SHARIFAH Naqie might be just 15, but she has set her sights on becoming a food and beverage entrepreneur.
The Outram Secondary School student said she was inspired by Ya Kun Kaya Toast's executive chairman, Mr Adrin Loi, who gave a talk at her school.
"I know it won't be easy," said the Secondary 3 student. "But he told us we have to take risks and persevere."
Her school has already set her and other students on the right track by exposing them to the business world through talks by entrepreneurs, and getting them to write business proposals and even run a mini-mart in school.
For instance, as part of the school's business and enterprise programme, Sharifah came up with brochures to market attractions such as the panda zoo in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province, after a two-week school trip there last year.
This year, she learnt to be an "eco-preneur", designing eco-friendly bags and writing business proposals to market them.
Outram's programme is an example of what schools have been doing to make learning more "authentic", and help students apply what they learn from textbooks.
Schools will take on more such initiatives - Education Minister Heng Swee Keat announced this week that all secondary schools would have two new programmes by 2017.
The first is an applied-learning initiative that will help students see the relevance of what they learn in the classroom. The second is a learning-for-life programme that will help students develop character and values.
Principals said the schemes, which will involve all students, represent a more concerted push to promote teaching and learning in an "applied" manner.