BERLIN, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has decided to postpone the date of the Abitur, the high school graduation exams, till the middle of May, the state's minister of education Yvonne Gebauer announced on Friday.
"The exams will, of course, take place with special attention to infection prevention," said Gebauer. "The health of our teachers and students is our top priority."
All schools in Germany have been closed since last week in order to slow down the spread of the virus in Germany.
Gebauer believed that schools in NRW could reopen after the regular Easter holidays. That would leave enough time for this year's 88,000 graduates in the state to prepare for the final exams.
"We now give our students planning security so that they can prepare for their exams in the best possible way," said Gebauer.
At the beginning of the week, Karin Prien, minister of education of the state Schleswig-Holstein, called for the cancellation of the Abitur exams across Germany, saying the final grade should instead be given on the basis of the performance of students to date.
Germany's state ministers of education agreed, however, on Wednesday that the exams, in particular the written Abitur exams, would definitely take place by the end of the school year in summer.
Other German states, such as Lower Saxony, already announced they would present their plans for final school exams in Germany in the next days.