Critical thinking is one of the facets of life that UP is constantly honing us to develop. May it be subject courses that involve analysis and problem solving, proving equations and philosophical ordeals, UP encompasses all these avenues and possibilities. But translating these information from our heads to creating something creative and appealing to people is yet another tall order. More specifically, coming up with appealing infographics from something already instilled in our minds is one heck of a challenge. And our group as interns at the Action for Economic Reforms (AER) has managed to devise something to evaluate these two skills through an Educational Discussion and Infographic Tutorial and Contest regarding Sin Tax Law last March 15, 2014 at Deutsche Bank Room 303 at the UP School of Economics.
Initially, information was disseminated through talks and video presentations from various sectors such as the AER, Department of Health, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Congress and most especially from the youth. The technicalities from the rationale to the current challenges of Sin Tax Law were thoroughly presented in the said discussion. This starting phase is crucial as the power of correct and accurate information acts as a prerequisite to critical thinking. Immediately following all these was an infographic tutorial to equip the high school students on the basic know-how needed to make a good infographic. This was not a hands-on interactive form of tutoring but a mere spark to the creative minds of the students.
In the field of Economics, providing incentive is important in inducing people to do a particular thing or to direct their behavior into something you want. This is what we have anticipated and have incorporated in the event itself. Giving prizes such as expensive gadgets amounting to as much as ten thousand pesos (P10000) to the grand winners of the participants with the best infographics is an evidence of this. Free food and transportation are another incentive that was put into the equation in inviting the students.
Information is a powerful tool that people can obtain from fruitful discussions and forums such as our Sin Tax Educational Discussion. It equips people with the right notions about certain issues or concepts that were ambiguous back then. But paired with these pieces of information is the responsibility to spread and share these to as many people as possible. Allowing people to become aware and knowledgeable of what you know is vital in raising consciousness to a large population. Moreover, before being able to impart knowledge to them, being critical must be a preceding step. And as stated above, converting these vital well thought information into something appealing to the eyes of the public is an extremely difficult task. This event apparently tried to do both. And yes it did deliver. It hit two birds in one stone.
Ian Nicole A. Generalao