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TV debate will tackle drug abuse

Pupils across Scotland will take part in a television debate organised by the three independent companies covering Scotland. The programme, to be transmitted on the afternoon of November 7, is called Wise Up and is the culmination of a project linked to the Government-promoted Scotland Against Drugs campaign.

Following a survey last month of young people's attitudes to drugs, every secondary school in Scotland has been asked by Scottish Television, Grampian and Border to encourage as many pupils as possible to watch the live debate.

Using the new OKTV handset technology, three to five pupils in each school will be able to vote electronically on questions put by the studio presenters. The hope is for a representative sample of 1,500 secondary pupils from Shetland to Stranraer.

Alan Smart, head of current affairs at STV and producer of Wise Up, said: "The scale of the programme and its comprehensive geographical and social reach will be what makes it so significant. We hope Wise Up will be an important event in countering the drugs culture by communicating a positive educational message in an appealing and entertaining way."

A letter to headteachers accepts that the transmission time of 2.20pm-3. 20pm will involve timetable changes in schools and is close to autumn prelims for S4-S6, but states "we want Wise Up to be a collective experience for Scots of all ages".

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