Teachers who do not register for the community-based learning programme will not get paid, the Ministry of Education has said.
Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zachary Kinuthia said such teachers would be considered to have absconded.
He added that a teacher or anyone else who interferes with the programme would be arrested and prosecuted.
“Community based learning will not replace the main curriculum. The government does not want to see children idle,” he told journalists at the Kilifi county commissioner’s office after a meeting with education, security and health officers on Friday.
The programme requires learners to be taught under trees, open places and large social halls in their localities. The teachers will work with community leaders and administrators.
The learners will be put in small groups and will be required to have face masks, observe social distance and regularly wash or sanitise their hands.
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chief executive Nancy Macharia released guidelines for the programme a week ago.
Headteachers are required to be in school to monitor and supervise the programme at least once a week. The learners should not be more than 15 per lesson.
The Interior Ministry has been asked to ensure no child misses lessons.
Mr Kinuthia said the TSC has already registered 4,537 out of 5,757 primary school teachers and 1,299 out of 1,765 secondary school instructors for the programme in Kilifi.
The commission said it has not established the whereabouts of the remaining teachers.
He said the programme only targets pre-primary, primary and secondary school children.
“Universities and colleges have their way of observing students,” Mr Kinuthia said.
He added that the government is prepared for the programme and would ensure the learners and teachers are safe.
“The children we targeted are not aliens. Fifteen is not a big number. It actually gives the teacher a great opportunity to interact with these children,” he said, dismissing concerns by some teachers.
Mr Kinuthia advised teachers to look at the opportunities brought by the programme.
He said the two levels of government are doing all they can to install water, provide soap and masks for teachers and learners.