The Story Behind PAL Learning
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
We share the story and the people behind PAL Learning and why we chose the middle of a pandemic to start our service.
A Post-COVID 19 World
During this unprecedented time, home-based learning has become the new normal.
We realised that health and safety challenges associated with the pandemic necessitated a different approach. However, it is still important to offer high quality and affordable education. Therefore, we created PAL Learning.
PAL Learning is an education technology (edu-tech) platform that offers proprietary features such as streaming video, interactive e-materials and a learning management system complemented by NIE-certified tutors.
We were founded by Mr Pok Vic Tor and Mr Chang Shih Khoon.
Mr Pok Vic Tor was formerly the co-founder of Litespeed group of education companies prior to founding Viva Kids Pte Ltd. The companies were involved in the provision of education services and technology solutions. These included e-learning assessments as well as profiling and management solutions sold to regional public education sector markets in the 2000s before going public in 2005. He is a Physical Education and English teacher by training and co-authored an MOE-approved Primary School English Textbook, In-step.
Mr Chang Shih Khoon is a CFA charter holder and a graduate of the NUS Executive MBA programme, with more than 15 years of operational experience across various industries. He started his career in Standard Chartered Bank for 7 years and was headhunted by a Hong Kong listed conglomerate to be the General Manager of Hypex Engineering, overseeing a 500-men marine outfit for 6 years. He moved on to be the Vice-President of Corporate Development in an Indonesia Media Conglomerate before co-founding Viva Kids Pte Ltd. Viva Kids is the parent company of PAL Learning.
The co-founders are secondary school friends who believe in a holistic approach to learning – providing instructional learning and addressing the learning needs of children of varying abilities and learning styles.
The founders recognised that tuition fees can place a heavy strain on family time and finances. In addition, classroom learning has proven to be ineffective if classes are too big or mismatched to the child’s learning level.
“One of the biggest bugbears of the Singapore education arms race is the ever-accelerating year-on-year price inflation. This has created a big divide in educational opportunities and inequalities of the haves and the have-nots. When we developed KidsExcel, in 2011, we aimed to provide unique opportunities to level the playing field. Similarly with PAL Learning, we hope to provide the opportunities at a national level for digital self-learning coupled with affordable tuition in small groups of not more than 5 students taught by highly-trained and experienced tutors for all types of learners and needs.” - Mr Pok Vic Tor, Founder, PAL Learning Pte Ltd
Based on insights from running various education-focused programmes in the past, both Mr Pok and Mr Chang designed PAL Learning to be an online e-learning platform that delivers interactive, engaging classes conducted by passionate and highly-trained and experienced tutors to a small student groups.
So how exactly does PAL Learning stand out from other tuition company offerings?
PAL Learning prides itself with its pool of highly-trained tutors who own a wealth of teaching experience in the educational industry. Offering various P1 to P6 English, Math and Science programmes designed to meet or stretch the learning needs of every child, students receive personalised attention through the low student to tutor ratio of just 5:1.
Tutors are supported by a strong web of digital components which feature MOE-aligned content designed to engage students, enabling them to visualise and deepen their understanding of the concepts taught. Explicit teaching and assessments are conducted through video conferencing platforms and the use of an interactive whiteboard space with annotation and auto-save functions that allow active discussion between tutor and students through teaching slides, videos, polls and e-worksheets. Through its specialised Adaptive Assessment technology, tutors effectively guide students’ understanding of content, correct any misconceptions, and achieve their lesson objectives.
Priced at SGD 99 per programme per month, providing academic support will no longer cost an arm and a leg for parents. Simply put, affordable tuition would mean added financial strength to a family with school-going children. Parents may also opt to enroll their children in $15 trial classes before deciding on the programme that is right for them.
PAL Learning combines the best of both worlds. We provide convenience and savings for parents while ensuring that children receive tuition from tutors with specialised teaching methods and materials.
Parents can benefit from a home-based learning format that also keeps our children safe. There is no commute and no gathering with other children in small, enclosed environments.