The Implementation of a curriculum for severely intellectually disabled learners - a success story?


    Julialet Rens , Hannelie Louw




How to Cite

Rens, J., & Louw, H. (2023). The Implementation of a curriculum for severely intellectually disabled learners - a success story?. International Journal of Special Education, 38(2), 90–101.


This paper focuses on the experiences of teachers regarding the implementation of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement or CAPS for learners with severe intellectual disability in schools for learners with special educational needs. The curriculum was developed to ensure that the needs of learners who have special educational needs will be met by reducing the depth and width of the national CAPS used in ordinary public schools. It was written at a more functional level by considering the cognitive abilities of these learners. A sequential explanatory mixed-method research design was applied. The quantitative phase consisted of a self-developed questionnaire sent to 21 pilot special schools in all nine provinces of South Africa. Collages and art-based focus group discussions were used to generate data for the qualitative part. Most of the participants agreed that it was good to have a structured curriculum that gave teachers guidelines and lesson plans. However, issues such as a high workload, assessment, time management, resources, and training were problematic in some schools. The findings of this research were used to develop a manual that can be used to train beginner teachers who have never worked with the CAPS for severely intellectually disabled learners.


CAPS for learners with severe disablity, curriculum for special schools, learners with special educational needs, Learners with severe intellectual disabilit


IJSE Vol 38, No: 2, 2023

Volume 38, Number: 2, Year 2023 of International Journal of Special Education