The National Training Unit, NTU, of the Ministry of Education says the Solomon Islands Government scholarship awards for 2010 will be released today.

Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry, Myline Kuve says the long delay is due to funding issues.

She says the ministry is awaiting funding confirmation from the Papua New Guinea government.

Ms Kuve says if the government follows its initial opportunity list advertised last year, the intake for this year will be 157 pre-service students and 50 in service candidates.

She says that apart from the annual budget increase, there is no major additional funding for this year.

The Education Permanent Secretary says that the cost of sending the students to the regional institutions is about $65,000 dollars per student.

Ms Kuve adds that another reason for the delay is because "the government wants to increase its intake this year."

She says the government advised students to "adhere to its bonding and clearance policies to make sure that students return and serve the country for a required number of years after completing their study program before finding greener pastures elsewhere."