Over 8,000 Utilize Soka Gakkai Educational Counseling Centers in Japan during 2006
As part of their educational reform efforts, since 1968, Soka Gakkai members working in education have voluntarily provided free counseling to preschool through high school students and their parents on a variety of problems including bullying, truancy, violence, social withdrawal, problems with interpersonal relationships and learning difficulties. In 2006, 8,598 clients received counseling at the 33 Soka Gakkai Educational Counseling Centers (SGECC) located throughout Japan, bringing the number served to over 330,000 since the opening of the first center 38 years ago.
The SGECC, administered by the Soka Gakkai Education Department, was established in 1968 as a pioneering initiative against a societal backdrop of rapid economic growth in Japan with concerns about the deteriorating quality of education in Japan. The newest counseling center was established in May 2006 in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture. Throughout Japan, there are now a total of 900 volunteer counselors who receive regular training to augment their counseling skills.
[Adapted from an article in the December 29, 2006 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]