Open Education Data (GR0065)
Commitment 1: Open access to data of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
The information is now covered by Law 4305/2014 on the «Open access and re-use of documents,
information and public sector data, amendment of Law 3448/2006 (Α΄ 57), adaptation of national
legislation to the provisions of Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council,
further strengthening of the transparency, regulation of issues regarding the recruitment competition
of the National School of Public Administration and Local Government and other provisions» (Official
Gazette Α’ 237/31.10.2014), with the differentiations provided for under the Directive regarding
libraries, museums and archives, and a specific provisions regarding the protection of cultural
heritage. The specific provisions of Law 3328/2002 shall remain in force.
Description of Commitment
A wealth of data falling within the scope of Law 4305/2014 is available to the Ministry of Education,
Research and Religious Affairs and its supervised entities and will be made available for re-use in
order to contribute to the development and participation of citizens.
Access to public information
Implementation entities, stakeholders
Implementation: Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
Cooperation with supervised entities.
Contact details: Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Directorate of Electronic-Network
1) Web services for data mining (API).
2) Integration of new datasets.
3) Mobilisation of entities of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs for data
4) Improvement of the quality of datasets.
5) Open data release decisions:
Key milestones - Timetable
(1) Web services for data mining (API)
(2) Integration of new data
(3) Activation of Ministry of the Environment (s) for data publication
(4) Improving data quality
(5) Data Release Decisions
IRM Midterm Status Summary
1. Open access to data of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
The published NAP mentions (p. 7-8) the main objective for this commitment as follows:
"Description of Commitment: A wealth of data falling within the scope of Law 4305/2014 is available to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and its supervised entities and will be made available for re-use in order to contribute to the development and participation of citizens."
"Objectives: 1) Web services for data mining (API).
2) Integration of new datasets.
3) Mobilisation of entities of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs for data publication.
4) Improvement of the quality of datasets.
5) Open data release decisions."
The published NAP mentions (p.8) the milestones for this commitment as follows:
"1) Web services for data mining (API)
2) Integration of new data
3) Activation of Ministry of the Environment (s) for data publication
4) Improving data quality
5) Data Release Decisions."
Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Greece's action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Greece_Action-Plan_2019-2021_EN.pdf, p.7-8.
IRM Design Report Assessment
Access to Information
This commitment aims to publish statistical and education data held by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (MERA). Since the action plan was adopted, the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
The commitment is verifiable, but it has a very low threshold, as it does not contain details about the criteria for choosing datasets or how to decide to publish them. The commitment has sufficient relevance to the Access to Information OGP value because, if implemented fully, it will lead the government to disclose more statistical and education-related information (milestones 2 and 5) and improve the quality of the information disclosed to the public (milestone 4). 
As of May 2019, MERA had published more than 250 datasets on Data.gov.gr  and fewer than 10 open datasets on Geodata.gov.gr.  Most of this information is annual statistical information about education, including student populations, registers of schools and libraries, details of teaching staff and personnel changes. Despite having published many datasets, MERA's official website  has not been found to contain published reports on the lead agency's open data policy and practice. Reports on user satisfaction and uptake of data sets have not been identified. MERA confirmed that no web services and/or APIs existed already upon release of the action plan (May 2019). They said that the new data published (milestone 2) would refer to 2018 statistical data. The Ministry clarified that machine readability and ability for reuse through Creative Commons licenses apply for the most part to data already published. Concerning milestone 5, MERA clarified that there had been two open data release decisions,  one in 2018 and one in 2019.
Due to the lack of clear details or identification of datasets, even small advancements may be considered completed results. The lead agency, asked about taking into consideration any experience from implementation of the previous action plan in the design of this commitment, or integrating feedback from the action plan co-creation process, did not affirm either of these.  MERA mentioned that the rationale behind choosing datasets to open is based on availability and quality, which have been used as criteria to identify the datasets mentioned in the action plan (registration requests in secondary schools and substitute teacher recruitment for primary education) as well and stated that no relevant stakeholders outside the public sector are involved in this process.
The overall potential impact of the commitment is coded as minor. The commitment, if fully implemented, is expected to make available more datasets and improve the quality for reuse, but it is not clear how it will respond to the needs for 'development and participation of citizens', as indicated in the commitment objective. In terms of government practice, the commitment is unclear about whether it may create noticeable change in the responsibilities or operations of the public institution other than what is already stipulated by the law on access to public sector information.  In terms of ambition, milestone 1 on web services constitutes an ambition which, although not technologically innovative, departs from current practice, as no APIs currently exist. The remaining milestones and activities do not depart from current practice and, at the same time, do not constitute any step forward beyond what is already mandatory to achieve according to legislation; thus, they are not considered ambitious.
For future commitments, it would be important to bring in non-governmental stakeholders to identify priority datasets. Non-governmental stakeholder interviews revealed at least two high-value information sets they would like to see published. Academic experts  mentioned higher education datasets in general and more specifically the case of datasets with information about university students, some of which are currently published in an overly fragmented and very poor-quality format. At the same time, further desktop research  revealed a number of topical issues for this ministry's domain of responsibility, for which publishing open data would have a value and could improve policies and processes. These topics include information around the exams for entering higher education, teacher recruitment, problems in schools, responses to teacher and student mobilisations, changes to school regulations and educational support for underprivileged groups (wildfire victims, remote area inhabitants, refugees, non-Greek nationals, persons with special needs).