What is known as Jan Kriel School today – a recognized centre of excellence for the education of learners with special needs – has grown from very humble beginnings. Ten years after the death (1925) of their 16 year old son, who suffered from epilepsy, the Rev. Kriel was elected as chairman of a General Committee of 14. They bought the old rectory in Kuilsrivier from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1936, after the decision was made that education of children in the Jan Kriel School and Home for people with epilepsy should resort under the Department of Education.
Due to the passionate efforts and hard work of Mrs Kriel the facility was officially inaugurated on 4 May 1937. She was a remarkable lady whose faith and perseverance moved people from all over South Africa to become friends and sponsors of the children of Jan Kriel School. Funds were dearly needed to appoint staff, to alterate buildings and to take care of the growing number of children. Farmland was bought in 1939 and the boys were settled in the cowshed while the New School moved into the stables, accommodation being a pressing problem.
The Dutch Reformed Church accepted management of Jan Kriel in 1942. Infrastructure and other support systems evolved to give approximately 580 children opportunities at Jan Kriel School.
Specialised tuition and expertise will always be expensive, but 80 years’ experience upholds our firm belief in the value thereof for our children. A child that was referred to us, will never be turned away on grounds of financial need or belief.
Learners who experience barriers to development and learning, despite adequate cognitive abilities, may benefit from placement at the school. These barriers may manifest as specific developmental delays, specific learning problems, which may or may not be complicated by ADD or ADHD, visual or auditory sensory impairments, certain medical conditions and physical disabilities.