History, Vision, Mission


This excellent centre for the teaching and training of learners with special educational needs has had a very humble origin. Ds. Kriel was elected as chairman of the 14th General Committee eleven years after the death of his 16-year-old son, Jan, who suffered from epilepsy. After a decision was made that the teaching of the children of the Jan Kriel House and School will now be covered by the Department of Education, the committee bought the old rectory in Kuils River in 1936 from the Dutch Reformed Church.

It was Mrs Kriel’s dedication and hard work that led to the official initiation of the institution on May 4, 1937. She was a remarkable woman who encouraged people from across the country with her faith and passion to get involved with the cause of the children of Jan Kriel School. Funds were urgently needed to appoint staff, to set up buildings and to take care of the growing number of children. In 1939 they acquired a plot of farmland and the boys were stationed in the cowshed while the horse stables were set up for the New School.

In 1942 the Dutch Reformed Church took over the management of the institution and the cooperation between the Department of Education and the Jan Kriel Institute, as it is known today, is born. This follows the systematic development of infrastructure and expansion of aid structures, which currently offer approximately 550 learner opportunities.

This specialized tuition and expertise will always be expensive, but after more than 80 years we still believe in its value. A child referred to us will not be rejected due to financial incapacity or religious beliefs.


Each learner with his / her unique educational needs must achieve his / her full potential to grow to maturity and adapt meaningfully and independently in society.


To use specialized and individualized structures to educate and support each learner with special educational needs (especially the learner with specific learning barriers and / or epilepsy) so that each learner may grow spiritually, intellectually and socially in realising his / her potential.