More than 180 public schools are set to shut in Puerto Rico in a move which will see 27,000 pupils forced to move elsewhere.

It is the largest mass closure of schools ever announced in the history of the US territory.

The country’s economic crisis – which has sparked an exodus to the US mainland – and the island’s low birth rate have been blamed.

Protests were held at the weekend against austerity measures being introduced amid heightening unrest.

Education Department spokeswoman Yolanda Rosaly said Education Secretary Julia Keleher would soon provide more details about the closures.

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