The decision was made because the Air Pollutant Index at these places as at 5 pm today exceeded 250, he said in a statement.
He said the state directors of education had been instructed to make known the closure of the schools.
"They should also inform the Education Ministry of the number of schools and students affected by the closure," he said.
Abd Ghafar said the ministry had agreed to allow schools to close once the API exceeded 250 and they should notify the ministry earlier.
If the API exceeded 300, the schools could close without having to seek the approval of the ministry, he said.