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239 primary schools to close

A total of 239 primary schools across Portugal will not reopen this academic year.

Due to cuts made to the education allowance in the 2012 State Budget, the Ministry of Education said in a statement on July 24: “In all cases, these closures take place in conjunction with the local authorities and are to enhance the quality of teaching and education.”

Closures will lead to children having to travel further to attend school and many teachers will be reassigned to other schools or left unemployed.

According to the statement, the reorganisation of schools will continue into 2013, when it is expected that more schools will be shut down at the end of the school year.

The number of primary schools closed since the end of the 2005-2006 academic year totals 3,720. Together, the Algarve and Alentejo will be losing 13 schools. Central Portugal will see the loss of 66 schools, Lisbon 33 and hardest hit with 126 closures will be the North region.

Last month, job centres throughout the country saw 7,432 teachers register as unemployed.