Obtained his Diploma in Education from the University of Malaya in 1973.
Degree In Literature (Malay Studies) from the University of Malaya in 1976.
Masters In Education from the University of East Anglia Norwich, England in 1997.
Tan Sri Dato Abd Ghafar served in the government service for 36 years and during his tenure, he held positions including the Director General of Education and was involved as a committee member of numerous Boards and Registered Bodies at Ministerial, National and International levels.
He was conferred many honorary awards namely Ahli Ahmad Shah Pahang (AAP), Pingat Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP), Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (SSAP), and Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) which carries the title "Tan Sri" by DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 2012.
- Chairman of Perbadanan Kota Buku,Chairman of the Malaysian Book Council, Ministry of Education
- Chairman of Yayasan Sarana Pendidikan Malaysia,
- Chairman of the Education Sub-Committee for the Malaysian National
- Commission for UNESCO,
- Chairman of the Management Committee for the Schools Sport
- Council of Malaysia (MSSM),
- Chairman of the Project Taskforce for the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MCPF).
Other key positions held include:
- Chairman of the Project Taskforce for the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MCPF),
- Deputy Chairman of the International Bureau of Education, UNESCO,
- Executive Committee of the Malaysian Hockey Federation,
- Board of Director of the Delivery Unit (PADU), Ministry of Education,
- Advisor for the School of Global Excellent Project, Ministry of Education,
- Executive Council of ISESCO, Rabat, Morocco,
- Member of ASEAN Roundtable Education Leadership Council.