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Report Card Day can be terrifying for any child. Imagine sitting beside your parents while your teacher reviews all your mistakes and how you’re not paying attention in class. Your parents say very little except to acknowledge your teacher’s report. It’s going to be painful ride home. This scene probably happens at most other schools.

Just not at INCS.

“Come see our submarines!” little Mia and Mika call out excitedly. They’re both flanking a table where a small water tub rests. “Blow into the straw and the plastic bottles float to the top. We made these ourselves”.

At the next table, Demas of Primary 3 is busy fiddling with his own plastic assembly. “It’s a car I made out of a plastic water bottle. I put a motor here, and connected it to a battery with a wire. When you put the battery in place, the propeller spins and then the car moves.” He struggles momentarily to get his car to start. “I think it’s the wire,” reports the young mechanic as contemplates other possibilities.

All around the reception and waiting area, student projects are proudly on display. One section of wall showcases student essays written in English besides a series of Chinese brush calligraphy. A group of students present a multimedia slide show on a wide-screen display. On the other end of the wall, science projects sit on individual tables with poster boards explaining the primary concept of the student project.

Two girls break out in laughter in one corner of the foyer. “Most of my friends left already with their parents,” chimes Mia. “I’m still waiting for my mommy to come,” she says then runs off to chat with a few remaining classmates.

Along a corridor leading away from the foyer, children walk beside their parents, smiling while proudly holding their report cards.

“We’ve set up the hall area for teachers to meet with parents and students,” explains Puan Siti who teaches ICT. “We try and keep these sessions with parents as casual, relaxed and friendly as we can.”

In a nearby classroom, two teachers prepare a word game for students. “Come and play the Spelling Bee game. It’s fun!”

As students wander off, you can’t help but wonder what happened to the gloom and aversion that usually hangs in the air during Report Card Day in most schools. Parents and teachers come to celebrate and praise their students for their effort and progress over the semester. The event has been planned as a celebration or festival of learning. It’s the first of a new tradition unfolding which event coordinators have called the ‘EduFiesta’. The good news Is no one leaves with a scowl or frown on their face. It’s a happy Report Card Day here at INCS.