Education Ministry moves to end practice of recording pupils’ religion, nationality

Education Ministry moves to end practice of recording pupils’ religion, nationality

A decision by the Education Ministry made public on Tuesday formally ends the practice of Greek schools publishing the religious faith and nationality of pupils on school certificates and the ministry’s Myschool website.   

The decision came two weeks after Greece’s data protection authority (HDPA) ruled that the practice violates the country’s constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Commenting after the decision was issued, Education Minister Niki Kerameus said the ministry’s aim is to “constantly cultivate an environment for learning in schools which is free, creative and without exclusion, fighting every kind of discrimination and being respectful of religious convictions.”

She added that the ministry would also protect the personal information of pupils in line with national and European law

“It was deemed that the inclusion of religion and nationality in qualifications and certificates of studies is not necessary and does not serve their sole purpose, which is to attest to the performance and successful completion of the student’s studies,” she said.

Moreover, the ministry is also scrapping the requirement that pupils must declare that they are not Orthodox Christian so that they do not attend religion classes. The authority called on the ministry to see to it that the right to be exempt from religion classes is exercised by the pupil solely on the basis of conscience.

The ministry did not make a decision on this issue on Tuesday but ministry officials told Kathimerini that the government is awaiting the rulings of the Council of State on relevant appeals.

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