Nationwide Abitur Postponed as NRW Faces Download Issues: Students Frustrated

NRW postpones Abitur: problems with the download "extremely annoying"

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany has postponed the written Abitur exams, which were originally scheduled for Wednesday, by two days to Friday due to a “massive technical fault” when downloading the written tasks for the central high school diploma. The matriculation examination subjects affected include biology, chemistry, nutrition, computer science, physics, and technology. Schools did not receive the tasks on time due to the download disruption, which was not fixed in time for Wednesday’s exams. The school and education minister has promised to conduct an “exact error analysis” to prevent future disruptions.

Muslim high school graduates may not be able to take the exam freshly rested as the new exam date is the festival of breaking the fast, also known as the Sugar Festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Morning prayer is an important part of the holiday that takes place about an hour after sunrise in a mosque or an open square, preceded by ritual washing of the whole body.

Critics of central Abitur, a system where the same examination positions are distributed to schools by central institutions, argue that it should be replaced by decentralised examinations. In decentralised examinations, schoolteachers set the tasks, which are checked by the Ministry of Education and corrected, allowing for an equivalent Abitur. Two years ago, a student representative called for this system to be implemented to account for pandemic conditions. While central Abitur is common in most states in Germany, it has been a controversial measure in Austria due to the large number of different school types and focuses.

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