Greek Government To Stop Documenting Students’
Citizenship and Religion
The Greek Ministry of Education announced on Tuesday
that from now on, all diplomas issued by the country’s
secondary schools will include neither the citizenship
nor the religious affiliation of the students.
This comes as a result of a recent decision by the
country’s Personal Data Protection Authority, which
requested the Greek state to cease including this
personal information in its archives and recording it on
the diplomas it issues to students.
Tuesday’s announcement complies with a ruling by the
country’s independent privacy authority that responded
to a complaint by atheists and rights activists.
”In compliance with the number 28/2019 Decision of the
Personal Data Protection Authority, the Ministry of
Education and Religious Affairs has launched an
amendment so that religion and citizenship are no longer
listed in school records, diplomas, and the “myschool”
information system,” the statement noted.
The authority found it was illegal for school
authorities to list pupils’ faith and nationality on
end-of-school certificates on an internal Education
Ministry portal, and on declarations non-Greek Orthodox
parents must sign to exempt their children from
otherwise obligatory religious education classes.
Speaking about the decision, Minister of Education Nikki
Kerameus said that her Ministry decided to go ahead with
this amendment in order to comply fully with both
national and European laws.
Education Minister Niki Kerameos said authorities are
now taking appropriate actions to comply. Greek schools,
she said, should be “free and non-exclusionary.”
Up until now, all diplomas issued by Greek schools
included the religious beliefs of the student as well as
a notation of his or her citizenship, and this
information was kept in the schools’ archives.
Greece stopped the listing of religious faith on state
identity cards in in recent years, despite strong
opposition from the powerful Orthodox Church of Greece.