at all in the first place. This is because amongst other reasons, a well educated woman is considered to be a threat, is believed to be tantamount to an arrogant wife etc. Infact, I had a classmate that holds this belief so passionately that he once swore never to marry an educated woman. Of course this belief exhibits itself in other subtle ways but the underlying thoughts are usually the same and the effects can never be underplayed. For instance, in order to become socially acceptable and play safe within this cultural inanity, some Nigerian women actually consciously bury their talents, restrain their own career progress, opt out completely on their educational pursuits and so on.

This, without doubt reduces the chances of building a completely civilized, educated and productive nation to nearly zero and goes on to affect even the output per capital of countries where such is prevalent. In their research work, José A. Tavares (a lecturer of economics at Cambridge university) and Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti (an associate economics professor) considered gender discrimination to be economically inefficient and established it as a factor that accounts for the significant difference between income levels in developing countries like Nigeria and developed ones like the united states of America.



by Damola

4 comments:

  1. It is important to support child's education compaign in the world, an important factor throughout reshaping along with establishing the world. I couldn't agree more on this. Everybody deserves a decent education no matter what. It doesn't need to have a grand technology and/or resources e.g. essay writing as what this today's generation offers.

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  2. The article is utter rubbish. Nigerians have the highest rate of education among all immigrant groups and American or Western cultures are the most competitive and over the top than any other part of the world. Winner take all is a common cultural construct, which begs the question, is this just another way of using racism and bigotry that is world renowned, is it not. I find that whites will never give an honest assessment of anything not white. Same shit, different day

    ReplyDelete
  3. The article is utter rubbish. Nigerians have the highest rate of education among all immigrant groups and American or Western cultures are the most competitive and over the top than any other part of the world. Winner take all is a common cultural construct, which begs the question, is this just another way of using racism and bigotry that is world renowned, is it not. I find that whites will never give an honest assessment of anything not white. Same shit, different day

    ReplyDelete