Schools defying a government ban on the education of mainland children who are awaiting right-of-abode rulings pledged yesterday to continue teaching them as long as they remained in Hong Kong. The promise came ahead of a key Court of Final Appeal ruling tomorrow that will decide the abode status of more than 5,000 mainlanders. Only four of the 187 children who have been barred from receiving education are directly involved in the ruling, but it could affect 56 others. These children are involved in separate legal action and are currently appealing against a Court of First Instance ruling rejecting their request for a judicial review of an earlier decision to deny them abode. At least four schools have defied the Government and admitted 81 of the 187 banned children. The Catholic Church's coadjutor bishop, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, said that as long as the children stayed in Hong Kong, the two Catholic schools that had admitted some of them as sit-in pupils would continue to run classes. 'We're not making use of their right to study to ask for a right to stay. They are two different matters. We support them staying, but that is out of our belief of the need for family reunion,' Bishop Zen said. Pun Tin-chi, principal of the Grantham College of Education Past Students' Association Whampoa Primary School, said it would allow the 13 children admitted to continue studying as long as they stayed. The association's other branch school in Tseung Kwan O, which had admitted 10 children, would do the same. The association's third branch in Kwun Tong had offered to help, but Mr Pun said vacancies were limited and were not suited to the schooling level of the mainland children. Of the two Catholic schools, St Joan Of Arc Primary School in North Point has admitted 30 as sit-in students and has a waiting list for another 30. Ng Wah College (Primary AM section) has admitted 28 mainland children. Peter Chan Kai-yeen, assistant to the Episcopal Delegate for Education, said four teachers were being recruited to help run classes at the two Catholic schools. He said the total cost of helping the children would be about $100,000 a month and expenses would be covered by the Church's funding and donations. Mr Chan said after the teachers were recruited and assessment of schooling levels completed, classes would be spilt, possibly allowing for more children on the waiting list to attend. Society for Community Organisation spokeswoman Sze Lai-shan said the group had contacted about 110 of the 187 children and more than 40 were still awaiting school places. Ms Sze said they had referred the names to the Education Department. The Immigration Department has promised to review all 187 cases after a public outcry against the education ban.