Schools for mainland-born 'illegal' children are secretly operating in housing estates. They have blackboards, stools and tables. One has run for more than eight years in a flat, measuring less than 300 square feet, in a Sha Tin public housing estate. Pupil Ah Fung, 11, whose papers expired in April after she came to Hong Kong with a two-way permit in July last year, said: 'The subjects we study are similar to those in government schools. We follow their book lists. 'But we do not have music, painting and physical education lessons. Our teacher sometimes takes us to the public playground downstairs for group activities.' The school accommodates seven primary school children and runs from 8.30 am to 5 pm daily. Six other children join them for part-time tuition. Ah Fung's father said: 'We pay $1,800 per month for the school fees and lunch prepared by the teacher. She is a mainland migrant who formerly taught in a Shanghai university. It's sad to see so many children cramped in the flat, not even allowed to stretch their legs. But we have no choice.' Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organisation, believed there were several such schools. He said: 'The Government should be ashamed. Education is the basic right of children. They should not be deprived of it, whether illegal immigrants or poor.' A spokesman for the Housing Department said it had not received any complaints from tenants.